Park levy would allow upkeep and matching funds for grants
by Scott Hunter
On Nov. 6 voters will be asked to support a tax levy for the Coulee Area Park and Recreation District, and comissioners spent time last week discussing that upcoming vote and ways to get the word out about the issue.
The district, with boundaries that encompass the local school and hospital districts combined, will seek taxpayer support for its facilities. At this point, that means North Dam Park and Event Center, but commissioners also spoke of other opportunities to support around the larger community.
The district organized the rescue of that park a couple years ago after it was left unclaimed by the city of Grand Coulee. This year, CAPRD received a $50,000 grant from the Bureau of Reclamation to help, but the district still needs matching funds for that and other grants.
Levy funds, Chairman Phil Hansen said at the meeting last Thursday, can be used for maintenance of the park, but also as a means to go after grants for improvements in the district.
Commissioners have talked about adding a splash park for kids in the summer, beach volleyball courts, enhancing walking paths, adding playground equipment and more, and not just at North Dam Park. The district stretches from Disautel Pass to Steamboat Rock.
There are grants available for many such improvements, but they all require matching funds.
“If we don’t have matching funds, we can’t do anything,” Hansen said.
“It opens up a whole other realm of possibilities for getting funding,” added Commissioner Mike Bjorklund.
The district is seeking to levy 15 cents per $1,000 of property value. A person with a $150,000 house would pay $22.50 a year for support of the district for six years if the proposal passes.
The levy issue, commissioners stressed, has nothing to do with a developing proposal for a possible community center in the area.
They approved spending up to $500 for an informational flyer to be inserted in the newspaper next week.
In other business, commissioners looked at bids from three contractors for fixing the roof of the gazebo at North Dam Park, approved buying five replacement picnic tables and paid bills for the upkeep of the park.
They will award the bid for the roof on Thursday.