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The City Council did not make any decisions regarding the upcoming parks levy after a stakeholders group recommendation was presented last Monday. The Council will continue deliberating the scope and cost of the levy during its summer planning session, taking place on June 21 at the Community Center at Mercer View.
The stakeholder committee, comprised of representatives from numerous parks and ballfield user groups, is recommending that the Council place two measures on the November ballot to fund parks maintenance and several capital improvement projects. One measure would institute a permanent levy of $1.12 million a year to fund maintenance costs, largely the $400,000 annual cost just to upkeep Luther Burbank Park. The other measure would be a 20-year bond worth $14 million to fund improvements such as new artificial surface all-weather ball fields, repair waterfront parks and add new trails.
The Council originally suggested that the levy be capped at $900,000 per year for 15 years. During the planning sessions, the Council will debate whether or not to increase the scope and cost, as the stakeholders recommended, or cut projects from their list.
First Hill property
The city has identified six options for the .7-acre, city-owned property located on First Hill. The options include maintaining the current status of the property, taking no action, retaining it as a park, selling the property as one, two or three parcels, selling it with development restrictions or building a demonstrative alternative housing project. The city plans to host a public workshop to gather citizen input, although the date, time and place have not yet been determined.