As many of you may know, I have long advocated for a full-service community center in Lake City because the current community center cannot adequately serve its residents.
Last year, the City Council provided $500,000 to be spent this year for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) upgrades to the Lake City Community Center (LCCC). Upon passage of the Seattle Park District ballot measure earlier this year, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) decided to put those upgrades on hold in anticipation of future Park District funds being able to fund some, but not all, costs needed to replace LCCC.
During the Council’s current budget deliberations I proposed revising DPR’s 2015-2020 Capital Improvement Program to add a Lake City Community Center Debt Service project, which would have repaid $12 million in Limited Tax General Obligation bond debt over 8 years with Park District funds in return for building a new LCCC.
Although Councilmember Clark supported this approach, my proposal did not garner the additional Councilmember support needed to advance it through the budget process.
So, I then proposed a Statement of Legislative Intent (SLI) requesting DPR report back to the City Council in June (originally it was August, now it’ll be June) with options and costs for a new LCCC. The SLI was passed by the Budget Committee and is included in the final 2015-2016 budget balancing package.
The SLI, #54-1-A-2 sponsored by Councilmembers Tim Burgess, Sally Clark, and Mike O’Brien, requests DPR to prepare a report outlining next steps for improvements to LCCC, including:
1. Any proposed changes in the use of that are recommended by the Community Center Strategic Plan, which is scheduled top be completed in 2015;
2. Alternatives (including a preferred alternative) for rehabilitation or rebuilding LCCC, including an alternative for construction of a new facility;
3. Costs and financing options for the preferred alternative, including the option of using Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds to finance the project; and
4. A schedule for implementing the preferred alternative.
The Council also requested that capital funds for the preferred alternative be included in the Mayor’s proposed 2016 Budget and 2016‐2021 Capital Improvement Program, even if it means deferring other DPR capital priorities.
DPR is expected to present its report to Councilmember Jean Godden’s Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Gender Pay Equity Committee by June 1st next year.
I look forward to that report. If you do, too, click here to view Councilmember Godden’s committee agendas when we are closer to her committee’s first meeting in June.
You can rest assured I will continue to pursue my goal of a new LCCC for Lake City residents.
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