Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jefferson Park Funding Upped in Green Space Levy

Just as I was writing to encourage you all to write to City Council to increase funding for Jefferson Park in the proposed Green Space levy, this came in from Jefferson Park Alliance member (and my dear pal) Mira Latoszek:

Hello all,

Just wanted to send out an update of some info that another JPA member received from Councilmember Sally Clark's office. The funding for Jefferson Park has been increased! (see the copy of the email message below).

With this change to the levy, I am ready to support it. Though the amount is still under what we have estimated is necessary for Phase 2, it get it close enough that we could leverage other funding for the balance of the funding. It is also good news that the Maple Leaf reservoir park is getting increased funding. Maple Leaf Park is heading into Phase 1 and was seriously underfunded in the levy.

Lowering SAAM funding and increasing the levels for defined projects in major parks means that these projects will require less money from the opportunity fund. The opportunity fund should be used for just that, "opportunities", rather than projects that we already know need to be done. There are smaller parks and green spaces all over the city which have not had the level of planning that the major reservoir parks have had - places like Dr. Jose Rizal Park, Lewis Park, and the Cheasty Greenspace in our own neighborhood. I'm sure there will be many others that will come up over the coming years. The opportunity fund should be reserved for these projects.

In addition, I am also hearing that the Council is considering stronger language and better defined guidelines for the $10.8 million that is allocated for synthetic turf. The EPA is about to study the toxicity of synthetic turf and the underlayment of ground tires. It would be a giant waste of money for Seattle to install fields with these materials if it is found to be toxic.

I will send more info as I find out more. But I hope that you will join me in supporting these changes to the levy and encourage the Council to put together a levy package that is green in more than just its name.

Thanks,
Mira

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On Monday, Council just increased Jefferson and Maple Leaf monies to five million, plus Jefferson gets a million dollar skate park, while SAM funding was scaled back. At $6 million, Jefferson is the 2nd biggest recipient of funds in the levy, so I don't hear much conversation to give it even more. That would get some things done on phase 2, but probably not all of it.

Best,

Dan Nolte
Office of Councilmember Sally Clark
Seattle City Council

1 comment:

steve said...

would this be renewing the existing property tax funding for the levy, or is it yet another tax increase? I'm tapped out. Just can't see supporting more tax increases. Yes, I do see these things as high priorities, but how 'bout we cut the mayor's plastic bag militia and steer some of that money to parks? Yes, I know that's an unrealistic expectation, but I'm just trying to say, can't the city government learn to be a bit more frugal instead of hitting us up for more money? And another thing, these parks improvements never include even a penny for maintenance, which is a HUGE oversight. See the multi-million dollar Cheasty Blvd trail for an example of how bad it can get in just a few short years without any maintenance. Is there anything about maintenance in the new levy?