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Local briefs 

& & New election & &

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. -- After winning the bid for incorporation in last year's election, residents of Liberty Lake are moving ahead with the construction of a new government. Several community forums have been held, and the next one -- sponsored by the Liberty Lake Libertarians -- is on Tuesday.

"This is a non-partisan election, so it shouldn't matter to people that the Libertarians are sponsoring this event," says Rob Chase, Liberty Lake resident and a member of the Libertarian party.

The only candidate for mayor is Stephen Peterson. All of the City Council positions are being contested, except position seven, which has only Scott Bernard running.

"This is going to be just like a candidate forum; everyone has been invited," says Chase. Some of the big issues in the campaign have been property rights versus public rights and local control, he adds. The general election will be held on April 24.

"It' s been a good community to live in, and keeping the friendly community is going to be important to people," says Chase. "People should be interested in who will be directing the city of Liberty Lake and their vision for the future. If you are not paying attention, it's like you are just voting for names."

& & & lt;i & The forum is on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7 pm

at the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water

District Building. Call: 255-9105. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

& & South Perry grant & & & &

SPOKANE -- A federal grant for $247,183 will soon allow the South Perry community to continue its transformation from a somewhat run-down area into a blooming neighborhood.

The grant was just approved by the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), but the funds won't be accessible until later this year.

"Hopefully, we'll be breaking ground in April," says Mel Silva, owner of Madeleine's Antique Store on South Perry and vice president of the East Central Neighborhood Council.

Projects will include new sidewalks, trees, bus shelters and light posts. These improvements will be unified by an old-fashioned theme reminiscent of the early-1900s, when many of the buildings were constructed.

Silva says the grant was awarded because the TIB has an interest in communities that don't require residents to travel outside the neighborhood for their daily needs. The neighborhood has both a grocery store, a pharmacy and several other retailers within walking distance.

"The idea is to cut back on commuting," says Mark Camp, owner of the Shop coffeehouse and president of the South Perry Business Association.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $299,148, and South Perry has already received two other community grants to make up for the difference.

"I think we have more potential than Browne's [Addition],"says Camp, adding that Browne's has the element of architecture in its favor, but lacks space for the retail shops South Perry has.

"I hope the improvements will draw more people into the neighborhood," says Camp. "And I'd like to see some retail move in here, too."
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