Sun endorses BI parks levy

The Kitsap Sun gave a thumbs up to the Bainbridge parks levy proposed in your ballot. Read the endorsement below.

EDITORIAL: Bainbridge Parks Levy Is a Good Call

Bainbridge Island residents love their open space, and want to preserve what they have.

Of course, the same thing can be said about money.

On Nov. 4, Bainbridge Island residents will be weighing those two priorities in a levy lid lift request by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District.

The issue would raise the district’s tax levy from the current 58 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to 75 cents in 2009. For a median-priced $600,000 Bainbridge Island home, the increase would amount to about $102 per year.

If approved, the request would generate an estimated $1.1 million to $1.2 million in additional revenues for the district.

The district would use most of the money — a minimum of 75 percent — to purchase, develop and improve property for parks. The funds also would be used to enable work by a citizens committee to advise the district on property acquisitions.

Of the remaining 25 percent, most would be used for maintenance, improvement and operation of park properties — a longstanding problem because a voter-approved 2001 bond issue provided $8 million for property acquisition, but nothing for public access or improvements. The district also has faced runaway maintenance and operations expenses; by July 1, costs for propane to heat the swimming pool had nearly equalled the total amount for 2007.

This request seems a practical balance, aimed at acquiring some of the dwindling open space property still available on the island, plus providing some funds to ensure that existing properties are better maintained, with improved access for the public. Because of that, the levy lid lift is worthy of approval.

Beyond that, it’s a question of whether several thousand voters feel they can afford it — and whether it’s worth a relatively small financial sacrifice now, in order to preserve open space for generations to come.

2 thoughts on “Sun endorses BI parks levy

  1. “When has The Sun NOT endorsed a tax increase??!!”

    Yeah, THAT would be news! Bigger than “Man Bites Dog”!

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