by Jeff Switzer
With an asking price on the property reportedly two-and-a-half times its appraised value, King County is looking for an alternative to the "Field of Dreams" project at the corner of Woodinville-Duvall Road and 171st Avenue NE.
Approximately $1.3 million was in the works for the fields as part of the Parks and Open Space bond issue on the ballot this fall, but that amount and how it will be allocated has been changed. There had previously been approximately $35.5 million for open space and active recreation in unincorporated King County. Now that figure has dropped to $32.5 million.
As a result, the available funds for the project have been reduced to $700,000, and the county has found two specific projects in Maple Valley and Auburn which are likely candidates for the smaller sum.
"We're pretty confident we can find an equivalent piece of land for $700,000 around the county," said Craig Larsen, director of King County Parks and Cultural Resources. "We're trying to be prudent and efficient with the county's money. The Woodinville location is a great site with good access and would have made a great project, but it's too expensive."
Larsen said money has been earmarked in the bond issue for the Woodinville Ball Fields East. "We're committed to finding a piece of property where we can do that," he said.
It isn't necessary for a specific site to be named in order to receive funds from the bond issue, should it pass, though Larsen says the county prefers to have a site so people can see what they're voting for.
To replace the property formerly proposed for the Field of Dreams project, the county is now looking for a 5- to 10-acre parcel which is flat and dry and where a significant percentage is usable as an active recreation site.
"The Woodinville Field of Dreams Committee is still together, we just have to keep going," said Dave Dupart, member of the committee. Call Sharon Claussen, 296-4135, with suggestions.