The Maple Valley Parks and Recreation Commission presented a report on the city’s athletic fields and the commission’s recommendations to support the Ravensdale park project and move forward with the Summit Park and Ballfields project to the Maple Valley City Council March 4.
The commission offered a range of short and long term recommendations to the council to address the city’s needs for ballfields and parks.
Among the short term recommendations the commission advised the council to contribute to the Ravensdale Park Foundation, which is overseeing the renovation and expansion of Ravensdale Park. Phase one of the project included repair work to existing fields that was completed in January 2012. Phase two, which the commission recommended the city support, will include the addition of two multipurpose fields. That phase has a $6 million budget and the foundation has asked the city to contribute $2 million over two years.
The other short term recommendations were to pursue different funding sources so that work can begin on Summit Park and to continue to look for ways to partner with the Tahoma School District.
The Summit Park master plan was approved in 2010 with an $18 million price tag. The park is planned to include four fields, five tennis courts, one basketball court, two playgrounds, two picnic shelters, a restroom building, trail head access and a walking path around the perimeter of the park.
After the city failed to obtain a grant from the state that would have funded $1 million of the project over two years in 2011 the project was put on hold.
Funding sources for Summit Park that were recommended were a voted bond and the creation of a metropolitan park district. A metropolitan park district would be a junior taxing district that would have to be voted on and passed by 60 percent or more of the voters.
Funding for the Ravensdale Park project would also most likely mean new taxes according to Tony McCarthy, the city’s finance director.
The commission’s long term recommendations included continuing to pursue partnership with TSD, pursue the possibility of fields at the Legacy site and make land purchases for future development.
The commission also recommended that the city update the Parks, Recreation, Cultural and Human Services plan. The plan was originally created in 2000 and was last revised in 2008.
“The longer we delay the greater the need is going to get,” Mayor Bill Allison said at the council meeting. “It’s too bad that we’re at this point now.”
Reach Katherine Smith firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-432-1209 ext. 5052.