May 30, 2006
Contact: PJ Callahan
County Proposes Settlement with South Kitsap Parks and Recreation District
ORCHARD, WA—In an effort to settle a lawsuit between Kitsap County and
the South Kitsap Parks and Recreation District, the county has submitted a
proposal of settlement that would dissolve the district. Based on the terms
of the proposal, the county would assume control of the park district
properties and use and maintain these properties for park and recreation
purposes. The county would also voluntarily agree to maintain the park for
up to six months during the pending dissolution and would assume all
currently existing leases or contracts.
dissolution of the district, the county would agree to spend up to 2.5
million dollars over the next three years to construct improvements to the
park, including ball fields and trails. The existing $49,000 election debt
owed by the district would be resolved through the process. The park
district holds elections every four years. The cost of those elections has
added to the district’s debt each time and would likely continue to do so,
increasing the debt. The district has tried to pay $1,000 per month;
however, this was never agreed to by the county as the repayment.
families in South Kitsap have a strong desire to see the South Kitsap Park
developed into a community gathering place for the surrounding
neighborhoods,” said Patty Lent, District #3 Commissioner. “Kitsap County
has the resources to make that happen and protect this property for future
parks and recreation uses.”
would also propose to form an advisory committee to assist with long-range
planning to determine the citizens’ vision for the park.
The deal was
originally proposed to the district on April 3, 2006, with a response
deadline of April 21 so that the county could apply for grant funding that
could have potentially provided a significant level of additional funds to
further improve or maintain the park. However, the park district has failed
to respond to the proposal of settlement.
#2 Commissioner Jan Angel stated, “the South Kitsap Park property is a real
gem for our citizens, and it deserves to be developed in a timely manner.
Since the park district has been unable to move forward on this project,
they owe it to the residents to allow the county to come in and make that