New budget includes funding for state park projects
July 23, 2013
By Peter Clark
Though the state budget was slow to pass, Lake Sammamish State Park will benefit from the results of two legislative special sessions.
A total of $3.5 million will be allocated to improvement projects for the park from the 2013-2015 capital budget that passed the Legislature on June 27 and was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on June 30.
Freshman Sen. Mark Mullet (D-5th, Issaquah) championed the inclusion of the funding through the budgetary stalemate that came close to a state government shutdown.
“I was ecstatic to see the Issaquah projects included,” Mullet said of the funding for the park and transportation improvements north of Interstate 90. “I considered those two things a very big success.”
Mullet said the park funding almost didn’t make it through the embattled compromises that left a number of things by the financial wayside.
“Two days before the budget was done, those projects weren’t funded,” he said, but some last minute lobbying was able to attach all the funding that had been requested.
The money will go specifically to a Sunset Beach restoration project and the addition of concession and restroom facilities.
Friends of the Lake Sammamish State Park board member Dave Kappler said he was very pleased to hear the news.
“That’s going to make a huge difference,” Kappler said. “That’s a lot of credit due to our local senator.”
He said the funding would help expand the park and the services that it would be able to offer. The newly formed Friends organization hopes to increase the park’s visibility and allow for a greater variety of public activities.
“We expected it to happen, but you never know with Olympia,” Kappler said.
Mullet said he had some disappointments in his first legislative involvement in the budget process, but said he saw the state park funding to be a local victory.
“From an Issaquah standpoint, I think it was a home run,” Mullet said.