The View From Denny Park
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent
No. 36. May 9, 2003
A periodic electronic newsletter
about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events
from Seattle Parks & Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds
The View from Denny Park: News and Views from the Superintendent
TOPOFF ANTI-TERRORISM EXERCISE
From May 12 to 16 Seattle fire and police staff and other top
City officials will participate in the Topoff2 anti-terrorism
exercise. To repeat, this is an exercise; there is no known threat
to the Seattle area. Please see our web site for more information:
Mandated by the federal government, Topoff2 is the most comprehensive
terrorism response exercise ever untaken in the United States.
The exercise will be a simulated or fake, multi-point attack.
On Monday the 12th, there will be a simulated explosion in Seattles
south downtown neighborhood (near the Tullys Coffee roasting
plant) of a radiological dispersal device or "dirty bomb."
The exercise involves more than 100 federal, state, King County,
City, private sector, and Canadian agencies and organizations.
Several Parks directors and public information staff will be participating.
The exercise will help the city and region practice and coordinate
our emergency responses and better prepare ourselves in the event
of a real attack or natural disaster. One of Mayor Greg Nickels
goals is to make Seattle the most prepared city in America.
FACTS ABOUT KING COUNTY PARKS LEVY
I wanted to pass along some facts from King County Parks and
Recreation about the upcoming ballot measure.
- On May 20, 2003, voters throughout King County, including
Seattle, will be asked to vote on a proposed four-year levy
that will support the maintenance and operation of King Countys
parks, open space and regional trails.
- The levy of 4.9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value
would cost the owner of a $250,000 house $12.25 per year. The
levy will raise $48 million over four years.
- Funds from the levy will not be spent on any Seattle city
- In the past six months, King County Parks and Recreation has
cut $9.1 million from its 2003 budget. It has a goal of earning
39% more on existing facilities through higher user fees and
- According to the King County Budget Office, King Countys
budget deficit is expected to continue with shortfalls of at
least $25 million in each of the next two years.
- $35.3 million of levy funds will support operations and maintenance
of 16 regional parks and 17 trails outside of Seattle such as
Marymoor Park, Cougar Mountain Park, the King County Aquatic
Center in Federal Way, and those portions of the Burke-Gilman
Trail owned by King County.
- $4.6 million of levy funds will support 32 rural parks. The
Growth Management Act calls for all parts of King County to
help maintain rural areas.
- The levy will also support 67 resource and ecological lands,
such as Hazel Wolf Wetlands.
- Activities that would be funded with levy revenue at the parks
listed above include: trash pick-up, restroom cleaning and litter
pick-up; and maintenance of trails, playgrounds, ballfields
and sport courts, including mowing, prepping and washing. These
activities have been curtailed as a result of recent budget
cuts. Levy funds will not return maintenance to pre-budget cut
- The levy is based on the recommendation of the Countys
Metropolitan Parks Task Force, a citizen group appointed by
King County Executive Ron Sims to make recommendations on how
to bring financial and operational stability to King County
parks. The Task Force examined three funding options: the property
tax levy lid lift, creation of a special purpose parks district,
and the sale of some park assets.
- King County manages more than 25,000 acres of parks and open
space and more than 100 miles of regional trails. In 2003, King
County Parks and Recreation has a budget of $16.4 million.
For more information on the levy, please visit http://dnr.metrokc.gov/parks/levy/
I will be in touch soon.