The funds will preserve 155 acres east of Enumclaw for forestry and recreation and will help remodel the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post hall, a community gathering place for a number of local organizations.
StoryKing County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn announced that two important community projects for residents living on the Enumclaw Plateau will receive funding from King County.
The funds, approved by the Council at its Feb. 22 meeting, will preserve 155 acres east of Enumclaw for forestry and recreation. Funds will also be available to help remodel the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post hall, a community gathering place for a number of local organizations.
“Part of the Enumclaw Foothills trail addition includes a beautiful lake side view and will greatly add to the already highly prized recreational area,” said Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn. “I am also glad that King County will support the VFW hall remodel which will provide a place for community building organizations in Enumclaw to gather.”
“I have championed the Foothills project for over 10 years as an elected official and feel that we have a great opportunity to connect communities, enhance recreation, and increase our public safety response should larger emergencies arise,” said Mayor Liz Reynolds. “I am also grateful the VFW Hall, where so many groups in our community meets, will be renovated for many more years of use.”
The Enumclaw Foothills Trailhead will receive $500,000 from the King County Parks Levy to provide better access to the White River Forest. The funds will purchase land to add public parking for recreational use, increased natural habitat for local wildlife, and an additional connection to existing trails in the White River Forest and surrounding Weyerhauser lands.
The VFW post will receive $2,500 to remodel their facilities. The $2,500 awarded by King County to the Enumclaw VFW Post Hall 1049 came from the 2015-2016 Mid Biennium budget. Councilmember Dunn advocated for the funds to be set aside for the remodel of this widely used Community Center. Since 1967 the building has been the home to numerous groups including the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, the Enumclaw Garden Club, and Plateau Quilters.
“The members of Enumclaw Post 1949 of the VFW greatly appreciate the support of the King County Council to our restoration efforts. We have already started repairing a number of critical safety and structural problems to insure the long term viability of the building but have more to go,” said Elbert Reed, Secretary-Treasurer of VFW Post 1049. “The Council’s contribution is quite timely and will be used to assist in mitigating water and drainage problems, preventing further damage, and renovating the smaller general purpose room.”
Approved by County voters in 2014, the King County Parks Levy is estimated to bring in $66 million per year during the six-year span of the levy.
The Conservation Futures Fund is supported by a countywide property tax, which by state law can only be used to purchase open space or resource lands. Counties and cities are usually the primary applicants for these funds, but citizen groups and individual citizens also receive CFT funding through partnerships with local jurisdictions.
Both funds require Citizen Oversight Committees to makes recommendations on funding decisions, including parcels for purchase, through a competitive application process.