Call it green for greenspace.
In a case of capital funding in which time was quickly becoming of the essence, the Spokane Valley City Council approved financial support for the first phase of a neighborhood park in the Greenacres area on Tuesday. Parks Director Mike Stone had provided the city’s governing board with an overview of the project – including an update on the possibility of losing at least part of a state grant – at the July 13 council meeting.
Stone’s proposal included taking $200,000 from a civic facilities fund toward initial construction efforts. The remaining balance of the $1.58 million cost would be procured from the parks capital fund – currently sitting at a reserve of $1.3 million.
Stone reassured council members that the transfer will still mean leftover funds for a picnic shelter at Terrace View Park. In his appeal, Stone emphasized that the Greenacres project may be in jeopardy of forfeiting $200,000 of a $500,000 state grant if the city did not move forward with the park in the near future.
Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels agreed.
“We need to show due diligence with the state,” he said.
Landscape architect Mike Terrell has mapped out the design for a new neighborhood park in the Greenacres area with the help of local residents. On Tuesday, the Spokane Valley City Council approved additional funding for phase one of the 8.3-acre greenspace.
Photo by: Craig Howard
Stone described the Greenacres park as his department’s “top priority” while applauding local residents for rallying interest in the project. Stone and landscape architect Mike Terrell met with citizens of the northeast Spokane Valley community several times this spring to discuss potential elements of the 8.3-acre location.
“The community has been very supportive,” Stone said.
At the April 7 meeting, Stone said the conversation centered around a park design incorporating “what’s special to the Greenacres neighborhood.” Topics included the area’s extensive agricultural and railroad history.
In addition to the city-sponsored meetings this spring, residents have held their own gatherings to discuss the park, written letters of support to government leaders and helped distribute a survey on park priorities to 500 households.
“It will be important to create a sense of place that says ‘Greenacres’ when you’re here,” said Terrell.
A longtime consultant with Greenstone Homes, Terrell now operates his own landscape architectural firm, designing park and recreational space throughout the region. He was brought on by Spokane Valley earlier this year to map out both phases of the Greenacres site. Terrell had previous worked in the area while with Greenstone when developmental standards were being established in 2004 and 2005.
“It’s been gratifying to be involved in the discussions about the park and to help residents work toward this goal,” Terrell said.
Phase one will include a stage and ampitheater area similar to Pavillion Park in Liberty Lake. Perimeter walking paths and a playground will be included as well. A spacious field for soccer, flag football and even Frisbee golf are also part of the plans along with a parking lot and restrooms.
Work is currently underway to repave roads around the park site as part of a countywide septic tank removal project. Terrell noted that the remaining half of the street resurfacing will take place in conjunction with the park construction.
Terrell said that while phase one represents between 60 to 70 percent of the overall cost of the project, phase two will include additional turf, basketball and tennis courts, irrigation and another multi-use field at a pricetag of around $800,000.
Stone said bids for construction could go out at the end of this year or the start of 2011. A best-case scenario would include a ground breaking sometime next spring with the park opening by late summer.