Local News

Meetings set on new parks initiative

parks initiative Residents interested in helping to shape a new initiative aimed at purchasing park land, recreational facilities, and open space in King County are invited to public meetings scheduled for March and April. Locally, a public meeting will be held Tuesday, Mar. 26, 9:30 p.m. at Redmond Library.
   Leaders from King County, Seattle, and suburban cities are jointly exploring a Parks and Open Space Initiative that would raise money to develop active recreational facilities such as sports fields, playgrounds, and community parks, as well as acquire open space to protect natural resources like farms, forests, and salmon habitat.
   Residents attending the upcoming public meetings can recommend projects they feel are needed to enhance our quality of life. Residents also can learn how to work with their local jurisdictions to promote projects for funding.
   The initiative would be funded by a parks and open space bond issue. The size of the initiative being considered is $215 million, with a potential ballot date of September, 1996. The cost for the average homeowner would be $21.50 annually. Bond approval would require a 60 percent majority of voters in King County.
   About 70 percent of the money raised through the bond would go to local recreational, park, or open space programs in cities and unincorporated areas. Another 25 percent would be used in rural areas to provide passive recreational opportunities and protect salmon, wildlife, forests, and farms. The remaining five percent would fund projects that enhance salmon habitat in urban waterways.
   A proposal to pay for the ongoing maintenance of park facilities is also being considered. For more information, call 296-7800, 296-4105, or 296-6519.