All ideas, no matter how big or small, will be welcomed as the city of Spokane Valley takes its first steps forward into developing what could be its signature park on Sprague Avenue.
A community planning meeting to discuss a proposed new library and expansion of Balfour Park is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Monday, April 22, at the Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main.
Sharing information and getting input from current and potential library patrons and park visitors are the goals for the event, which will be presented by the Spokane County Library District and Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Department.
An overview of the design process will be presented at 6 p.m., after which participants will meet in smaller groups to brainstorm, and then come back together in a large group to share ideas and schedule future workshops.
The planning meeting is part of a partnership between SCLD and the city that involved the city's acquisition from Pring Corp. last fall of 8.4 acres of land along the north side of Sprague Avenue in between Herald Road and to the west of Balfour Park.
Under the agreement, the library may purchase a portion of the land if funding for construction of a new library at that location is approved by voters.
At Tuesday’s study session of the City Council meeting, Mike Stone, Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation director, briefed council members on the progress to develop site and his expectations for Monday’s meeting.
“We’re looking forward to get a good turnout,” Stone said.
The city is paying for 50 percent for a site-plan study headed by Bernardo-Wills Architects. SCLD is paying the other half of the $76,000 total amount, Stone said.
Also a site plan steering committee has been appointed and will meet the third Thursday of each month throughout the process. The committee is comprised of three city citizens, two library staff members and two more from city staff. Members include Stone and:
- Mindy Rowe, a Balfour neighborhood resident who has been involved in the Broadway Elementary PTA
- Denise Sutton, a general merchandise manager for Rosauers at University City
- Linda Thompson, executive director of the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council
- Nancy Ledeboer, executive director of the Spokane County Library District
- Doug Stumbough, branch services manager of SCLD
- Steve Worley, capital projects engineer for the city of Spokane Valley
Despite coverage in local newspapers and roughly $1,500 in mailings sent to affected neighborhood residents around the Balfour Park area, Council Member Dean Grafos expressed disappointment that more citizens were not directly informed by the city about the Monday night workshop.
“Who determined the boundaries of the notice that was sent out?” Grafos asked. “It affects everybody in the city, as they are paying for it.”
Stone said the city has never done that kind of mass mailing, as it would be cost-prohibitive.
Council Member Chuck Hafner said it is important to get the word out before the library district puts its eventual bond request on the ballot.
“If the library bond doesn’t pass, this whole thing is down the tubes, relatively speaking,” Hafner said.
Grafos suggested the city place a billboard at the park site announcing the project. Staff members said they would investigate that idea.
Future meetings community meetings will be held on May 20 at 6 p.m. at the Spokane Valley Library and Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. at the park site.
For more information about Monday’s meeting or the proposed project, contact Stone at email@example.com or 720-5400.