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Spokane County commissioners are going to decide who will fill a vacancy on the board of Fire District 9 after the two remaining fire commissioners failed to agree on an appointment. The county commissioners on Tuesday opened the position for applications through 5 p.m. on Aug. 3.
A growth management update in Spokane County would expand the boundary where urban uses are allowed, opening new land for development. Spokane County commissioners this week asked for additional environmental review on a handful of locations so that they can take a comprehensive look at areas proposed for urban use.
Spokane County Commission hopeful John Roskelley’s name will be on the ballot. A Republican-backed challenge of the Democrat’s voter registration was dismissed on Wednesday, clearing the way for Roskelley’s name to appear on the primary election ballot in the District 1 county commissioner race against Republican incumbent Todd Mielke.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Tuesday that the ability of his office to fight crime is increasingly endangered by funding cuts, and he is proposing a new sales tax to help shore up its budget. He is asking the county commissioners to place a sales tax increase of two-tenths of a cent on the November ballot and restrict the money raised to law enforcement and criminal justice.
A hearing is set for Wednesday on a lawsuit challenging the residency of Spokane County Commission candidate John Roskelley. Roskelley, a Democrat, is seeking to return to his old commission seat by defeating incumbent Republican Commissioner Todd Mielke in District 1.
New land-use rules to protect Fairchild Air Force Base from civilian encroachment won unanimous approval from Spokane County commissioners on Thursday. They said the need to protect Fairchild as a military asset, but also an economic one, outweighed largely local concerns about the effect of the new rules on property values and uses.
Spokane County commissioners are moving ahead with a plan to pre-certify property it owns from the Geiger Spur rail realignment to make the land more attractive to new business development. They said the effort is part of a trend in economic development to offer prospective companies large tracts that would have land-use issues resolved so that construction could move ahead quickly.
Spokane County commissioners are pushing to get new land-use regulations in place around Fairchild Air Force Base by spring to show the Pentagon they are sincere about protecting Fairchild from civilian encroachment. The commissioners said on Wednesday they will urge officials in Airway Heights, Medical Lake and Spokane to move quickly on parallel regulations as well.
Local leaders hope that a sprawling new Caterpillar Logistics plant on the West Plains is the first in a series of new business arrivals near the airport. Vacant land surrounding Spokane International Airport, some of which is owned by the airport, is getting more scrutiny by out-of-town companies, including Boeing, officials said.
Spokane County Commissioners said Wednesday they might want a piece of the action when voters are asked for money to expand the existing Convention Center and add seats to the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Officials in charge of the two public facilities will ask voters April 17 to extend a pair of taxes used to pay for Spokane entertainment facilities.
Spokane County road crew workers want to keep pulling stranded motorists from snowy ditches despite fears by the county’s risk manager that the practice puts the county in jeopardy for possible claims or lawsuits. “We are not emergency responders,” Risk Manager Steve Bartel told county commissioners last week.
Spokane County commissioners this week said they are open to the possibility of combining city and county law enforcement agencies. Commissioners Al French, Todd Mielke and Mark Richard sent a letter to Spokane Mayor-elect David Condon supporting consideration of law enforcement consolidation.
The Spokane historic preservation office will get only $5,000 from Spokane County in the $136.6 million 2012 budget county commissioners adopted Wednesday. The county has given $20,000 a year to the office since at least 2009, but will shift $15,000 to the Fox Theater next year. The money will reduce a multiyear county pledge to help restore the landmark theater as a regional performing arts venue.
The Spokane Public Facilities District needs some new talent. County commissioners are seeking candidates to replace Sandra Wade, who will leave the district’s board of directors at the end of the year because of term limits.
Another allegedly faulty land-use decision by Spokane County officials resulted in a $687,000 settlement this week. The payout is for property near the intersection of U.S. Highway 2 and Day-Mt. Spokane Road, within a couple of blocks of a site where the county sank $750,000 in December 2008.
For the second time in a month, Spokane County commissioners have jumped at bargain-priced conservation land offered by the Dishman Hills Natural Area Association. Commissioners tentatively approved a deal in which the association will provide 160 acres for less than half its cost.
Two visions for the Spokane County Courthouse collided this week at a security scanner. County commissioners learned Tuesday that a half-million-dollar remodeling project placed a door on the wrong side of a security station.
Spokane city and county officials soon will be jumping into the most interesting political numbers game of 2011, the redrawing of boundaries based on the latest population figures. Although data from the 2010 U.S. census show that both the City Council and county commission districts are slightly out of balance, local officials should have a much easier time than the state panel that will have to create a new congressional district in Washington.
Spokane County’s Northside and Southside aquatic centers will start their seasons Friday with 33 percent lower prices. Admission will drop from $6 to $4 for users 6 and older, from $3 to $2 for 3- through 5-year-olds, and from $60 to $40 for punch passes that offer a 20 percent discount. Children 2 and younger swim for free.