Proposed trails, fields and BMX track have $15.8 million price tag

A new list of items for a proposed metropolitan park bond includes money for trails, sports fields, a pavilion for the downtown core and even a BMX facility at a total cost of $15.8 million.

A new list of items for a proposed metropolitan park bond includes money for trails, sports fields, a pavilion for the downtown core and even a BMX facility at a total cost of $15.8 million.

The biggest dollar item on the mayor’s list of 15 projects is $6.5 million for a six-field sports complex to be located on the 20-acre Reed Property, located just east of city limits.

Mayor Neil Johnson said he is proposing use of the Reed Property as park land because attempts to find water have come up dry and the most expensive part of any parks program is the purchase of land.

“We have the property. We can start there and move forward,” Johnson said, adding that the land would have to be sold to the city by the city’s water utility, which paid $1.07 million to purchase the land in hopes of finding a new source of water for the city.

A trial well drilled on the site by RH2 this summer found no water, forcing the city to reconsider what to do with the land.

Along with the sports complex, Johnson is proposing sport courts, a playground, picnic shelters and a concession stand at the property.

In addition, the mayor’s proposal includes $2 million for a trail near Fennel Creek and an additional trail extension to Garden Meadows.

There is also $2.5 million listed for a new pavilion in the downtown civic center area. Johnson said he envisions a pavilion like the one at Puyallup’s Pioneer Park that can be used for multiple events, such as arts and music, and said such a project could help create “energy” for the city’s civic campus in the downtown core.

Presently, Bonney Lake owns multiple parcels downtown in preparation of building the civic center, though no date is set for construction.

“It’s already there,” he said of the land. “It’s a matter of passing a bond and putting up a pavilion.”

Johnson also proposed multiple uses for the Moriarty Property, a piece of land located adjacent to Allan Yorke Park the city purchased several years ago as an addition to the park and has yet to develop.

Included for the Moriarty land is a playground, additional sport courts, a playfield, an amphitheater and a BMX facility.

But while the plan includes many new facilities and items residents have requested through the city’s parks plan survey, it is also notable for what it does not include.

“Nowhere you see here is a YMCA,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he left a YMCA off the list because it “may be too rich” at this time and he’d prefer waiting to see if more money materializes for that project while still enhancing the city’s parks.

Johnson called the plan “bold” but said he thought that was what was needed  to help reinforce the community aspect and the civic pride to convince voters a parks district was a good idea.

“I love this plan. I think it’s a very ambitious plan,” said Councilwoman Katrina Minton-Davis, who said she loved the pavilion idea.

Councilman Donn Lewis agreed, adding that the focus on downtown lets citizens know the city is still working on that project.

Some members of the council worried about the timing of placing an additional taxing district and levy on the ballot.

Councilman Jim Rackley said he liked the plan, but would like to push a decision on running a ballot measure until early next year, when the city can better gauge the state of the economy.

“I don’t think we should be submitting this if the economy has not fully covered,” Rackley said.

“That is a concern,” agreed Johnson.

Councilman Tom Watson said he too was worried about running a bond measure, but also worried about delaying any further.

“It’s probably not a good time for a bond, but you can’t keep waiting,” he said.

If the council decides to put a metropolitan parks district on the ballot, which would allow the city to pass a tax levy for parks funding, and voters approve the measure, the estimated effect on homeowners would be $0.57 per $1,000 assessed home value, or about $122.58 per year on a home valued at $215,500.

The council directed staff to continue with a time frame that would further review projects for inclusion with a goal of bringing it back to council Aug. 21.

More in News

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.

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.

Former Plateau resident lands role with Marvel T.V. series

McKay Stewart, who spent much of his childhood in Enumclaw and Bonney Lake, will be joining the Marvel universe in a new episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airing Friday, Jan. 19.

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

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.

Most Read