Regional task force plans for the future

Recently, the cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie, the Snoqualmie Valley School District and the Si View Metropolitan Park District (MPD) authorized the formation of a regional task force to comprehensively plan for the future of parks and recreation in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Two members from each jurisdiction were appointed to the task force. Members include councilmember Bob Jeans, city of Snoqualmie; Al Frank, city of Snoqualmie; councilmember Ross Loudenback, city of North Bend; Mark Pray, city of North Bend; Carl Larson, Snoqualmie Valley School District; Joel Aune, superintendent of the Snoqualmie Valley School District; commissioner Kevin Haggerty, MPD; and Jessi Richardson, MPD.

Haggerty, who chairs the task force, said, "It makes sense for us to work together as we plan capital projects for fields, aquatics and other parks and recreation facilities. The goal of the task force is to plan for and efficiently execute projects and programs from a regional perspective."

While each jurisdiction is working to plan for the future, the task force is seeking opportunities to leverage both funding and efficiency. For example, the city of Snoqualmie released a survey to seek feedback from community members on a community center and pool.

As the population continues to grow, the need for new and improved public facilities is being felt all around the Valley. The Snoqualmie Valley School District recently took action to authorize the formation of a Facilities Task Force. The task force has been charged to prepare recommendations concerning prioritization of new construction projects, modernization projects and maintenance and repair of existing school district facilities. The task force is expected to present a report on its findings to the school board in September.

The need for athletic facilities is another pressing need in the community.

Several Snoqualmie Valley fields are listed as needing improvement. "Even though the condition of playing fields is always a challenge, we know that working together we are likely to accomplish more than working within our own jurisdictions," Larson added.

A regional approach to planning parks and recreation has the potential to link important community assets and open space. North Bend City Councilmember and task force member Ross Loudenback said, "Our goal is to improve efficiencies by working cooperatively on a variety of issues, which will ultimately save taxpayers money."

Members of the regional task force encourage citizen involvement and invite all interested parties to participate in future meetings. Meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month at 8 a.m. at the Si View Community Center. In addition, residents of the city of Snoqualmie are encouraged to complete the community center and pool survey that was mailed to homes on June 1.

"Everyone has a part to play as we come together and plan for the future," said Haggerty.

Contact the MPD at

(425) 831-1900 or e-mail for information on upcoming task force meetings.

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