King county parks levy to be on the August ballot

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The King County Council has approved placing the King County Parks Levy on the August ballot.

The levy is for a six-year term and is a renewal of an existing levy.

According to County Council Chair / Local council representative for Shoreline and Lake Forest Park Rod Dembowski, the levy is very important.

"Parks Levy proceeds provide essential funding not just for King County’s regional parks and trail systems, but also for city parks and regional open space. In past years, there has not always been a strong guaranteed investment for parks and open space in District 1.

"I am happy to report that the proposed 2019 Parks Levy includes a number of dedicated, important investments in North King County. 
"These investments include, but are not limited to:
  • $2 million for playground and ballfield improvements at Big Finn Hill Park in Kirkland
  • $2.5 million in acquisition dollars to build and expand parks on Lake Washington
  • More than $100 million in expanded funding to preserve open space
  • $25 million for parks in North King County cities
  • $10 million in grant funding for organizations to promote equity and disability access in our parks
  • $44 million for a new program to provide large capital grants to jurisdictions building or repairing swimming pools and aquatic centers

King county trail
Photo courtesy King County

He continues,

"Local and regional trails are another immensely important resource that we enjoy and use for both recreation and transportation. Past levies have paid for construction and maintenance of the Burke-Gilman Trail and the Sammamish River Trail in District 1. 
"This levy will greatly expand our regional trail network with significant investments to build out the Eastside Rail Corridor, including $4.6 million for a connection to the Sammamish River Trail in Woodinville. 
"In addition to other projects, I was pleased to secure funding to: (1) build a new trail connection in Bothell, extending the Tolt River Trail to meet the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails at the former Wayne Golf Course site ($2 million), (2) expand regional trail connections between the Interurban Trail and Burke-Gilman Trail in Lake Forest Park and Shoreline ($7.5 million), and (3) support acquisitions for the proposed Green Loop Trail in Kirkland ($2.5 million). 
"The levy renewal is proposed at a rate of 18.32 cents per $1,000 of assessed value – or less than $8 a month for the owner of a $500,000 home. There is a taxpayer relief program for fixed-income seniors and disabled veterans built into this levy. Final adoption of the proposed levy ordinance is set for April 17. 
"Voters will see it on your August 6, 2019 ballot. If you have any questions or comments on the levy or the projects included, please don’t hesitate to contact my office."

Rod Dembowski, Chair
King County Council, District 1


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