You are! And I am! And our next door neighbors!
It takes all of us to be a ‘community.’ The ones who raise kids, the ones who run businesses, the ones who volunteer, the ones who build buildings, the ones who go for walks around town. Yes, even simply walking through your neighborhood builds up our community! When streets are empty, crime rises. When streets are full of neighbors, gardeners, dog walkers, crime drops.
So, in all our uniqueness, we each make up important, integral parts of our greater Leavenworth community.
I received my ballot in the mail today. On it is our Upper Valley Parks and Rec Levy. This levy is a renewal levy that we see every six years to support maintenance and operations of our Community Pool.
This is a wonderful opportunity to support your community - because even if you’re not a swimmer, you know we all play our unique roles to make us all strong. The swimmers are an important part of our community, as our walkers and our business owners. I encourage you to look at this community asset for the important role it plays.
By supporting the Community Pool, you support our youth’s swimming lessons so we don’t see drownings in the river and lake. You support people who are recovering from injuries or surgery who get to use the pool for rehab. You support our elderly and those who benefit from low-impact exercise.
And more than anything, you support the human diversity that is critical to the success of our town and thus, you build up our community.
Vote Yes on our community pool renewal levy*. See below for data on the pool.
Community Pool Data
The taxing district is officially called the ‘Upper Valley Parks and Recreation Service Area’ (PRSA). It is a special tax district as defined under Washington State code.
Founded by the voters in the Parks & Rec District in the year 2000
Parks & Rec District is about the size of the Cascade School District. If it’s on your ballot, you are in the district!
The Parks & Rec District is run by a Board of Directors (not the Leavenworth City Council) who represent the different areas of the district:
City of Leavenworth
Cascade School District
The Pool is the only activity under the PRSA
Pool construction was paid for by a bond that expires in 2020
Pool is operated by entry fees (40%) and maintenance and operations levies, that must be renewed every 6 years (60%)
The current budget does not account for long term maintenance and several projects have persisted, unfunded. For example, the pool needs to be resurfaced (about $150,000 project).
August 2018 levy renewal on the ballot asked to increase the levy rate from the current rate by $0.03 per thousand in order to more accurately cover the maintenance cost of the pool. The pool could have been resurfaced at this level. The levy failed by less than 1%
The November 2018 levy renewal on the ballot is asking to renew the levy at the same rate we have been paying, or about $16.50 per $100,000 of property value. Maybe $50/year for many home owners!
Many community members have asked if our Lodging Tax could help pay for the pool. The answer is yes it is possible, but not right now, and likely not the entire amount of the levy. The Leavenworth City Council determines how the Lodging Tax is used, under the guidelines of WA State. It would take time and reallocation of funds to make this work. In the meantime, in order to operate the pool the levy needs to pass. There would need to be collaboration between the City and the Parks & Rec District to achieve this (which takes time).
The levy needs 60% approval to pass
If the levy fails, the pool will likely not operate in 2019
*The Leavenworth City Council passed a resolution in favor of this levy