June 22, 2011
Wenatchee’s Parks Advisory Board has recommended
the City Council pursue creation of a Metropolitan Parks District to replace the City’s parks department.
Creating an MPD would shift the cost burden of operating and maintaining the parks from the City’s general fund
to a property tax funded entity that would have its own elected governing board. Steve Hair reports
push for creating an Metropolitan Parks District is driven by the City’s efforts to free up more general fund
revenue for debt service on the Town Town Center.
Based on a levy rate of 35 cents per 1000 dollars of
assessed property value the Parks Board learned that the MPD could generate upwards of 860-thousand dollars in
annual revenue if the boundary was limited to the City limits. That would increase to over a million dollars if
the boundary were extended to cover the entire Wenatchee School District. . .
Creation of a Metropolitan
Parks District would require a simple majority voter approval. The Parks Board also recommends the City conduct a
survey of likely voters to see if there’s interest in pursuing the plan. The City Council will discuss the matter
further at their regular Thursday meeting.