Sammamish voters to consider $19 million parks bond, $310,000 levy
October 15, 2008 · Updated 11:05 PM
Voters in Sammamish soon will decide the fate of a proposed parks and recreation bond and levy package.
Designed to fund projects throughout the city, including a youth center, improvements to East Sammamish Park, a major trail connection and much-needed athletic fields, the $19 million, 20-year bond, and $310,000 annual levy lid lift measures will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Some community members have stepped up to support the measure, while others have spoken out against it.
“We have talked to a lot of people in the community, and we are extremely pleased with their positive reaction to the parks bond and levy package,” co-chairs of the Vote Twice for Samm Parks committee, Kelly Munn and Hank Klein, wrote in an e-mail this week. The measures have been endorsed by a number of PTSAs in Sammamish as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters of Greater Seattle, they said. “Everyone seems excited about the proposed improvements to our community and is eager to make a longterm investment for themselves and their families.”
Several community members have written letters to the editor urging others not to support the measure. Most said they enjoy parks and do think the teens need more opportunities and activities, but they didn’t think this package should be the city’s top priority at this time.
One of those, Scott Nazarino, spoke against the measures at the Sammamish Chamber forum this week.
“I have a strong sense that a large number of people are uncomfortable with the proposed measures based on my conversations, but they are so silent that one could be led to believe that these measures will pass on a landslide,” Nazarino wrote in an e-mail. “Just because people don’t speak out does not necessarily mean that they support them. It also appears that a large number of those who support the measures, do so with reservation considering our economic times and apprehensiveness on raising their taxes.”
If approved, the $19 million bond measure would cost about 14 cents per $1,000 assessed value — for the owners of a $600,000 home, that would mean $84 per year. The levy lid lift measure would pay for yearly operating costs of $310,000 for the new projects. That works out to just under 4 cents per $1,000 assessed value, or about $24 per year for a $600,000 home.
Among other things, the bond would fund:
• $5 million to purchase the existing King County library building, in order to partner with the Boys & Girls Club on a youth and teen facility. Other programming for preschoolers and seniors would be provided during non-club hours.
• $3 million for Sammamish Landing phase I development. This waterfront park will provide the only city-owned waterfront park on Lake Sammamish. Improvements may include picnic areas, canoe pullouts, habitat restoration, docks, swimming areas and limited parking.
• $1.8 million for East Sammamish Park phase I improvements, including a new spray park, playground upgrades, a new trail to Margaret Mead Elementary School, frontage improvements and a parking lot expansion.
• $2.5 million for Pine Lake Middle School athletic fields, in a partnership with the Issaquah School District. This would convert an existing natural grass field to artificial turf with lights and room for one soccer or lacrosse field, or two overlaid softball or Little League fields.
• $1.7 million for the Beaver Lake Vicinity Trail, a path connecting Beaver Lake Park to Beaver Lake Preserve along West Beaver Lake Drive.
• $4 million for land acquisition, for property in the northeast quadrant of the city, which is not currently served by a community park. Staff members are looking at three potential sites.
“We’ve got not only a package that does a little bit of something for everyone regionally in the city, but several elements that include partnerships that are somewhat time-sensitive,” Mayor Lee Felligne said, noting the plans to purchase the old library building for a youth center in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club, and also the land transfer from the city of Redmond to create a waterfront park on Lake Sammamish. “This is a package that has come together at the right time.”
To view a video presentation about the bond and levy proposals, visit www.ci.sammamish.wa.us and click on “Park Bond Video” in the upper righthand corner.
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