May 6 was a sad day for the families of Mill Creek. Well, it was more disappointing than sad. It was on that evening the majority of the Mill Creek City Council snubbed the joint proposal with the Everett School District to create a year-round, all-weather sports field. On the table for their discussion is a proposal that has been developed, over almost three years, by the staffs of the city of Mill Creek and the Everett School District. This joint proposal would turn the current soccer field at Jackson High School into a year-round field by adding synthetic turf and would make it usable by teams at night and on weekends by adding lights and bleachers. The cost to each party is $1.3 million. This would be a major benefit to hundreds of families in Mill Creek at a minimal cost to the city.
Instead of moving forward to accept this proposal, the majority of the City Council diverted the discussion to talking about how the current land north of the Sports Park could be designed to create one or two new fields that would be under total control of the city. Previous cost estimates for this total $9.4 million. The City has almost the full $1.3 million in a park mitigation account and can pay its part of the Jackson High School field project as soon as it is approved. It seems illogical and unreasonable that the City Council would prefer to spend more than $9 million for an unknown, potential project when they can have a usable field in less than a year for $1.3 million.
By ignoring the proposal, the majority of the council have sent the message to the families of Mill Creek that their interests and needs are not important. They have also sent the message to the Everett School District that their students are not important. There has never been a better offer from the school district to the city. After the City Council’s lack of action, the school district very likely will never be willing to consider entering into a partnership with the city. This would be a huge loss for the students and families of Mill Creek. The one bright spot in this discussion is that a final vote has not been taken. If you are concerned by the way the City Council is dealing with this issue and if you would like to have them approve the proposed partnership, you can state your opinion by contacting the city, any or all City Council members, and/or attending the council meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Carolyn G. Allendoerfer