[Letter by Chris Lodahl– North Bend, WA. Views expressed are those of the author, not the Living Snoqualmie website. You may submit letters of support for your candidate or issue to firstname.lastname@example.org]
Your August 2nd ballot has a Bond Proposal for the Si View Metropolitan Parks District Aquatic Center. I have voted for and firmly support the new pool center and the public process with the Feasibility and Evaluation Study.
Consultant studies are important to the public process, especially when public dollars are being spent. My personal feeling is Si View Metropolitan Parks is the best “elected” board of commissioners in the valley.
Projects are planned with just the facts; the vision of the board is high; transparency to the public is 100%; your tax dollar is spent prudently, and the staff is superb at running the day-to-day operation.
This last week I have talked with several of you about the new Aquatic Center and noticed some confusion on different issues pertaining to the new Si View District Aquatic Center. Some of the issues were:
- I have lots of time to decide as we will vote again in November on the Aquatic Center Bond. Sorry, this is just a one-time Bond vote with your ballot due on August 2nd – so don’t delay.
- I can sell my house for $ XXXX, so I would pay $ XXXX on the Bond. The Bond is based on “assessed value” and not “market value.” Assessed value is lower or behind than market value. The Bond is based on your “2021” Assessment, not your 2022 – then using the “2021,” it would be $1.62 per 100,000.
- The city parks commission put this bond proposal on the ballot. No, the city parks commission are appointed residents as an advisory board to the city government. The Si View Metropolitan Parks District is a “separate government entity” with an “elected” board of commissioners granted powers under state law, including Bond Proposals.
- What are the boundaries of the Si View Parks District? The District includes the entire upper valley, except for the City of Snoqualmie.
- I will have to pay for those who do not live in the District. The District has a non-residency fee policy: “The District welcomes all Snoqualmie Valley area residents to participate in our programs. Residents living within the boundaries of the Park District directly support the operations of the District programs and services through property taxes. The resident/non-resident fee structure provides an equitable contribution towards District operations by all patrons.”
- Tell me again how the YMCA is involved with the pool. The YMCA is “not” involved with this Aquatic Center Bond. The City of Snoqualmie was attempting a private/city partnership with their YMCA to build a city pool, also to be operated by the YMCA. To date, Snoqualmie has not conducted a consultant Feasibility and Evaluation Study. Also, the Si View Metropolitan Parks District is a public entity with an “elected” board of commissioners to oversee the public interest ( vs. private) and operation of the Si View District Aquatic Center.
- So the pool is located in North Bend or Snoqualmie? Land has been purchased across the street from the playground at Si View Park. North Bend city sewer is right there, so that will not be a cost factor.
The King County Assessor Localscape is a tax tool — King County WA – Analytics (localscape.property) for what a property would pay for this Bond Proposal. Click on the “TAX” tab on the far right and zoom in with your mouse on the county map to any property. For example, my house in Old Si View is $110, which would be my yearly amount – the website further states, “The tax estimate for this ballot measure is based on your 2021 property value (which was used in calculating your 2022 tax bill).”
Also, remember as more new business/houses are built from downtown North Bend to Truck Town over the years – those new structures assessed values are added onto the tax rolls. Therefore, the effect on the Bond amount will be lower over time.
The Aquatic Center is off to a good start; the land has been purchased; another 4-million-dollar Grant from King County; plus 1.7 million dollars in Capital Improvement Funds. The old pool is 84 years old, built in 1938 for 600 residents; high maintenance costs; unable to provide multiple uses at the same time; lived a good life.
The Aquatic Center is achievable for all of us, old and young alike. Time to vote yes for the present as well as the future.
Chris Lodahl, North Bend Mayor 1992-1995, Councilmember 1990-1991