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The 49th annual Earth Day Festival will kick off as usual Saturday, but the annual celebration of nature will be in a new venue, an empty field next to Balfour Park in Spokane Valley.
Spokane Valley City Council passed a measure that bars commercial, political and religious events on City Hall grounds.
Proposed regulations would bar commercial, political and religious events at Spokane Valley’s new City Hall and grounds.
Because of a funding deficit, the Spokane Valley City Council decided to put off design and construction
Spokane Valley City Council wants a new library by its new city hall, but is uncertain how to make it happen.
The Spokane Valley City Council is considering whether to ask the state for $4.5 million in funding to expand Balfour Park, but the idea met some resistance Tuesday.
Voters rejection of new library makes redesign of Spokane Valley Balfour Park necessary
Spokane Valley residents will vote again in August on a $22 million bond proposal to build two new library branches and renovate others as the clock ticks on a land deal near Balfour Park. County commissioners last week approved the ballot measure that will be put to voters who are served by Spokane Valley libraries on Aug. 4. The proposal calls for a property tax increase that amounts to roughly 11 cents for every $1,000 of assessed home value for 20 years. That money will pay off bonds used to fund construction of a new library across the street from the old University City Mall, a new branch on Conklin Road and renovations to the Argonne branch as well as improvements in the existing Spokane Valley library on Main Avenue.
Now it’s up to voters whether Spokane Valley gets a new library branch at Balfour Park. As expected, the Spokane Valley City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday night to sell 2.82 acres of land at Sprague Avenue and Herald Road to the Spokane County Library District for about $840,000. No one supported or opposed the deal during a public hearing held just before the council vote.
The Spokane Valley City Council debated Tuesday which capital project it should seek funding for from the state Legislature in 2015. The two contenders are the expansion of Balfour Park and the building of the Appleway Trail on an old railroad right of way just south of Sprague Avenue.
The city of Spokane Valley and the Spokane County Library District have both approved a plan for the joint development of 8.4 acres of land the city owns at the corner of Sprague Avenue and Herald Road. The library district bought nearly 3 acres on the southwest corner of the property from the city for a new Spokane Valley Library branch. The city-owned portion of the site will be used to expand neighboring Balfour Park.
The Spokane Valley City Council approved a flat property tax for 2014 Tuesday night, but not without some dissent from Councilman Ben Wick. Wick said he was concerned that the city has too many financial responsibilities to not take the 1 percent property tax increase allowed, which would add $109,000 to the city’s coffers. The city’s budget is only $500 in the black; if revenue generated by new construction comes in lower than anticipated the city will have a deficit, he said. There is also talk about adding new police officers to a public safety budget that is already going up $1.2 million over the 2013 cost, he said.
Community members came to Balfour Park on Thursday to see the final plan for the park expansion they helped design. Judging by the comments at the final community meeting, the efforts at Balfour Park have been a success.
The city of Spokane Valley is working to finalize a site plan for the expansion of Balfour Park and possible construction of a new library on property it purchased at Sprague Avenue and Herald Road. The plan is largely based on one of the three designs presented at public meetings in the spring. The city is partnering with the Spokane County Library District to jointly develop the site as a park and library. The construction of the library is contingent on the library district passing a bond to pay for the project.
Three potential designs for the Balfour Park expansion were presented at a community meeting Monday. The plans were based on comments collected during a previous public meeting. They included different shapes and locations for a proposed new library and different amenities and layouts for the park. “We want to have that interaction between the indoor space and the outdoor spaces,” said landscape architect William LaRue Jr.