The city of Spokane Valley moved a step closer to purchasing land that could be used for an expanded Balfour Park on Tuesday.
The City Council unanimously approved the city manager prepare and execute a letter of intent to Pring Corp. – owned by Jack Pring, who contributed funds to the election campaigns of six of the seven sitting council members -- regarding the potential purchase of eight acres of land at on the north side of Sprague Avenue at Herald Road.
While the asking price of the land has not been disclosed, the city would not spend more than $30,000 for preliminary title work or environmental site studies at this time. The money will come from the city’s Civic Facilities Fund.
The council also unanimously agreed to support a memorandum of understanding with the Spokane County Library District to pay half of the $16,000 cost for a traffic study related to the park property. The library district initially approached the city regarding the property in January with the hopes of building a new Spokane Valley Library branch on the western portion of the land. The SCLD would reimburse the city for the property it would use, however that is contingent on the passage of a bond request before voters sometime, most likely, in 2015.
“If that whole property becomes a city park, it still will be a highly successful project,” said City Manager Mike Jackson.
The traffic study is expected to take somewhere between 45 and 60 days.
In other news, the council discussed the formation of a new Economic Development Committee. The city received 19 applications, and the council had hoped to appoint two council members, two business representatives, two tourism representatives, a citizen at large and a youth member between 16 and 19 years old. No applications, however, were received in the latter category.
Council Members Ben Wick, Arne Woodard and Brenda Grassel have indicated they wish to be on the committee.
Applying for the committee are:
- Keith Backsen, vice president of Visit Spokane
- Jean Berg, director of marketing and sales of the Spokane Airport Ramada Inn
- John Carroll, Planning Commission member and owner of ServiceMaster Cleaning Services
- Julie Cohen, general manager of the Mission Avenue Holiday Inn Express
- Taryn Erickson, business development manager of Trindera Engineering Inc.
- Wayne Frost, managing director at Greenstone Corp.
- John Guarisco, account executive of MDI Marketing
- Erin Gurtel, marketing/sales manager at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center
- John Miller, president of DIVCON Inc.
- Margaret Miller, business developer for Wake Up Call Coffee
- Michael Pearson, retired superintendent of the Central Valley School District
- J. Grant Person, NAI Black commercial real estate broker
- Charles Post, self-employed
- Philip Rudy, dentist
- Ben Small, current superintendent of the Central Valley School District
- Dean Stuart, director of marketing of Crown West Realty
- Robin Toth, vice president/business development of Greater Spokane Inc.
- Jamie Traeger, owner of JMA Commercial Real Estate
- Steven Wolf, regional manager of Sunshine Disposal and Recycling
“I’m really impressed by the applications that we received,” said Mayor Tom Towey. “We have some excellent individuals in our community. It’s going to be a real rough job to limit to the criteria we have.”
Given the breadth of experience and interest by the applicants, talked turned to expanding the committee membership.
“I’m blown away,” Grassel said.
The council is expected to confirm the mayoral appointments to the committee at next Tuesday’s meeting.