Parks bond passed to City Council
May 28, 2008 · Updated 3:38 PM
A parks bond of $17 million, $40 million or somewhere in between may be on the ballot for Sammamish voters this fall.
The Parks Commission on Tuesday passed off its recommendations to the City Council for a bond package and capital improvement projects for parks for 2009 to 2014.
Funding for capital improvement projects has changed dramatically for two reasons, staff and commissioners said.
The first is impact fees, which went from an estimated $1.2 million to $200,000. The second factor is that the general fund contribution was reduced from $1 million to $100,000. Those two adjustments changed the available funding for projects from $3.9 million to $2 million.
It will take us longer to get it done, City Manager Ben Yazici summed up.
Parks Commission Chair Hank Klein and Parks and Recreation Director Jessi Richardson walked the council members through the process the commission went through.
Commissioners began by updating the capital improvement list, because a number of factors have changed since the plan was approved in 2006. Since that time, parks staff had an analysis done of ball field use and need; the city is in the process of creating a long-term strategy for the Evans Creek Preserve; and land acquisition costs and project costs have changed.
Klein said the commission tried to recognize previous priorities, determine a schedule that was realistic and balance the projects throughout the city.
The six-year plan calls for funds to be spent in the following categories (total, not per year):
Athletic fields: $1.5 million
Parks: $3 million
Open space preserves $1.5 million
Land acquisition: $3 million
General: $3.7 million
Projects that are included in the capital improvements plan are not included in the proposed parks bond packages.
A parks bond has been in the works since 2006, when an advisory commission studied the issue. In 2007, a $34 million bond package was recommended, but at its retreat in January, City Council members asked the Parks Commission to review the information, update projects and develop a smaller option that would cost less than $20 million.
Yazici said that if the $17 million package were eventually approved, the cost to the owner of a $600,000 home would be about $72 per year; if the big bond package of $40 million were approved, the cost would be about $168 per year.
Heres a comparison of the two proposals by category:
Trails: Small package: $3 million; Big package: $5.5 million
Parks: Small package: $3 million; Big package: $5.5 million
Athletic fields: Small package: $5 million; Big package: $5 million
Land acquisition: Small package: $6 million; Big package: $10 million
Facilities: Small package: $0; Big package: $14 million (this is money that would potentially be used for the citys portion of a shared facility with the YMCA and perhaps others at Sammamish Commons).
A more detailed discussion of specific projects included in the capital improvements list and the parks bond package options will be held during a study session at 6:30 p.m. May 19 at City Hall, 801 228th Ave. S.E. After that, the council will review financial implications of the potential bond on June 10. If the council decides to put a measure on the fall ballot, they would need to take action by July 15.