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Support for Ravensdale Park from City Council
The Maple Valley City Council voted unanimously Monday night to support Ravensdale Park to the tune of $2 million.
Earlier this year council members agreed to fund an initial $500,000 toward the park to come from existing city resources.
Members of the Ravensdale Park Foundation approached the Maple Valley City Council about helping to fund the park project about a year ago and the city created a parks commission to vet the idea and offer its recommendation. The commission recommended that the city give $2 million to the park project as a near term fix to the city’s lack of parks and ballfields.
Last week council members put committing to the additional $1.5 million on hold, unable to agree on how the city should seek funding for the project. The two options presented to council by city Finance Director Shawn Hunstock were councilmanic bonds, which the city could issue unilaterally and pay for through raising some kinds of taxes in the city, or a voted bond issue that then could also including funding for Summit Park.
City Council members have still not decided on the particulars of how to finance the $1.5 million and will have to come back to that issue in November when the the 2014 budget process begins in earnest.
“I think the understanding was we still have to, when we look at the 2014 budget, we still need to figure out a way to fund the ball parks but what last night was about was saying we are committed to finding out a way to do it,” said Maple Valley Mayor Bill Allison in a phone interview Tuesday morning.
The plans for Ravensdale Park, which is located outside the city limits of Maple Valley, are laid out in the Ravensdale Park Master Plan and are overseen by the Ravensdale Park Foundation. The master plan was adopted in 2009 and includes a community meadow, six fields designated for baseball, soccer and all purposes uses. Phase one of the master plan was completed in January 2012 which included renovating a pre-existing field.
Phase two of the project, for which the foundation is currently preparing and plans to break ground in January with estimated completion next fall, is budgeted to cost $6 million and include adding two multi-use fields, additional parking, restrooms, a concessions stand, play structures, an open area, trails, and maintenance facility. The foundation is receiving funding at the county and state level, as well as funds from the city and multiple private donors.
More information about Ravensdale Park can be found at www.ravensdalepark.org.