Park Board puts Metropolitan Parks District on April ballot

The Bonney Lake Park Board on Nov. 19 voted to recommend to the city council that the city place a metropolitan parks district on the ballot in April.

Now it will be up to the voters.

The Bonney Lake Park Board on Nov. 19 voted to recommend to the city council that the city place a metropolitan parks district on the ballot in April.

The board also recommended the city council serve as the first directors of the district, as opposed to holding a separate election for new leadership to run the district.

A metropolitan parks district is the administration and council’s favored way to provide a steady and specific stream of revenue for park projects.

If approved by a majority of voters, the park district would allow the district – which would contiguous with the city’s borders – to levy a tax that would be used only for parks. The maximum levy allowed by law is $0.75 per $1,000 assessed home value, though the discussions have centered on a tax a little more than half that amount.

The decision by the parks board to support the measure comes after four council workshops in the matter was discussed, a joint meeting between the council and the park board and discussions at every meeting so far this year of the city’s parks board, which serves as an advisory board to city council on park matters.

“This is the culmination of a lot of discussion,” Facilities and Special Projects Manager Gary Leaf said. “They’ve been discussing it all year.”

Prior to the joint meeting with the council, there was discussion about what the make-up of the park district would look like, with some members of the park board and public calling for a newly elected body to govern the district.

Council members, however, favored using the city council to govern a parks district because, they said, the council is not only in tune with the direction the city will be going. It is also less expensive because a park board would receive salaries and the council would not. Also, any funds provided to the district may take at least a year before they come in and the city council can loan the park district money to get started early.

No park money can be used for non-park related projects, however, and can not be transferred to other funds.

The park board made the recommendation with a 4-1 vote with one abstention, chairman Darren Proctor, whom Leaf said regularly abstains during votes. One member was absent during the vote.

Leaf said the member who voted against the recommendation, Jamie Trejo, did so not because of opposition to the district per se, but because he does not believe the time is right to run a ballot measure.

“It’s a pretty good consensus,” Leaf said.

The next step will be a resolution of the city council, expected Dec. 4, calling for the election in April followed by a vote on the official phrasing of the ballot measure in January.

The council is also expected to create for and against committees and develop an overview project list to give voters a better idea of what they plan to do with the money if the district is approved.

More in News

Citizen group urges council to start pool planning

With the Sumner High School pool closing at the end of the 2018-2019 swim season, residents are asking the City of Bonney Lake to build a city pool to house the Panther and Spartan swim teams. A presentation on why the council should start planning a pool as quickly as possible is being held Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Teacher, student reconnect at living center after 66 years

A person can change in 66 years. At the very least, they’re going to look pretty different. So when Robert Terrell, 96, and Margaret (Peggy) Burley, 75, ran into each other at Bonney Lake’s Cedar Ridge assisted living facility last August, neither of them realized they had met before — at an elementary school, where he was a fourth-grade teacher, and she was a part of his first ever class.

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

Sumner School District seeks name ideas for new elementary school

Want to name your new local school? Just fill out a short form by Jan. 26

Black Diamond hits the reset button

The new Black Diamond City Council wasted no time on settling in and testing the political waters. On their first meeting of the year, new Councilwomen Melissa Oglesbee and Erin Stout and returning Councilwomen Tamie Deady and Janie Edelman marched through a long list of agenda items, many of which reversed council policies and goals set over the last two years.

Judge reproaches Black Diamond mayor, former city council majority

In a summary judgement hearing, King County Superior Court Judge Janet Helson said she was troubled by both the actions of Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson and former City Council majority Pat Pepper, Brian Weber, and Erika Morgan over the last two years concerning potential Open Public Meetings Act violations.

Man shot in Burnett; suspect turns himself in

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the victim was driven to the Burnett Store in order to report he was shot by his brother. The suspect turned himself in approximately three hours later.

Garbage, water, sewer rates increase in Enumclaw

Having made the leap into a new year, Enumclaw property owners are now seeing increases to nearly all their utility rates. Here’s a look at the 2018 increases for city services, along with the financial impact on customers.

WA infant mortality rate below U.S. rate, disparities still remain | Department of Health

Washington ranks eighth in the nation for the lowest infant deaths, yet African-American and American Indian families still experience disproportionate rates of infant mortality.

Most Read