State funds could help finish Confluence Park
January 28, 2014
By Peter Clark
Confluence Park may get a $2 million boost from the state Legislature.
After officially opening the park last July, Issaquah’s Parks & Recreation Department wasted no time in trying to fulfill its three-phase completion. To that end, the department submitted a capital budget request to the state Legislature.
“It would pretty much cover all of our phases,” Parks & Recreation Department Director Anne McGill said of the petition asking for $2 million.
The first phase in the 15-acre park, on Rainer Boulevard North and Northwest Holly Street, dealt with initial landscaping, constructing a picnic shelter, building new bathrooms and installing a pea patch for a local community garden.
McGill said phases two and three would include building a footbridge over Issaquah Creek, clearing invasive plants, restoring the stream bank, and removing the current Parks & Recreation storage facility to expand the park and provide parking.
“The other wonderful thing is its proximity to downtown,” McGill said. “It ties into the Central Issaquah Plan and the idea of the green necklace.”
With the passage of last year’s park bond, including a local $2 million match for Confluence Park improvements, McGill said it would help the chances of the request.
“When you have a match and 77 percent approval of a parks bond, it seems like that’s in our favor,” she said.
Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler and local representatives gathered Jan. 6 for a breakfast to discuss the 2014 legislative session. There, they said the $2 million request had many strengths, including the local support of an existing project.
“We just had issaquah residents vote three to one in support of their park,” Issaquah’s Legislature lobbyist Doug Levy said. “It’s one that’s got a lot of regional potential.”
All agreed that the park would provide an economic boon to the city and would provide a valuable attraction for residents and visitors.
“The master plan has been approved,” Butler said. “And we are chipping away at that. It is a key component to our Central Issaquah Plan and it’s a real gem.”
Fifth District Rep. Jay Rodne said he would consider working with fellow district Rep. Chad Magendanz and Sen. Mark Mullet on finding support for the money.
“Maybe Mark, Chad and I can put our heads together on this one,” he said.
The Legislature will decide on capital budget requests later in the 60-day session.