Don’t Spend Conservation Futures $ on the YMCA building


I just sent this letter off to City and County officials. I’m ready for the hate mail to pour in. What do you think?:

Dear Director Chase, Commisioner Mager, Commisioner Meilke, Commisioner Richard,

I urge you not to consider using Conservation Futures funds to acquire the YMCA property in Riverfront Park. I am puzzled as to why you would consider using County funds on this matter. The size and recreational value of the land is small, but the cost is huge. How many larger, more deserving, Conservation Futures properties will go un-purchased because of the money used on this parcel? As a member of the recreational and conservation community I think I speak for many when I say I’d trade the YMCA property in a heartbeat for more projects such as Antoine Peak.

I’m also concerned about the opportunity cost to the City Parks Department for purchasing and operating the YMCA. My neighborhood, Peaceful Valley, just completed a park charrette process to take citizen action to improve our parks. Our play equipment is dangerous and our community center in woefully uderfunded. Will the YMCA property make further funds unavailable to us? Will it threaten Joe Albi re-development? Or Iron Bridge? Or the Great Gorge Park? Or a Native American Interpretive Center? Or ongoing Parks and Rec programs in danger of being cut? It’s too high a price to pay. All of the above mentioned projects are more worthy expenditures.

I don’t understand the opposition to a residential tower at the YMCA site. Spokane desperately needs more density. The Tower development wouldn’t threaten views of the falls. The Parks Board has had the opportunity for decades to purchase the property but they declined to do so until the price had appreciated into the stratosphere. Please take careful consideration before you spend County dollars on the YMCA.

Jon Snyder
Out There Monthly

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