City to support Ravensdale Park Project

The city of Maple Valley plans to approve $500,000 for the Ravensdale Park Foundation to help fund phase two of the Ravensdale Park project.

The city of Maple Valley plans to approve $500,000 for the Ravensdale Park Foundation to help fund phase two of the Ravensdale Park project.

City Council members decided to give the go-ahead for contributing to the park at the council retreat in May. The plan approved by council includes partnering with King County in a dollar-for-dollar match through an interlocal agreement that will fund the first $1 million of phase two at Ravensdale Park. The city attorney is currently drafting the agreement according to Maple Valley City Manager David Johnston, who expects the completed agreement to be presented to council next month.

“I think we need to have sports facilities for our citizens and I’m fully supportive of doing anything we can with the resources we have,” said Maple Valley City Council member Layne Barnes. “I think that (Ravensdale Park) will be a wonderful addition to the greater Maple Valley area and city of Maple Valley.”

The phase, which will have a total cost of $6 million and will include two multipurpose fields, onsite parking, restrooms, a concessions stand, play structures, an open area and trails as well as a maintenance facility according to the Ravensdale Park Foundation website.

Members of the foundation approached the Maple Valley City Council about helping to fund the project last fall and the city created a parks commission to vet the idea and offer its recommendation.

The commission presented its report to council in which it recommended that the city give $2 million to the project. Other sources of funding the foundation is seeking include $2 million from the county, and approximately $650,000 from the state legislature. They’ll then need to raise the roughly $1 million left elsewhere, according to Rob Nist, board member of the Ravensdale Park Foundation.

Johnston said that he expects the $500,000 that the city has committed will come from the city’s real estate excise tax funds and park development funds.

“The intent is for the city to match the county with $2 million each,” Nist said. “I’m pleased to see that the council recognizes that something needs to be done.”

The funding from King County is dependent on the county’s parks levy passing later this summer, Nist said.

“There is capital money in the state budget for us, for the park,” Nist said. “We don’t know what it’s going to be until its signed, but both sides have money in the capital budget.”

The foundation members hope, in a best case scenario, to receive the needed funding to be able to break ground in January, Nist said.

“The youth football group will cease to exist if they don’t have somewhere to practice next fall,” Nist said. “There’s a sense of urgency to do something as quickly as possible.”