Funding for the future Delridge Skatepark has taken as many twists and turns as a virtuoso performance by one of the talented skaters who will use it someday. First it was going to be in this year’s city budget – then that changed at the last minute. Then, half a million dollars was found after bids on other work – including Hiawatha Playfield renovations – came in much lower than planned, and another $250,000 was moved from what once was to be a “skate spot” at the future Myrtle Reservoir park (which is currently behind schedule for non-Parks reasons). Now, we have news from last night’s Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee meeting that the funding situation has taken another turn: Committee member (and Pigeon Point resident) Pete Spalding tells WSB:
The monies that the Parks Department had originally earmarked for this project vanished last month. This was once again attributed to the ongoing financial issues the City of Seattle is facing. The folks at Parks are committed to trying to make sure that the Delridge skatepark gets built. At last night’s Parks & Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee meeting a proposal was brought forward to use 500k in surplus Opportunity Fund dollars from the Pro Parks levy to fund this portion of the Delridge skatepark. There was lots of discussion of the pros and cons of making this transfer but eventually a motion was made and after more discussion the motion did pass. Now this has to be turned in to legislation that will go to the City Council for approval later this year. The folks in our community that support this project need to send e-mails, write letters and/or make telephone calls to all 9 of our City Council members encouraging them to support this legislation when it comes before them for a vote.
(Pro Parks is the levy that preceded Parks and Green Spaces.) We have messages out to other city sources to get more details on this situation, and will add that information as we get it. Meantime, here’s the contact information for City Councilmembers – West Seattle-residing Tom Rasmussen chairs the Parks Committee but since all members are elected “at large,” no one represents this area in particular, and it’s vital to express your opinion to all of them. 1:52 PM UPDATE: A bit more information: According to Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter, the $500,000 “vanished” because the city Finance Department said no to moving it to the Delridge Skatepark budget. (We’re still looking for the reason WHY the Finance Department said no; meantime, note that this was NOT money that the Levy Committee had a say over, in the first place – it didn’t come from the levy; it came from other projects, including Hiawatha, that came in with under-budget bids. Potter says last night’s committee vote to use remaining Pro Parks Opportunity Fund money “makes the budget whole” and faces the following Council action: “This money will be included in the 4th quarter supplemental budget legislation and adopted with the budget in November.” Meantime, the council Parks Committee will vote next month on the $250,000 move – so if you’re contacting councilmembers with an opinion, you’ll want to let them know what you think about that too, since it’s not a done deal yet.