Thank you Seattleites for approving the new Seattle Park District (53% to 47%). Field users stepped up big time and were an important factor in getting the measure passed – and Mayor Murray made a point of recognizing our efforts at the election night gathering – thanks for your support.
The Seattle Park District will provide a stable, long-term funding source for the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). Next year will be a transition year with limited improvements planned until the park district tax can start being collected in 2016 (as per the regulation) and DPR can plan for the extra funding and address the requirements associated with the new ordinance. In the interim we should be paying attention to the planned audit of operations that DPR has committed to for 2015 and the performance measurement activities that are currently in the review process with the Parks Board. Government bodies always have room for improved efficiency and delivery of services do they not – let’s help Seattle Parks be successful.
As per the proposed/approved Seattle Park District funding plan, athletic field upgrades and many other projects and programs are planned including these projects most important to us:
- Synthetic turf “carpet” replacements at 12 playfields (for when the synthetic fibers reach the end of their approximately ten-year life): Bobby Morris, Georgetown, Interbay Stadium, Lower Woodland 2 and 7, Loyal Heights, Miller, and Magnuson (3 fields + 2 baseball infelds) =~$6M total
- Field upgrades at 13 natural grass playfields: Ballard, Bayview, Bitter Lake, Cleveland, Dahl, East Queen Anne, West Queen Anne (synthetic turf), Rainier Beach PF, Rainier PF drainage, View Ridge, Magnolia North, Magnolia South (synthetic turf), and West Seattle Stadium =~$16M total
- Smith Cove Playfield upgrade to the underutilized site that was acquired way back with the ProParks 2000 levy but never fully developed by DPR; as part of the Smith Cove Park project developing and maintaining the newly acquired Port waterfront property =~$2.1M for the playfield portion (we need to promote synthetic and lights at this site)