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Vote YES for the Bonney Lake Metropolitan Park District (MPD) on April 23, 2013

Vote Yes on the Metropolitan Park District (MPD) - description of parks in Bonney Lake

Parks in Bonney Lake Part 1:

This is the first of a multiple part blog on Parks in Bonney Lake and why it’s time to provide a different approach to growth, operation and maintenance of the parks in the future by approving the Metropolitan Park District (MPD) that will be on the April 23, 2013 ballot. The MPD may allow us to finally construct trails through the City, a community center to give us the ability to keep active when the weather goes bad, and more and better draining ball fields for baseball, soccer, rugby, etc.

Today the city has the following parks:

  • Allan Yorke Park (AYP), a 43.31 acre regional park (including the Moriarty addition) that provides: picnic facilities; a children’s play area; a double boat ramp; swimming area and dock, 4 baseball/soccer fields; 2 tennis courts; a basketball court; a skate park, and a short forested trail. Allan Yorke is the City’s primary park and is where most of the major event activity occurs. This park is being well maintained, however, the work is now being handled by Public Works. Before June 1, 2011, all functions, including operations and maintenance for parks and recreation were handled by the Community Services Department. On June 1st, 2011 the Community Services Department was reorganized with park operations and maintenance moving to Public Works and functions and planning moving to the Executive Department. Bonney Lake has never had a Parks Department.

The Moriarty addition is a 12.42 acre extension to Allan Yorke Park that was condemned and purchased in 2004. Costs on this addition run about $5.75 million dollars and are still being paid off. To date the City has approved no Park plans for this land. While waiting for funding for planning and development the city has utilized space at the Moriarty site for storage and Public Works equipment, which is supposed to end soon. There has also been some clearing and grading to allow for overflow parking for AYP. The only improvement that’s been undertaken thus far has been by a small garden enhancing the City’s first Heritage Tree. The garden was created under the auspices of Beautify Bonney Lake (a non-profit all volunteer group that holds their annual event on the 3rd Saturday in September and a smaller event associated with Arbor Day in the spring).

  • Cedarview Park, a 2.73 acre neighborhood park in the Midtown area of the City. Cedarview Park was deeded to the City by the Cedarview Homeowners Association (HOA) about 2004. It has gone through some upgrading and remodeling at a cost of about $300,000 to provide us with the park that consists of: a play area, ball field, ½ basket ball court, and picnic facilities. This was an excellent addition to the City and the Park Board and HOA are to be commended for their great work in bringing this park into the City. 
  • Viking Park, a 3.7 acre neighborhood park adjacent to Bonney Lake Elementary School was purchased from the Sumner School District in 2004 and has cost about $310,000. The park is equipped with: picnic tables and a 1.0 acre free run Dog Park. Most of the improvements for creation of the Dog Park have been undertaken by volunteers and donations.
  • Ken Simmons Park, a 1.7 acre neighborhood park, equipped with: picnic tables, children’s play area, and a boat ramp (on adjacent State of Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife land).  The City has spent about $90,000 on Ken Simmons park. The park has been taken under the wing of the Lake Bonney Conservation Association (comprised of homeowners living around Lake Bonney), with much of the work in park improvements, along with some maintenance being pushed by this group with help from the City, Pierce County Stream Team and from Beautify Bonney Lake.
  • Madrona Park, a .37 acre pocket park on the site of a former water tower on water utility land, is equipped with: a ½ basketball court, a children’s play area, and a picnic table. Cost to create this park was about $30,000. Beautify Bonney Lake and neighborhood volunteers have provided much of the installation and maintenance on this park over the past couple of years.
  • Ascent Gateway, is on private land adjacent to SR410 that is leased on a long term basis from Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to provide a “Welcome to Bonney Lake” gateway sign and a beautiful sculpture (designed by Bonney Lake resident artist Larry Anderson and placed at the site in 1992). Although listed as a mini-park, it is merely a gateway and is not open to the public. During 2007 the City did a major redesign and added a new “Welcome to Bonney Lake” sign, rock wall, lighting, plants and a waterfall. The overall site design was undertaken and managed by Carol Wells-Reed, former board member of Beautify Bonney Lake, Bonney Lake Branch Manager at Columbia Bank and founder of Lions4Kids House. It is now maintained on an annual basis by a team from Beautify Bonney Lake with the City mowing and providing general cleanup throughout the year.

As you look through this list of parks you’ll notice that most major purchases or work were completed in 2004 when we had surplus funds and a Council that was interested in developing and expanding the park system. There have been no, or very limited, purchases of land for park expansion since 2004 and development has been almost nil with exception of work done by volunteers. Since that time, we have experienced an economic downturn which caused funds to be channeled into other projects. Park development by the City was minimal, and work that was done by Beautify Bonney Lake volunteers was geared more at maintaining rather than creating any capital improvements. How much of this is due to the fact that Bonney Lake doesn’t have a Park Department and therefore no specific budget for our parks? It’s my belief that until such time as we have a dedicated Park District we will have no monies set aside for park growth and development. This is why I urge all of you to vote YES for a Metropolitan Park District on April 23, 2013.

Following is a link to the City web site that also talks about the current parks: http://www.citybonneylake.org/section_community/parks_recreation/city_parks.shtml#cedarview

I’m also attaching a link to the City website talking about the Metropolitan Park District in case you’d like more information on that: http://www.ci.bonney-lake.wa.us/section_government/park_district.shtml

In the next blog I’ll talk about other City maintained properties that are discussed in the Park Element of the Comprehensive Plan. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mark Bennett January 16, 2013 at 06:33 AM
BINGO Thanks, Mark
Shawnta Mulligan January 17, 2013 at 06:46 AM
a
Shawnta Mulligan January 17, 2013 at 07:18 AM
Hi Laurie, City Government is very useful and necessary for certain purposes—this is the same for unions. So I am not anti-government or anti-union. Let’s stay on-topic—why won’t you use a bond measure for park improvements? Also, you are correct: I am related to James and my HOA has a mini private park—one that all of the members pay for and help to maintain. Several times I have asked our members to donate $20—a one time fee—to install swings. Each time they have told me no, “the park we have is sufficient.” As a Board Member of the Association, I could have levied a “Special Assessment” to force all of the members to pay for park improvements. If a member didn’t pay the “Special Assessment,” I could have put a lien on their home. This tactic is legal; however, it is wrong to create a “Special Assessment” for park improvements because parks are not a necessity. I would have had to look my neighbors in the eye, every day, knowing that my iron-fist wishes (of which I knew they would benefit from) would put an extra burden on their families. I could not do that. So, do you think my members, who couldn’t give $20 (total, not per month or per year) to pay for our park improvements will be excited to pay $200 per year—forever—for your park Nirvana? No.
James K McClimans Sr February 09, 2013 at 05:23 AM
I am not sure Laurie answered my questions, this is my interpretation: 1) The city is going to keep the 600,000 and spend it on something... 2) The link does not answer the question if the city wants to give citizens a voice about how to fund parks, why not post a bond and an mpd. The link i think you refer to implies that a bond would fail, but an mpd during a low turn out may pass. 3) Again, the link implies the timing was selected to increase the possibility that the mod would pass, a bond requires more voters, and votes. 4) You don't know if the Y will charge me, and I suspect we won't know until all is said and done, but most reasonable people understand that the Y will charge for membership like the do everywhere else. 5) That is not an answer. 6) I will ask and let you know what they say, but this was rhetorical to point out that everything the city plans does not happen as planned. To Answer your questions: 1)$351, 2) I liked the house, I could careless about the park, 3) Yes I like the value, 3) Of course, 4) Yes 5) no. BTW if you want a great park their are lots of houses for sale in my HOA, we would love to have you. That way you get your park and we all can save our money.
Laurie Carter February 09, 2013 at 03:39 PM
This blog on Part 1 ended 1/15/13 per the author. We are now on Part 3. See above.

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