Metro Parks Tacoma board approves budget

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Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved the agency’s 2019-2020 budget that will involve key recreational projects at Point Defiance.

“This is an exciting time for Metro Parks as we complete many of the projects that were promised in the bond that voters approved in 2014, and then start new projects,” said Board President Andrea Smith. “Over the past couple of years, we worked with the community to develop detailed strategic plans for parks, recreation and zoological services, and this budget ensures we strive to deliver those levels of service.”

The operating budget spans $128.4 million over the next two years, plus $54.6 million in construction spending. Funding sources include revenue from property and sales taxes, program and attendance fees, agreements with other agencies, grants, and philanthropic donations. Much of the construction spending comes from the $198 million voter-approved park bond, which is being used to leverage other grants that expand the scope of what can be built.

The most visible element of the spending plan will be next year’s opening of the two most significant components of the Point Defiance Park waterfront project: the Wilson Way pedestrian-bicycle bridge and Dune Peninsula. The opening of Wilson Way will fulfill a 30-year vision for a walkway between Point Defiance Park and the Ruston Way waterfront. Both the bridge and the 11-acre Dune Peninsula will offer unparalleled public views of the surrounding Puget Sound, as well as Mount Rainier, the Olympic Mountains and nearby islands.

For more information on Metro Parks’ 2019-2020 budget, go to MetroParksTacoma.org/funding.

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