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Government and Politics - page 3

Watch Liberty Lake City Council Meeting and Workshop Live on Facebook

in Featured/Government and Politics/Video
Facebook live May 2019

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 6 p.m., Liberty Lake Gazette will broadcast the Liberty Lake City Council meeting and workshop live on Facebook.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/libertylakenews/ any time after 6 p.m., Tuesday.

Here are a few of the key issues:

  • Salary Commission and Other City/Public Agency Reports
  • Land Transaction with CVSD
  • Food Truck Proposed Ordinance
  • Acceptance of Donations Ordinance

Full agenda: http://www.libertylakewa.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_05072019-514

What Happened to the $1.5 Million Trailhead Driving Range Net Replacement?

in Featured/Government and Politics
Trailhead golf course open


In October 2017, the City of Liberty Lake received a risk assessment summary which stated, “The city has a high liability exposure for this driving range with the number of golf balls being hit over/through the fencing.” The report also indicated that there would be a follow-up within 45 (forty-five) days to verify that the issue had been remedied.

Limiting liability by raising the nets around the course and range was estimated at around $1.5 million. In addition, the City was also considering an upgrade to the golf course irrigation system. The irrigation system was upgraded at a total cost of about $1.3 million, but the nets remain the same height.

At the time, there was some urgency to the issue, but seems that the insurance provider is willing to accept the risk while the community figures out a solution.

Current Status

City Council is exploring options for additional improvements to the driving range, course, and facility. Last month, they spent about 40 minutes discussing a need vs. want list and contemplating how they would proceed with this process.

Here is a rough summary of that meeting broken down by participant:

Scott Bernhard, City Engineer

Scott presented a list of the “must have” vs. “nice to have” options. Here is a rough outline of that list:

Must Have

  • Pro shop
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Banquet/Meeting Room
  • Office
  • Putting Green
  • Driving Range
  • Storage
  • Business Plan

Nice to Have

  • Deck or outside eating area
  • View restaurant
  • Reconfigure course to have signature hole (example: tee pad on property on other side of Liberty Lake Rd)
  • New driving range net
  • Golf cart charging station
  • Replace with course Top Golf building
  • New facility or fix up old
  • Golf cart repair shop
  • More putting – Putting Course
  • Indoor Simulators

After this list has been refined, they would go out with an RFQ for a consultant who has experience with similar project requirements.

Some of the criteria will come from a citizen committee and the RFQ will be prepared from that.

Review of the current Trailhead building is underway, but not yet complete.
Some of the known issues are:

  • Some ADA issues
  • Nets not perfect
  • Deck structure issues
  • Banquet/meeting room is marginal
  • HVAC issues
  • Building is “tired”
  • Might need more parking

Cris Kaminskas, Council Member

  • Patio is closer to must have
  • New net is needed
  • New facility depends on evaluation

Dan Dunne, Council Member

  • Agrees outdoor seating must have
  • Putting course on natural grass for families would be nice (not mini golf)

Odin Langford, Council Member

  • Why isn’t the net a must have? Answer: it is functional, but might have some upcoming repairs
  • Need more info about costs to decide
  • What is Top Golf?
  • What is signature hole?
  • Many must haves cover the like to haves as the person you choose will have the skills to perform both
  • Doesn’t think charging station is needed
  • If anyone was looking to hire an expert, you would look for experienced person

Steve Peterson, Mayor

  • Top Golf defined for those who don’t know (Gazette provided link: https://topgolf.com/us/)
  • Who would run Top Golf? How would money flow?
  • Revenue from sales tax and developed by Top Golf – not in golf business
  • Would need a lot of parking
  • Nets – estimates net heights are 185 ft
  • $1.7 mil for netting estimate
  • Last 2 or 3 years talking about it and need to define why we are doing this
  • How much money do we want to put at this? We don’t know exactly.
  • Council can discuss, but is it market driven? What does the market want?
  • Council and Mayor want citizen input; trying to moving forward
  • Ask for RFPs to choose from
  • Ask the citizens what they want
  • Next action, need somebody to put this together

Mike Kennedy,  Council Member

  • Reminded that the net was reviewed last year and nets already were determined to be deteriorated
  • Jan presentation was made and committee interest list was formed and the volunteers have yet to be contacted.  Slow molasses movement.
  • Process is still open but need input during RFQ process
  • Scott agreed to follow-up but was waiting for more direction and  Harvard Rd has taken front row
  • Is project plan still valid?

Shane Brickner, Mayor Pro Tem

  • Agrees with Odin… premature as we need to assess the building first
  • Too early to weigh on like to haves
  • “The why” is on the must have list – That is the driving direction
  • Don’t know if a building is feasible

Katy Allen, City Administrator

  • Need to find clear direction before hiring a consultant so we can get best result from them. Premature on the building side and should get info in a couple weeks.
  • Need a business plan for operation associated with anything we do.

Bob Moore ,  Council Member

  • Boring course at Trailhead
  • Played many courses and signature hole and water feature would be nice since we have new irrigation system.
  • Don’t rule out someone else to develop the property – joint venture or selling of property if in the best interest of community
  • We already have a course, how to enhance the existing facilities. Is there a better way to develop that and do it more effectively?
  • Like Mayor, demand driven is important. Need expertise for options on how it should be developed.


Listen to the whole conversation in this video; for 40 minutes of excitement.
(estimated time 1:19:00 to 1:58:00)


Original coverage from Dec. 2017
(analysis and opinion)

$1.5 Million: Nothin’ But Net

Follow-up story from Dec. 2017
(mostly satirical)

Nothin’ But Net – Part 2: Things You Can Buy with $1.5 Million

State Legislature Approves Funding for I-90 Improvements through Liberty Lake

in Featured/Government and Politics/Traffic and Roads
I-90 road sign

Lawmakers in Olympia passed capital and transportation budgets Sunday. Among the transportation projects approved was up to $20.7 million over the next two years to improve I-90 from Barker Road to Harvard Road.

The project is intended to provide the following improvements for Liberty Lake:

  • Improve I-90 interchanges at Barker and Harvard
  • Construct an overpass at Henry Road
  • Improve local feeder streets

Additional costs for this project will be paid by the City of Liberty Lake.

Request For Proposal: Job Analysis and Compensation Study

in Government and Politics/Notifications
request for proposal

The City of Liberty Lake, Washington invites proposals from qualified consulting firms to complete a Job Analysis and Compensation Study.

Proposals will be received by the Finance Director, City of Liberty Lake, City Hall 22710 E. Country Vista Drive, Liberty Lake, WA 99019 until 5:00 p.m. (PST) on April 29, 2019.

Detailed Request for Proposal (RFP) information including general information, scope of work, terms and conditions, and required format for proposal is available at City Hall located at the above address, by calling (509) 755-6702, or emailing rstevenson@libertylakewa.gov. The RFP is also available on the City’s website at www.libertylakewa.gov.

The City of Liberty Lake reserves the right to reject any and all submittals and to waive irregularities and informalities in the submittal and evaluation process. This RFP does not obligate the City to pay any costs incurred by respondents in the preparation and submission of a proposal. Furthermore, the RFP does not obligate the City to accept or contract for any expressed or implied services.

Dated this 29th day of March, 2019.

Liberty Lake’s Mobile Concession Stand (“Food Truck”) Regulations

in Featured/Government and Politics/Local Food
Liberty Lake Planning Commission

The Liberty Lake Planning Commission met on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 in the City Hall Council Chambers and passed a motion to approve the following proposed amendment:

  • Allow “Food Trucks” on private property as an accessory use in the “I” zone by temporary use permit when associated with an existing business.
    • Require site plan to address location on private property, traffic circulation, refuse disposal, fire extinguisher, seating (if applicable);
    • Require City of Liberty Lake Business License and Health Department Food Vendor Permit.
    • Limit the hours of operation for food truck to the hours of operation of the principal use on the subject property.
  • Incorporate “Director’s interpretation” from Policy Bulletin No. 21 into code related to “temporary use permits”:
    • Waive permit requirement for individual vendor booths within a larger non-profit special event permit provided the vendor has been included in the site plan for the event.

A secondary motion was made and passed to recommend the City Council review implementation of allowing Food Trucks as an accessory to a business or event at 1 year and to consider expanding Food Truck use for a non-accessory business.

The above amendment will now go in front of the Liberty Lake City Council which will meet on Tuesday, May 07, 2019 at 7 pm.

Liberty Lake Sales Tax Increased to 8.9%

in Featured/Government and Politics
Liberty Lake sales tax breakdown

Are you curious as to how the local sales tax increase affects the budget for the City of Liberty Lake?

Basically, it does not as the .1% increase is related to the Spokane Transit Authority (STA).

When asked if this small increase may send local residents across the Idaho line to shop where sales tax is only 6%, city Finance Manager, RJ Stevenson replied, “It will not change for purchases of items like cars, RV’s and boats. You have to register those here in the state and that is typically where the sales tax will go… We have seen increases in online purchases over the last few years with companies like Amazon and the sales tax follows the destination.”

Brandon Rapez-Betty, Director of Communications & Customer Service at the STA, states, “This increase was a voter-approved increase of .2% for the STA Moving Forward 10-year plan which took place in 2017. .1% of that approved increase went into effect on April 01, 2017 and the final .1% went into effect on April 01, 2019. It is designed to maintain, improve and expand transit service throughout the region.”

If you’d like more information on the projects funded by this increase, go to http://stamovingforward.com/

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