It may be some time yet before any earth will be moved on the land west of Balfour Park, but the Spokane Valley City Council made strides Tuesday to prepare for that day.
The council gave its consensus to move forward to spend $38,000 – it’s half of the expenditures – to hire a consultant to develop a site development plan for the 8.4 acres at Herald Road and Sprague Avenue to expand Balfour Park.
The Spokane County Library District will pay for the rest of the $76,000 amount to Spokane architect Bernardo-Wills. The SCLD board of trustees approved the plan at its regular meeting earlier that day.
With 15 firms bidding for the contract, Spokane Valley Parks Director Mike Stone said there was a “very solid response for our project,” keeping the bids competitive.
Stone added that as the project moves forward a steering committee will be appointed to oversee further development. He added that there will be “a number of public input opportunities” along the way.
The city also must pay $3,500 to $5,000 for its share of a topographical survey of the area.
The council agreed last October to finalize the purchase of the vacant land owned by Pring Corp. for $2.5 million. Just over a year ago, representatives from the library district came before the council and asked that the city buy the land in order to expand the recreational area at Balfour Park and allow for a new Spokane Valley Library main branch to be built on the west end. The library district, in turn, would repay the city for its portion of the property.
Under the interlocal agreement with SCLD, a joint site plan would need to begin within one year of closing of the land purchase.
“As you can imagine, time is of the essence,” Stone said.
Council Member Arne Woodard said he hoped the council would be able to see more details regarding the scope of the project soon.
In other news, Mayor Tom Towey presented the Key to the City to Rick Scott, director of the Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort, on behalf of SCOPE’s efforts in making Spokane Valley a safer place to live.
SCOPE was nominated by Spokane Valley Police Chief Rick VanLeuven.
“I’m so proud of our group of volunteers,” Scott said.
The presentation was the February installment of the city’s recognition program as part of its 10-year anniversary celebration. Throughout the year, the mayor will honor individuals, organizations and business that have a positive impact on the community.
The council will not hold a regular meeting next Tuesday; however, there will be a winter workshop at City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Topics tentatively scheduled to be discussed include council goals, the legislative agenda, the city’s 10-year anniversary, business-route signage, manufactured homes zoning, solid waste and more.