The Si View Metropolitan Parks district has announced a $14.7 million capital bond for land acquisition and trail projects will be on November’s general election ballot.
The bond, Proposition 1 “To Connect and Protect our Parks,” aims to fund several large projects that have been identified by the park district’s 2017 comprehensive plan as priorities. Executive director Travis Stombaugh explained that in a needs assessment conducted during the latest Comprehensive Plan process, the community made three priorities for future changes clear: a connected trail network, preservation of open space for recreation and an aquatics facility.
Si View Metro Parks aims to address all three of these priorities with the process of an aquatic center feasibility study running concurrently with the effort to get the capital bond approved by voters. The bond aims to tackle the first two priorities together in a series of projects that will make improvements to existing parks, while also bringing in new areas to the district.
With the funding, the district aims to develop and link all of the trails in the area for a full network of accessible paths through the area. It would also allow the district to buy additional land to preserve open space and create new parks, allowing access through and between the various parks with the trail system. Lastly, continued maintenance and upgrades of existing district parks would be possible as well, including improvements to Tennant Trailhead Park trails, facility development at Tollgate Farm Park and rehabilitation of the North Bend Train Depot and Park.
“The break out of it is roughly 44 percent going to future parks and (land) acquisitions, 43 percent is for park and facility and improvements, taking care of what we have and then roughly 11 percent for the local and regional trails,” Stombaugh said. “There are a lot of missing little links where we can connect the neighborhood to a park or we can connect a trail to a regional trail system. So you can go out your front door to a local trail, to a regional trail. The big picture is, ‘I can get from my door to anywhere in the region without having to travel on a road.’”
Stombaugh said the project is community and data driven, based on the extensive comprehensive planning and community feedback. Designs of future projects will need to go through the master plan process, which Stombaugh said will be community driven as well.
The parks district has already mapped out the potential future trails and acquisition areas and just needs to the bond to be approved by voters this November.
For a homeowner of a $500,000 house, the bond would add an additional $7.87 per month to their property taxes.
The district also plans on pursuing grants to bolster Si View’s funds for the project even more. With a combination of community needs and having matching funds ready, Stombaugh believes they will be successful in obtaining additional grant funding.
If the voters approve the bond in November, Stombaugh said it could take up to six years for the projects’ work to be complete.
“I would say it would be anywhere from a three- to six-year implementation timeline,” he said. “It would probably be two waves. You’d have a phase one and phase two because you have acquisition and design and then you’d have implementation. The design can take anywhere from a year to a year and a half, then you have another two years to get it in the ground.”
More information on the bond can be found on Si View Metro Parks’ website at www.siviewpark.org/connectandprotect.phtml.