OLYMPIA – The Appleway Trail in Spokane Valley would be renamed after the late Sen. Bob McCaslin under a bill passed by a state House committee Thursday.
Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, introduced the bill, saying it would be a good way to commemorate McCaslin, who oversaw the trail’s creation. McCaslin, a Republican, served as senator from the 4th District from 1981 to 2011, when ill health forced his retirement.
Chelsea Hager with the City of Spokane Valley said the city is open to renaming the trail, but would like to see that the state incurs any costs associated with the renaming. In response, the committee adopted an amendment that said the state would cover the costs relating to the change.
Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Seattle, said she had concerns about the state directing the name change of a city-owned trail.
That sentiment was voiced by a number of Spokane Valley council members earlier this week after the bill was presented at the council’s Tuesday meeting. Several expressed surprise, noting this was the first time they had heard of the proposal.
“I kind of wish it would have come to us – for us to rename it versus a bill by Legislature,” Councilman Ben Wick said at the time.
Mayor Rod Higgins said that Shea had presented the idea during the Association of American Cities Conference, which was held last week in Olympia. He noted no one on the council knew the bill would be introduced on behalf of the city.
Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee, said the city might not be obligated to change the name under the current bill, but that concern could be addressed at a later time.
The bill passed 8-1. Kagi cast the lone vote against.
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