Some of the bond money would go toward renovating the athletic fields at Lake Tye Park. This is the park’s ball field No. 2. (City of Monroe)

Some of the bond money would go toward renovating the athletic fields at Lake Tye Park. This is the park’s ball field No. 2. (City of Monroe)

Monroe will ask voters in April for $8.1 million park bond

If approved, it would fund a new park in the North Hill area and turf fields at Lake Tye Park.

MONROE — In the November election, a $26.5 million bond from the East County Parks And Recreation District failed to pass, despite the measure receiving 62% approval in Monroe.

Now, city leaders are floating an $8.155 million citywide bond, with the hope that Monroe voters will again support a capital bond. The Monroe City Council voted unanimously last week to put the bond on the April special election ballot.

If approved, the $8.155 million would go toward building a park in the North Hill neighborhood, renovating athletic fields at Lake Tye Park, replacing playground equipment at eight parks and extending the Chain Lake Road Trail between Rainier View Park and Brown Road.

“These were identified as the high-priority projects by our community,” said Mike Farrell, the city’s Parks and Recreation director. “There’s a need to provide some public park space and amenities (in the North Hill neighborhood). The other significant improvements are to address not only our existing recreational demand, but to also address some future growth and demand.”

The upgrades to Lake Tye Park’s athletic fields would include installing turf fields, which allows for year-round use, Farrell said.

Other park upgrades would replace wood chips with rubber surfaces at playgrounds, making them more accessible to children in wheelchairs.

Extending the Chain Lake Road Trail would connect residents in new developments with “core service areas” of town like North Kelsey, Farrell said.

Under state law, passing a bond requires 60% support.

“Bringing this back, we saw the positive support in those Monroe precincts that reached that high threshold,” Farrell said.

To promote the ballot item, the city hired Strategies 360, a Seattle-based communications firm. The contract is worth up to $6,000.

Bonds are paid off with increases in property taxes.

This year, property owners in Monroe on average are paying about $288.27 more in property taxes than in 2019. The tax rate decreased, but higher assessed values contributed to larger bills.

If approved, the park bond would increase the 2021 property tax rate for Monroe residents by about $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed property value. For a $500,000 home, the bond would add $73.34 to the property tax bill.

The bond’s tax rate is set to decline each year. In 2024, it’d be $0.14 per $1,000. By 2053, the last year property owners would pay for the bond, the added tax would be $0.06.

The city’s last bond measure was a transportation capital improvement bond in 2008, which failed to pass.

If voters approve the bond, low-income seniors and disabled people could qualify for relief from the added tax. Interested individuals can call 425-388-3540.

Ballots are due April 28 for the special election.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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