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Ravensdale Park group preparing to break ground

The city of Maple Valley sold $2 million in bonds on March 31 and will cut a check to King County for the city’s contribution to Ravensdale Park as soon as all the final formal steps are finished.

The city and the county agreed to an interlocal agreement where both invest $2 million toward the $6 million phase two projects of Ravensdale Park and also outlined field use hours for the city.

Maple Valley City Manager David Johnston said he received and signed the agreement late last Friday and that the last step is getting a signature from Executive Dow Constantine. After that, Johnston said, the city will send the county a check for $2 million.

Johnston said that the city’s contribution to the park is being paid for by an increase of the excise tax on cable TV service in the city.

“Historically, it takes about three months for the revenue to start coming in,” Johnston said.

He attributed the wait to the time it takes for Comcast, the cable provider in the city, to program the increase for customers.

The park is owned by King County and is being developed through a community nonprofit group, the Ravensdale Park Foundation, that the county established to oversee the project.

According to TJ Davis, who coordinates the program, the $2 million on the county side is coming from the Community Partnership and Grant Program.

“Typically the grants are not quite this large,” Davis said.

He explained that the $2 million was originally going to be spread out over several years, but, because of the way the funding came together, the decision was made to pay it in one lump sum. He also said that, ultimately, the grant is funded by a specific line item in the parks levy.

The remainder of the cost was funded by a state grant and private and in-kind donations.

Johnston said that the city will not be involved in the construction process.

“We’re just funding partners that give our residents access,” Johnston said. “That’s what we bought.”

Meanwhile, Rob Nist, one of the park foundation board members, said that residents would start seeing things happening at the park.

“We’re in our very final stages of getting our permits,” Nist said.

Last week’s work involved the clearing of invasive plant species. Nist said he had hoped to begin grading work on April 15, but didn’t think the crew would make that goal.

“It will be close,” he said.

According to the RPF website, Phase two will include adding two multi-use fields, additional parking, restrooms, a concessions stand, play structures, an open area, trails and a maintenance facility.

Construction isn’t expected to impact the currently existing fields this spring and summer.

Nist said the goal is to have the fields completed by Aug. 9.

“If everything stays on schedule and the rain doesn’t wreck us too bad, that’s what should happen,” Nist said.

For more information about the park and foundation visit ravensdalepark.org.

 

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