Spokane Valley to pursue park in north Greenacres —

Spokane Valley to pursue park in north Greenacres

By Peter Barnes; March 27, 2007 © Spokesman Review

If negotiations are successful, eight acres in the north Greenacres neighborhood will become Spokane Valley's first major park purchase.

The Spokane Valley City Council gave its blessing Tuesday to a proposal to pursue the purchase of two contiguous sites at 1405 N. Long Road and 17721 E. Boone Ave. The vote was unanimous.

"Thank you so much, we are so thrilled," said Mary Pollard, who leads a neighborhood group that has pushed for a park in the rapidly developing area sandwiched between I-90 and the Spokane River.

The proposed park site, near the intersection of Mission Avenue and Long Road, sits next to five acres owned by the Central Valley School District that will eventually be the site of a new school.

The city's offers on the two flat, agricultural tracts follow strong indications that Spokane Valley will receive a state grant to help buy the land.

Thanks in part to the efforts of the neighbors, officials say, the project recently was ranked 14th out of 69 projects under consideration for a grant from the state's Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation.

With the proposed Greenacres park that high on the list, city leaders are optimistic the project will receive a grant for about half of the estimated $600,000 cost to buy the land, even in the off-chance the Legislature decides to cut some of the funding for the grant program.

If the purchases are successful, Mayor Diana Wilhite said the next step will be to look at what the public wants to build on the site and how the city will fund the park's construction.

The parks department already is preparing to apply for another grant to help develop the park, which could be under construction as early as 2009.

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