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Public Hearing: City of Liberty Lake’s 2020 Preliminary Budget

Liberty Lake City Hall in Spring

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES THAT: The Mayor and City Council of the City of Liberty Lake will hold a Public Hearing Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as practical, for the purpose of receiving public comment(s) on the City of Liberty Lake’s 2020 Preliminary Budget. The Public Hearing will take place in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive, Liberty Lake, WA. Individuals planning to attend the meeting who require special assistance to accommodate physical, hearing, or other impairments, please contact the City Clerk at (509) 755-6729 as soon as possible so that arrangements may be made. Without advance notice, it may not be possible to provide the required accommodation(s).

Primary Election Results: City of Liberty Lake Council Position No. 7

in Featured/Government and Politics
Liberty Lake primary election

Election results have been posted. The election will be certified on August 20th.

Initial results indicate Tom Stanley and Cris Kaminskas as being the candidates for Council Position No. 7.

  • 41.2% – Cristella (Cris) Kaminskas
  • 32.2% – Tom Stanley
  • 16.5% – Jeanette Marie Nall
  • 9.01% – Undervotes
  • 0.90% – Write-In

Current Election Results

More election information may be found at Spokane County Elections website: https://www.spokanecounty.org/2995/Current-Election-Results

2019 Barefoot in the Park Car Show

Barefoot in the Park in Liberty Lake

Proud car owners will bring their chrome and pride to have their cars judged by sponsors, the public and a Mayor’s Choice. Come join us for the car show, beer garden and good food! Car owners, please bring your cars no earlier than 3 PM!

For more information click here.

Youth Commission a Platform for Leaders of Today, Tomorrow

in Community Spotlight/Featured/Things to Do in Liberty Lake
Liberty Lake Youth Commission

Chloe Brynteson thinks the younger generation should carry their weight.

The chair of the Liberty Lake Youth Commission (LLYC) is joined in that perspective by seven of her cohorts who took the initiative to restart the city-sponsored program last spring after a five-year hiatus.

Liberty Lake Youth Commission
The Liberty Lake Youth Commission has coordinated a talent show, organized a winter festival and clothing drive and facilitated a summer reading program for kids at Liberty Creek Elementary. LLYC members from left to right: Chloe Bryntesen, Natalie Alva, Tom Dunne, Garrett Packebush and Sarah Pecha.

“It seems like there are a lot of adults in this community who are leaders and volunteers,” said, Brynteson, a junior at Central Valley High School. “I feel like I should be doing that as much as they do. I need to give back.”

Originally formed in 2006, LLYC coordinated events for kids as well as food drives benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank and fundraisers supporting Crosswalk, a downtown youth shelter.

In 2008, the group was honored for their efforts in community leadership at the Chase Youth Awards.

Since 2013, however, the commission has been largely silent.

That changed last April when the newest rendition of LLYC held their first meeting at City Hall. Brynteson and Natalie Alva, who serves as vice chair, were the catalysts in reviving the mission. All eight commission members are juniors at CV.

“These are society’s future leaders,” said Mayor Steve Peterson. “They have a youth vision and they are volunteering to make the community better.”

The city provides monetary reimbursements as well as advisors like Finance Director R.J. Stevenson and Maintenance and Operations Director Jennifer Camp. Stevenson said the group has been mostly autonomous.

“I’m here to support them but I try to stay out of their way,” he said. “They’re pretty independent. They got things going on their own and City Council has been supportive of their efforts.”

LLYC coordinated a well-attended talent show at Pavillion Park last August and will host the second annual event Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. during Barefoot in the Park.

“The talent show last year was the first big event we hosted as a youth commission, so I thought it went pretty well,” said LLYC Treasurer Cooper Young. “We hope to have a big crowd this year because people will already be at the park.”

The commission also put on a Winter Festival last December that included a clothing drive with donations going to the Salvation Army. This June, LLYC kickstarted a summer reading program for kids at Liberty Creek Elementary that will conclude Aug. 16 with a celebration and prizes.

Young, who is the “tech guy” at the talent show, said being part of service projects “has been fun” and also fulfills required hours through National Honor Society. His sister, Maci, is also part of LLYC.

“I think it’s cool that we’ve brought the youth commission back,” Cooper said. “It’s important to be involved in your community.”

The rest of the commission includes Savannah Pratt (secretary), Thomas Dunne, Garrett Packebush and Sarah Pecha.

Bryntesen recalls attending events sponsored by LLYC when she was in elementary school.

“I want to be an example like that to kids,” she said. “When we started this last year, it just came back to this idea of getting involved and putting down your phone, your computer and video games. There are people here who have made a difference in this community for years. If we keep that going and have youth step up, we’re going to continue to make Liberty Lake a great place to live.”

Click here for Liberty Lake Youth Commission Talent Show event details

Primary Election Quick Guide – Liberty Lake City Council

in Featured/Government and Politics

Primary Election Date: August 6, 2019

  • Primary election ballots are due Tuesday, August 6th.
  • This Primary includes Liberty Lake City Council Position 7.
  • Registered voters should have received ballots in the mail last week.
  • Deadline to register online/by mail for this primary was July 29th
  • In-person voter registration may occur up until August 6th.
  • Ballots must be postmarked or deposited at an official ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Aug 6th.
  • In Liberty Lake, there is an official ballot drop box at Liberty Lake Municipal Library.
  • SVFD Candidates, County Measure, and other information may be found here: https://www.spokanecounty.org/178/Current-Election

Liberty Lake City Council Position 7 Candidate Profiles (click names to view)


 Mayor and Council Positions 1, 3, 5, 7 will be on the General Election ballot: November 5, 2019

Screening Scooters — Lime May Be Riding Into Liberty Lake

in Featured/Government and Politics/Traffic and Roads
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They have become the newest mobile landmarks in downtown Spokane — bright, green electric scooters that whisk people to a variety of destinations. After a pilot program last fall, the scooters returned in May on a more permanent basis after the city approved an agreement with San Francisco-based Lime Company.

Now there is talk of bringing the two-wheeled trend to Liberty Lake.

Liberty Lake City Council Member Dan Dunne became a fan of the alternative transportation device after utilizing them from his office downtown.

Lime app
Those who use Lime electric scooters must be at least 18 years old and accept all liability in case of an injury or incident. Users download an app and pay $1 to unlock the scooter and 25 cents a minute to ride. (Image courtesy of Lime)
“I can get from Riverfront Park to Gonzaga University in about five minutes,” said Dunne. “These (scooters) eliminate car trips and create more opportunities for pedestrians.”

The city of Liberty Lake passed an ordinance in 2005 addressing the growing craze of motorized scooters, prohibiting them from public parks, trails or sidewalks. Dunne said the policy was put in place as a public safety measure to address aluminum scooters with loud motors attached.

“They were popular back then but you don’t see them now,” he said. “It basically had a weedeater motor on it. With the noise and smoke, they really were a nuisance.”

Lime scooters, Dunne says, qualify as “non-motorized wheeled vehicles” that run quietly and are recharged daily after use.

“Liberty Lake is, by virtue of our comprehensive plan, a pedestrian-oriented community,” Dunne said. “We also embrace new technology. This brings a focus on bike lanes and non-motorized transportation.”

The City Council would need to agree on changing or eliminating the existing ordinance in order for Lime scooters to legally operate in the city. Dunne said there is also the option of introducing a pilot scooter program with an understanding that the ordinance would “temporarily not apply.”

Director of Planning and Engineering Lisa Key has had conversations with Lime representatives over the last month.

“They would like to pursue something in the city of Liberty Lake,” she said. “There’s a lot of pros and cons. It’s a great alternative form of transportation but at the same time, there are some challenges in terms of where you ride.”

Lime — which also offers manual and electric bikes — charges $1 to unlock a scooter and 25 cents each minute to ride. Riders take on all on liability and must be at least 18 years old. Scooters are activated by downloading the Lime app on the iPhone App Store or Android Google Play.

Lime electric scooter sharing
The city of Spokane ran a 74-day pilot program with Lime scooters and bikes last fall. In the first week, over 5,000 miles were logged. This May, in conjunction with Bike Everywhere Month, the city brought back the scooters and bikes under a memorandum of understanding with Lime. (Image courtesy of Lime)
In Spokane, Lime pays the city 75 cents for every scooter and bike operated in the course of a day. The agreement is expected to generate around $50,000 in annual revenue.

Mayor Pro Tem Shane Brickner said the city “would need to have all our ducks in a row” in order to bring Lime to Liberty Lake.

“They say the user takes on all liability,” Brickner said. “I need to see that in writing. I see the value of it but we need to have everything in place to enforce the rules.”

Council Member Mike Kennedy said he is “in favor of looking at this” while also wary of potential risks.

“The challenge in Liberty Lake is we have already have walkers, bikers and golf carts on the trails,” he said. “Now if you add scooters to the equation, that’s a concern.”

Lime-S Liberty Lake
Lime-S Electric Scooters (Image courtesy of Lime)
Kennedy said that while scooters have been a success downtown, Liberty Lake presents different challenges.

“If we aren’t able to police golf carts, how are we going to monitor scooters?” he said. “I think it will just add more confusion.”

In June, a woman on a Lime scooter was injured when she collided with a truck in north Spokane. She was transported to the hospital with what was later determined to be a concussion.

Lime uses GPS technology to automatically regulate scooters in certain areas. For example, riders can only travel up to 7 mph in Riverfront Park. The company also offers a program called “Lime Access” for low-income users featuring an unlock fee of 50 cents and a rider fee of 7 cents a minute.

Key said the future of Lime scooters in Liberty Lake resides with the governing board.

“It really requires that the City Council takes the lead on this,” she said. “I get the opinion that there could be some conflict between scooters and golf carts. It’s just like riding a bike. You’re expected to know the rules of the road. There’s a learning curve with scooters.”

Keeping the Kids Healthy and Active this Summer

in Featured/Other News/Things to Do in Liberty Lake
summer fun for kids in Liberty Lake

Located only 20 minutes from downtown Spokane, the population of Liberty Lake is growing by leaps and bounds. In the past five years, the number of students enrolled in the CVSD grades K-12 has grown from 13,000 to 14,000 and is expected to continually rise.

As the number of students climb, the district continues to add programs and resources for students and parents alike: From enrichment classes and athletics to free summer meals for kids ages 1-18.

Below is a list of some of the programs offered to school aged students enrolled in the district. However, families are encouraged to contact their child’s school for more details and to obtain a full list of activities.

  • Spokane Valley Tech – Exploring high-growth careers: Students enrolled in grades 8-11 are encouraged to attend at no cost. Successful completion of each session earns a .5 elective/CTE credit. Two sessions are offered: June 17–July 2 and July 8–23, both from 7:30am –2:30pm. Students may attend up to one class per session.
  • Active4Youth – offers Cross Country. They believe that by teaching sports and introducing healthy activities to children at a young age, they can begin to address the alarming rise of childhood obesity while providing children with a safe place to play after school. http://active4youth.org/index.html
  • Free Summer Meals for Kids (Ages 1-18): “We provide a complete breakfast and lunch program for all students – serving approximately 1700 breakfasts and 6000 lunches every day in our district. We are proud to provide meals that focus on whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Our meals are low in sodium and saturated fat, and meet or exceed nutritional requirements established by the USDA National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. We are dedicated to providing high-quality, kid-friendly meals with a focus on food safety, customer service, and cost effectiveness,” from the Nutrition Services tab on the CVSD.org website.

The Liberty Lake Municipal Library offers activities for all ages of students:

  • Lego Club – All Ages
  • Move & Grove – Ages 0-5, Move, Shake, Sing and Dance during music and dance “storytime”
  • Chess Club – Ages 6-10 and 11 & up. This is a 6 week summer Chess Club
  • Toddler Tales – Ages 0-5, this is geared more towards 2-3 year olds, however all children are welcome. Playtime follows storytime.
  • Teen Program – Cupcake Wars for Ages 11 & up
  • Tween Crafts – Ages 11 & up

Contact the Library for more information and a complete list of activities 509-232-2510

Skyhawks Summer Day Camps – Offer a fun, safe and positive environment for your child during the summer months. Campers are introduced to a new sport every week, participate in arts, crafts, swimming and field trips.

Skyhawks Sports Academy – offers 12 different sports camps and clinics including summer day camps and year-round after-school programs.

Super Tots Sports Academy – sports programs for kids ages 18 months to 5 ½ years of age!

For more information on Skyhawks camps, go to www.skyhawks.com

Tradition of Dueling Fireworks to Continue on Fourth

in Featured/Other News/Things to Do in Liberty Lake
Fourth of July parade in Liberty Lake

It helps to be tall on Independence Day in Liberty Lake.

Once again, altitudinous attendees at the Fourth of July celebration in Pavillion Park will have improved odds of seeing fireworks overhead while also catching portions of a lakeside display taking place in the distance.

Since 2015, a fireworks program sponsored by the city of Liberty Lake has gone head-to-head with the long-running Liberty Lake Fireworks Display, an effort entirely funded by community donations. For the fifth straight year, both shows will begin at 10 p.m.

“I think most fireworks displays start at 10,” said Liberty Lake City Administrator Katy Allen. “We’ve never talked about moving it. I suppose it could be considered.”

The lakefront show has been running for over 30 consecutive years with Liberty Lake native Denise Coyle overseeing the process. Her grandfather Homer Neyland started the first incarnation of fireworks over the lake in the 1950s. Local historian Ross Schneidmiller brought the popular show back before turning it over to Coyle.

“The people who donate to this display are never disappointed,” Coyle said. “People are very supportive. I’ve seen a lot of new names (donating) this year.”

Coyle said overall cost of the display this year will run $12,000. Allen said the city’s fireworks budget for 2019 is hovering just under $11,000.

Coyle recalls some easiness when the city announced in early 2015 that it would be getting into the fireworks business. City Council approved the idea that February.

“We were a little nervous at the get-go,” Coyle said. “But I think it’s gone fine. When we get a chance to share a day like this, it’s pretty neat.”

fireworks over Liberty Lake
The Liberty Lake Fireworks Display has been illuminating the local waterfront for over 30 years. This year’s version will begin at 10 p.m. on July 4, the same time as a show sponsored by the city of Liberty Lake over Pavillion Park.

When only one fireworks festival appeared on the local schedule, donations were accepted at Pavillion Park on the Fourth while groups like Friends of Pavillion Park and Liberty Lake Kiwanis pitched in funds of their own. When the city moved up to share the stage, Coyle said fundraising took a hit.

“Initially, it did hurt us,” she said.

Allen said the city began discussions of putting on its own program after July 4, 2014.

“It was a combination of traffic issues and logistical issues with people who couldn’t see the fireworks,” she said. “People would come to hear the music at the park and to see the fireworks after but they couldn’t see the fireworks.”

Allen said she “has never sensed the competition” between the two shows, although there has been some feedback that fireworks are not the best use of taxpayers’ money. She has also heard at least one complaint about the noise and air pollution during and after the display.

“The people who don’t enjoy it are vocal,” she said. “The people who enjoy it usually don’t say much. Overall, it’s been well-received. Many people in Liberty Lake can watch it from their homes.”

For Coyle, this year’s program will include special poignancy. Her mother, Mary Floy Dolphin, passed away in March at the age of 90. Mary called the lake home for 78 years. Coyle said the fireworks’ organizer is planning a special tribute to Mary as part of the show.

“She loved the lake and she loved the fireworks,” Coyle said.

Donations to the community display are being collected outside Safeway and at he Liberty Lake Farmers Market. Coyle’s husband, Tim, is a catalyst on the fundraising front. Coyle said she has veered away from pursuing a corporate sponsor, saying she intends to keep “the country, hometown feel.”

“People ask me, ‘Why don’t you get a corporate sponsor?’” she said. “We don’t want to do that. There was a display in Seattle that had a corporate sponsor one year when the economy was bad and they bailed out two weeks before the event. My philosophy is to let the people who donate have ownership of the display.”

Those interested in supporting Liberty Lake Community Fireworks Display can send donations to P.O. Box 430, Liberty Lake, WA. 99019 or go to libertylakefireworks.com.

“We do our thing and they do theirs,” Coyle said of the concurrent lake/city shows. “It doesn’t really bother me. It’s a wonderful day.”

Fourth of July events this year include:

The 31st annual Liberty Lake Fourth of July Community Parade through the Alpine Shores neighborhood. Parade lineup will begin at 11 a.m. with the procession beginning at noon. Decorated golf carts, scooters, strollers and bikes are welcome. Games and food will follow at the Alpine Shores common area. Pat and Mike Lutzenberger will serve as this year’s parade grand marshals.

Concert and fireworks in Pavillion Park featuring Twenty Dollar Bill, The Rub and Tuxedo Junction. Music begins at 5:30 p.m. Liberty Lake Kiwanis will be selling concessions.

Spine Support – Friends of the Library Utilizes Creative Fundraising

in Featured/Other News
Liberty Lake library

What do Greenstone Homes, a pair of chihuahuas and a couple of local service clubs have in common?

All are stepping up to support their community library.

Judi Owens
Liberty Lake resident Judi Owens is constructing a quilt as a fundraiser for Friends of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library. Owens was part of the first community library committee after the vote for Liberty Lake incorporation passed in 2000.

When Liberty Lake resident and seasoned quilter Judi Owens pitched an idea for a unique fundraiser to Friends of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library, the concept took off. Donors will have their names embroidered on the spines of books sewn onto a quilt that will be displayed at the library as a blend of decorative blanket and legacy wall. .

So far, the list of philanthropists includes local businesses like Greenstone, service clubs like Kiwanis and Rotary, a collection of families and individuals and “Rico,” a chihuahua belonging to Steve and Charmaine Peterson. “Pecos,” the Peterson’s dog who passed away last year, will also be represented on a spine of his own.

“I thought this was some way I could contribute,” said Owens who served as a City Council member for 10 years beginning in 2001. “I feel I have an investment in Liberty Lake. I hope people think of me as someone who has a heart for this community.”

Time is running out to reserve a spine. Orders must be placed by the end of June. A trio of levels are available for donors starting with Silver ($50 to $249); Gold ($250 to $499) and Platinum ($500 and up). Owens says she plans to have the quilt ready by some point this summer.

Local businesses, families, individuals and service clubs are to be represented on a quilt that will be displayed at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library.

“This is going to be an heirloom for the library,” said Friends President Holly Woodruff. “We laugh that we can envision it on “Antiques Roadshow” one day. This is a way you can have your name associated as a contributor to this cause.”

Woodruff said funds raised through the quilt project and other Friends’ efforts help ensure that library programming is available year-round. That means everything from Lego Club to drop-in computer classes to Nerf Wars and more. Support from Friends has also secured free passes to the Mobius Science Center and Spokane Symphony.

“The library does so much but the funding it gets from the city’s property tax goes toward salaries, building maintenance, some purchase of books and a few other things,” Woodruff said. “Without funding from the Friends of the Library, the library wouldn’t be able to put on this programming.”

After the vote for Liberty Lake incorporation passed in November 2000, Owens was part of a committee that began discussing plans for a municipal library. When the city secured a small space in the Greenstone building, Owens helped procure donated bookshelves from the Central Valley School District where she worked at the time.

Funds raised by Friends of the Liberty Lake Municipal Library sustain year-round programming at the library.

In addition to donor names, Owens says she plans to include images on the quilt representing the city and longtime Library Director Pamela Mogen who retired last year.

Woodruff said Friends continues to operate with a low overhead of around 1 percent. Annual membership dues are only $10. The group meets at the library on the last Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m.

“It’s great being part of something that is such a central part of Liberty Lake,” Woodruff said. “This is our community center.”

On July 24, Friends will host “A Summer Soiree” at Liberty Lake Wine Cellars from 6 to 8:30 p.m. After a successful inaugural event last year, the agenda will remain much the same with lawn games, hor d’oeuvres and gourmet desserts. Wine and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. Tickets are $25 per person. The musical stylings of the Anne and Dan duo will also be featured. Theme baskets will be offered as part of a silent auction.

“Ticket sales for the first soiree cleared $1,200,” Woodruff said.

Tickets for “A Summer Soiree” are available at the library and Liberty Lake Wine Cellars.

To donate to the quilt project and have a name included on a book spine, email Holly Woodruff by June 30 at hollyw0607@gmail.com.

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