With the city's existing park bonds expiring this year, the City Council Monday provided direction to move forward with a proposal for a new funding measure Monday to provide continued investments in Bellevue's park system.
Council indicated that it intends to pursue a park levy that includes $40.5 million in capital funding over the next 20 years, plus $660,000 in annual maintenance funding. On July 21, Council is expected to approve an ordinance for inclusion on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
The levy would include funds to acquire and preserve additional natural areas and open space throughout Bellevue. The measure would also fund the following: park improvements for Downtown Park and Lewis Creek Park; trail improvements in Coal Creek Park; an upgrade to synthetic turf for Wilburton and Newport Hills soccer fields; expansion of Crossroads Community Center; neighborhood parks in Bridle Trails and along the West lake Sammamish Parkway; redevelopment of Surrey Downs Park; and development of a new 27-acre community park in the Eastgate area along 156th Avenue Southeast.
The measure will also include ongoing maintenance funding to ensure that new parks are maintained to Bellevue standards.
The tax rate for the new measure is less than the average tax rate associated with the expiring 1988 bonds. The bonds expiring this year had an average property tax rate of 17 cents per $1,000 of assessed value; the new measure would have a first year property tax impact of 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or $71 per year for a typical home in Bellevue.
Residents are needed to write "for" and "against" statements about the levy for the voter's pamphlet.
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