Spokane set to OK whitewater park —

Spokane set to OK whitewater park

Elida S. Perez, July 15, 2007; Spokane Spokesman-Review

Work likely to begin in summer of 2008

To see a master plan, visit www.friendsofthefalls.org.

Elida S. Perez
July 15, 2007
Spokesman Review

With the first whitewater park in Spokane nearing reality, city officials are set to approve an agreement that would release grant funding for the project.

Friends of the Falls, a nonprofit organization working toward constructing the park in the Spokane River near downtown, has an agreement with the city of Spokane for development of the facility.

The agreement is on the consent agenda for the Spokane City Council meeting Monday.

The document spells out responsibilities of Friends of the Falls and the city throughout the development of the project.

"There shouldn't be any more questions at this point," said Mike Stone, director of the city Parks and Recreation Department.

The whitewater park project received two grants, both of which came with requirements. Steve Faust, executive director of Friends of the Falls, said part of gaining access to the $530,000 granted to the city by the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program requires the nonprofit to prove it is working with the city.

"Parks will manage the grant since it was given to the city," Stone said.

The $400,000 granted to Friends of the Falls by the state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development requires the organization to prove it has enough money to complete construction. "Once this agreement is approved, we'll be able to get a grant agreement with the CTED," Faust said.

After grant funds are released, and pending approval of the City Council and CTED, officials will be able to proceed with the project, including acquiring the needed permits.

"We're reasonably confident we can wrap up the permitting process by April 2008," Faust said.

Officials expect the project will be complete by next fall.

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