The first part of this blog let you know that we have 52-plus acres in existence today and the second blog told you about 122-plus acres of “Diamonds in the Rough” (possible future parklands). In this version I’ll talk about the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) guidelines, and how the City of Bonney Lake has gone into a deficit on parks.
(Read Part I: , Part II:
Vote YES on the Bonney Lake Metropolitan Park District (MPD) - Part 2)
To date, the City of Bonney Lake has never had a Parks Department, nor have they had a budget specifically identified as monies dedicated for Parks only. During 2004, lands were acquired for park expansion purposes, however, since there’s no specific parks budget no development monies were identified, or set aside for development. Therefore, as stated above, we have 122-plus acres of undeveloped park lands.
Per the budget for the current biennium, there is $307,752 identified for operations and maintenance for 2013 and another $305,085 for 2014. These dollars cover wages, salaries, and benefits for staff plus they also include $35,451 each year for the intergovernmental agreement between the cities of Bonney Lake and Sumner and the Sumner School District. This intergovernmental agreement provides numerous recreational activities that none of the three could provide on their own, like the recent Princess Tea and Dessert that was favorably received and sold out. The Sumner/Bonney Lake Recreation Department has been operating on a shoe string for years but is able to offer a variety of programs.
When voters approve a Metropolitan Park District on April 23, 2013, all revenues will be guaranteed for the exclusive use of and for the expansion, maintenance and operation of our parks and their facilities.
Most of the following information has been taken right out of the Parks Element of the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Bonney Lake, recommended by the citizen Park Board, and the city Planning Commission, and approved by the City Council in December of 2011. A link to that site follows:
http://www.ci.bonney-lake.wa.us/section_business/community_development/comprehensive_plans.shtml#parks. Actually this link will take you to both the Parks Element and the Fennel Creek Trail Plan.
The NRPA guidelines are based on population. The current population of Bonney Lake is 17,730. However, the information on this chart is based on the population during 2010, which was slightly less.
The following information is from tables 6-15 and 6-16 in the Parks Element and shows just those deficits identified in 2010 and does not take into account possible growth or annexations:
Current Deficit (2010)
10 to 30 acres
6.5 acres per 1,000 pop
Allan Yorke Park
20, or more acres
3.75 acres per 1000
3/8 mile per 1,000 pop
Fennel Creek Trail
1 per 20,000 pop
Indoor Swimming Pool
1 per 20,000 pop
*Includes park and open space
While the City has 122 acres of available public land, without available funds those lands cannot and will not be developed. That’s why the voters need to approve the Metropolitan Park District on April 23, 2013 so we can ensure that monies will be set aside for future park development. Residents in Bonney Lake have long advocated for the building of trails, a community center or YMCA, or sports fields. None of this can be accomplished unless, and until, funds are available. When built these assets could be an economic boon to our city.
These venues become a destination that brings people to watch their kids swim, run cross country, play sports, pick up the supplies they forgot at home, have a bite to eat, before or after the event, and gas up their vehicle before heading home. A Fennel Creek Trail can be a destination for young moms to reach stores without having to use the car, follow their kids on the bikes, etc. Kids will be able to use the trail to go from school to the park, the theaters, etc. Rental of a venue for activities like the aforementioned Princess Tea and Dessert can bring revenue to the city and its businesses. A swimming pool can be used to teach our kids how to swim and possibly reduce the number of accidents and drowning’s in the lake.
Now if Bonney Lake had a hotel, we might even be able to get overnight business from people coming long distances to attend events here in the city which could also mean that they’d have dinner and breakfast here. Revenue that this city needs more of. With special occasions, team sports, competitions, or just to have some fun in a location away from home, Bonney Lake could be the recipient of overnight business if a hotel became a reality. This just contributes even more to the vitality of a city.
These venues also draw people to Bonney Lake to live. It makes for a much more livable community, just as shopping districts, schools and city services do. It adds value to the home you buy or sell. If there is a shortage of homes for sale, it will create a need that developers will fill in and around our city. This will create jobs for the construction phase and new residents who will move here and bring business to Bonney Lake. As the population grows, business increases and more employees are hired. It seems short sighted to oppose more business created by destination park amenities.
We hope we can count on your YES vote on the Metropolitan Park District on April 23, 2013. If you’d like more information please check out our web pages www.blparks.org and www.yesmpd.com or you can check out our facebook site at: http://www.facebook.com/blparks.org?fref=ts#!/blparks.org and while you’re there, we’d appreciate it if you’d “like” our site.
Thanks for your consideration and support.