Allan Yorke upgrades pushed back a year

Additional infrastructure needs mean new ballpark won’t go to bid until late 2019.

The days are getting longer, and the weather is getting hotter — summer is just around the corner.

But Plateau residents excited for new developments at Allan Yorke Park are going to have to wait a little bit longer than expected.

During the May 1 Bonney Lake Council meeting, the full council met with the city’s Park Commission to discuss some updates on the Allan Yorke Master Plan, which was approved by the council January 2017 and has been moving forward incrementally.

Jim Bouchard, the chair of the Park Commission, told the council there is a hiccup in the permitting process for the park’s improvements.

“Our biggest thing is an infrastructure delay, because of underground utilities, which is going to cost between $1.5 and $2 million just to put those in,” Bouchard said. He added these infrastructure improvements are being designed right now, and it’s expected construction will begin in the third quarter of 2019 — about an extra year than originally expected.

Bonney Lake’s Facilities and Special Projects Manager Gary Leaf gave some context during a later interview.

According to Leaf, the Allan Yorke Park Master Plan is split into four phases; currently, the city is working on Phase 1, which itself is split into Phase 1A and 1B.

Phase 1A includes a new ballfield with artificial turf and lighting in what’s known as East Park (along West Tapps Highway, south of Lake Tapps), as well as 47 new parking stalls, Leaf said.

Phase 2, he added, is a playground — also in East Park — and a soft surface walking trail that winds through both South and East Park.

These projects were not the original projects slated for Phase 1 of Allan Yorke, but the council switched projects around in February 2017. At the time, the total estimated cost for Phase 1A was $3.5 million, and Phase 1B about $1 million, for a grand total of $4.5 million.

The city is currently 95 percent done with designing Phase 1 when it learned of the new infrastructure needs, “things like undergrounding the powerlines all along West Tapps, putting sidewalk curb and gutter along West Tapps,” Leaf said. “Initially we thought [Phase 1A] was going to be $3.5 million, so we figured we could go out to bid next year — but now because the cost has increased to $5 million, we’re having to go out hunting for money,” before the city can go out for a bid on construction.

Leaf said the city will be applying for two grants with the state’s Resource and Conservation Office for a total of $850,000, and will know if the city will receive the grants by August.

He added he doesn’t expect to get both grants, because they’re very competitive, but “if we get one of the two grants, the ballfield can move forward [with bidding], probably later 2019.”

Construction could then start fall 2019 and could wrap up spring 2020, just in time for summer use.

Of course, that’s if the city gets one or both of those grants, Leaf said; if Bonney Lake receives neither, the city will prepare the site for the ballfield, but hold construction until funds are found, and move on to other phases of the project.

In addition to these infrastructure needs, the city is being required to go through a Shoreline Master Plan process because the 47 parking stalls will be created inside the buffer zone of Lake Tapps’ shore.

Leaf said this process will take time, not money, and should wrap up by the time fall 2019 comes around.

The 47 parking stalls will be built over the existing boat trailer parking lot.

PHASE 1B — THE PLAYGROUND

While the timelines for the new ballfield and parking structure projects are being pushed back, the city is moving forward with the Allan Yorke Park playground project.

Leaf said the city Park Commission is “working fast and furiously” with Gametime, the largest manufacturer of playground equipment.

The city will be applying for a 50 percent grant from the company this upcoming fall for their inclusive play centers.

“It’s inclusive in a very broad sense. It’s compatible with the American Disabilities Act, but it’s also inclusive for all ages, people with disabilities, people with dementia, and so-forth,” Leaf said. “It’s going to be inclusive in the largest sense.”

Leaf expects there to be no issues with securing the grant, and plans to buy the playground equipment early 2019 and put it in storage until the fall, when it will be installed independent of what’s happening with the ballfield.

The playground will be built fall 2019 because the city wants to make sure there’s adequate parking, Leaf added.

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