A citizens group has been formed to support the $2.34 annual million property tax levy for Kirkland’s Parks, which was given on Tuesday.
YES for Great Kirkland Parks will launch its effort at the festival Friday through Sunday in downtown Kirkland.
Co-chaired by Kirkland Planning Commission member Jay Arnold and Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance president Scott Morris, the group believes the measure will improve the quality of life in Kirkland thus makes economic sense.
“With this parks levy we are investing in Kirkland’s quality of life, protecting and enhancing our parks, beaches and natural areas, and improving public safety,” Morris said in a press release. “This will also keep our home values strong. It just makes good economic sense.”
If approved, the parks levy would cost the owner of a $349,000 home $55.84 annually, at 16 cents per $1,000 of value. If both pass, the owner of that home would have to pay $127.04 annually. It would raise $2,345,000 annually to increase operation and maintenance funding of Kirkland’s parks and increase funding for “capital projects,” such as park renovation and acquisition of new green spaces.
As recommended by the city’s citizen, about $1.09 million each year would go to regular operations and maintenance, the need for which has increased due to annexation and the addition of parks such as O.O. Denny and Edith Moulton. Another $1.24 million annually would go to capital projects, such as the development of the now called the and, potentially, renovation of and parks, delayed dock and shoreline improvements and replacement of the aging bathhouse.
Arnold said group is largely of members from the Parks Funding Exploratory Committee, but that more members have joined that were not involved with the committee.
“Right now it’s a core group of people volunteering to maintain a campaign presence at events like Kirkland Uncorked, neighborhood association meetings and school PTSA meetings,” he said.
Morris noted that it has been a decade since the last Kirkland parks funding levy.
“Those careful investments made since 2002 have strengthened local neighborhoods, improved property values, and made healthy places to play at Juanita Beach, , ...,” he said. “Now is the time to make new thoughtful investments in park priorities that help define the healthy city we have become.”
The group is seeking additional members to volunteer, who may contact Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org. It plans to launch a web site in the near future.
Some of the quotes for this story came from a YES for Great Kirkland Parks press release.