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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
4/14/2009  11:10:00 AM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ann Corbitt, Rasmussen Office, (206) 684-8808
Rob Gala, Conlin Office, (206) 684-8805 Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Councilmember Richard Conlin

Council Approves $24.2 Million to Begin Work on 2008 Parks Levy Projects
Parks Department will break ground this summer on parks development projects in city neighborhoods

SEATTLE - The Seattle City Councils Parks and Seattle Center Committee voted 3 - 0 today to authorize $24.2 million to begin construction on 29 projects designated for funding from the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy. The $24.2 million, which represents the first installment of $145 million in levy funding approved by Seattle voters last November, will target development and renovation projects that can quickly move from the final design to construction phase, thereby enabling the City to leverage the levy to create jobs and stimulate the local economy.

The Parks levy was proposed a year ago by the Council and community groups to support major parks improvements, said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Parks and Seattle Center Committee Chair. Today, most other Parks fund-sources have declined sharply because of the economy. The levy revenue comes just in time to keep people working. Seattle citizens are getting a two-fold benefit from their tax dollars.

Council President Richard Conlin said, Its fortunate that the Council and Seattle voters had the vision to make the Parks and Green Spaces Levy a reality for two big reasons. Creating jobs sooner rather than later will undoubtedly have a positive impact locally. And in hard times, people use their local parks more, so the community benefits are also great.

One project that will receive levy funds is the Seattle Childrens PlayGarden at Colman Park. The organization, which provides a safe, outdoor environment for children with physical and mental disabilities, is receiving $950,000 to complete a new pavilion and renovate the old onsite playground shelter house. The PlayGarden is a safe haven for children with special needs, but it is in need of significant improvements said Dr. Abraham Bergman, Executive Director of Childrens PlayGarden. The levy funding will enable us to make those improvements and serve even more children who come to us from all over the region for a safe place to play.

This spring, the City will hold a series of public information workshops to review the levys overall goals, share the individual projects funded by the levy, and discuss the process for administering the levys Opportunity Fund.

Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21 and Webcast live on the City Councils website at www.seattle.gov/council. Copies of legislation, archives of previous meetings, and news releases are available on www.seattle.gov/council. Questions about Council news releases can be directed to Kimberly Reason, Council Communications, at 206-684-8159, or by e-mail at kimberly.reason@seattle.gov.

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