by Doug Nadvornick & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & S & lt;/span & pokane County Boundary Review Board (BRB) members are expected to give their formal approval Monday to a city of Spokane plan to annex about 130 acres on the west side of Division Street from Francis to Cascade Way. That parcel includes the sales tax-rich Costco warehouse store that both city and county officials covet. It also contains Holy Cross Cemetery, but it won't include the 39-unit Park at Calispel residential development, whose residents complained they want to stay outside the city.
"We're certainly happy that the city apparently agreed to let us out," says Sandy Munro, the president of the Park at Calispel Homeowners' Association. "It would have cost each of us more than a thousand dollars a year and provided us no benefit. We're satisfied with the services we have now."
The new parcel is also slightly different along its northern boundary. BRB Director Susan Winchell says the board decided to set the city's new northern edge at Cascade Way "because it provides a more clearly defined boundary."
Monday's vote will reinforce the BRB's unanimous March 19 decision to approve the annexation, subject to changes. During the last four weeks members have been tweaking their final decision document, which will be disseminated to Spokane city and county officials later this month.
At a public hearing on the annexation February 28, county officials accused the city of "cherry picking" the Costco store to boost the city's revenue base. County CEO Marshall Farnell said that store provides $700,000 in annual sales tax to the county. Taking it from the county tax roll, he said, would severely hurt the county's financial situation.
Commissioner Todd Mielke rebutted claims that the city can better serve that area. "The city's claims are an extreme exaggeration," he said. "The county already provides sewer and other services to the area."
Once the annexation decision is formally approved and disseminated, county officials will have 30 days to appeal to Superior Court. The commissioners haven't formally decided whether to go that route.
If there's no appeal, or a judge rules for the city, the city council would have to formally approval the annexation before the land is added to the city tax rolls.
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