With the details all but completely worked out, Spokane County commissioners are poised to make a $400,000 purchase of potential new parkland just north of Liberty Lake Regional Park.
On Tuesday, the commissioners gave their blessing to draft a resolution that could be passed next Tuesday, June 14, for the purchase of 120 acres of land owned by the descendents of 1890 settler Roderick MacKenzie.
The deal, to be brokered by Liberty Lake resident and developer Jim Frank, would see the property – which is estimated to be worth up to $3 million – go to Spokane County in order to protect it from further development.
Also of a benefit to the county: The land will supply potable water for the existing Liberty Lake Regional Park. The park’s water is currently supplied by the Green Ridge development, a solution that Chase said was intended to be temporary but instead has lasted two decades.
Doug Chase, director of Spokane County parks and recreation, said that the project is one that he has been involved with for 10 years and is happy to see come to a conclusion.
“”I’m very excited about the park land but also that we’re addressing a long-standing water issue,” he said. “It’s a win-win.”
Only a small, 2-acre portion on the southern end of the property is waterfront land that is too rocky to be developed into a proper beach. But the rest of the area would be ideal for hiking, biking or picnicking. Moose, elk, deer and many types of birds have been spotted in the area.
As part of the deal, Frank will be able to develop 20 acres of additional land owned by the MacKenzie. Last year, the developer said he only planned on building six homes over 12 acres. The MacKenzies would retain four other lots.
Chase said the money for the purchase would not come from the Conservation Futures program, but from a fund set aside specifically for this project.
In other news, county commissioners agreed in a 2-1 vote to award Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich $128,223 in reserve funds for the purchase of equipment and software. The amount is about a third of an amount that Knezovich requested last week, and Commissioner Mark Richard voted no.
The commissioners, however, unanimously agreed to the city of Spokane’s plan to restore the former YMCA site at Riverfront Park utilizing $4.3 million in Spokane County Conservation Futures funds.