The Metropolitan King County Council on Wednesday approved a proviso – as part of the supplemental budget – championed by Councilmember Reagan Dunn that requires the County to work with the City of Maple Valley to find alternative uses for $9 million in Park Levy funds.
The Metropolitan King County Council on Wednesday approved a proviso – as part of the supplemental budget – championed by Councilmember Reagan Dunn that requires the County to work with the City of Maple Valley to find alternative uses for $9 million in Park Levy funds. This search for alternative projects follows strong community opposition to a planned trail project.
Currently, this $9 million in Parks Levy funding is earmarked for a Parks Department project to pave a section of the Green to Cedar River trail that stretches from Witte Road/SR 169 to the Greater Maple Valley Community Center. The proposed trail paving spurred backlash from Maple Valley community groups, including a local cross-country team and frequent trail users.
Dunn’s budget proviso requires the County to collaborate with the City of Maple Valley for joint recommendations on projects that could take place instead, while withholding $100,000 in funding until the Parks Department reports on alternative projects.
“When we hear that a County project isn’t working for the community, it’s time to stop and reassess our plan of action,” Dunn said. “I am confident that the King County Parks Department and City of Maple Valley can work together for a project that better meets the needs of the people of Maple Valley.”
The full Maple Valley City Council has expressed its support for an alternative project that would develop a trail extension that connects the Green to Cedar River Trail with the Black Diamond Open Space system. Extending this trail to the south would connect the Maple Valley and Black Diamond communities with a route that is safe for non-motorized users while reducing traffic congestion.
“Currently, users of the Green to Cedar River frequently use a dangerous, informal path that crosses a train track and a blind corner,” said Maple Valley Mayor Sean P. Kelly. “The Maple Valley community would benefit greatly from a project that provides a safer way to navigate these conditions.”
The report is due to the Metropolitan King County Council by June 30, 2020.