The Wenatchee City Council will not ask voters this fall to form a new taxing district for parks, but is open to the idea of doing it next year.
Later this month, the Council will be asked to help fund a public opinion poll to gauge support for such a tax if it were posed to voters in November 2012. The Trust For Public Land has offered to partially fund the poll and if the public appears to favor the idea will help lead the campaign to sway voters to form the new parks district.
That still leaves funding for parks and the city pool in question next year, when the city’s contribution toward the Town Toyota Center debt is expected to jump to nearly $3 million a year. Several cost-cutting ideas are being considered by city leaders, including closing the pool and eliminating funding for parks.
Councilman Jim Bailey is not sold on the parks district idea saying, “If we start to create all these special taxing districts to pay for everything, I just wonder if this is good governance,”.”
The Wenatchee Parks and Recreation Advisory Board has recommended that the Council explore the idea of forming the new taxing district. Steve Kolk, parks board chairman said, “We value parks and we don’t want to see it have to compete for city funds along with all the other city services.”