King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski helps lead the Council’s budget process, secures investments for community sports and recreation access and facility improvements for Shoreline and other North King County cities
StoryKing County’s 2017-18 biennial budget, adopted this week, includes significant investments in sports and recreation facilities in North King County cities, including Shoreline. Metropolitan King County Council Vice-Chair Rod Dembowski, who helped craft the final budget for King County, was able to secure critical sports and recreation funding for the city.
“Our community’s kids and adults need places to play and recreate. Current sports and recreation facilities are not adequate to meet today’s demand,” said Dembowski. “I have heard the concerns and am pleased that King County will be able to partner with Shoreline, as well as other North King County cities and non-profits to provide expanded recreation opportunities for both youth and adults.”
The grants, which will support programs in Shoreline that help both youth and adults become and stay active, include:
• $20,000 for the Dale Turner YMCA to fund afterschool youth programs, including its successful “Hang Time” program,
• $10,000 for Sound Generations/Shoreline Lake Forest Park Senior Center to fund senior fitness programs,
• $25,000 for the City of Shoreline Parks and Recreation Department to fund park improvements,
• $20,000 for the Northwest School for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing to fund a new multiuse sports court.
”On behalf of the City of Shoreline, I extend my appreciation to Councilmember Dembowski for his efforts to secure these funds for our community,” said Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts. They will make a positive difference and help ensure that shoreline continues to be a great place to live, work, and play.”
The funds secured by Dembowski originate from King County’s Sports Facilities Grant Program which is funded by a one percent tax on rental cars. Since 1993, King County has allocated 25 percent of the car rental tax collected to fund the Youth Sports Facilities Grants Program, with the remaining 75 percent of the tax used to service the debt on the former Kingdome. This year, due to the retirement of the Kingdome bonds, all of the rental car tax collected will be allocated to youth or amateur sports activities or facilities.
“The Dale Turner YMCA Hang Time Program offers our Kellogg and Einstein middle school students a welcoming and safe environment to get active, complete homework, and socialize with peers,” said Pearl Noreen, Dale Turner YMCA Board Chair. “The generous contribution secured by Councilmember Rod Dembowski will make an enormous difference to support the program and enrich the lives of teens in our community.”
The County will bond a small portion of this expanded revenue stream to jump start the expanded program. Competitive grants will be available in future years for similar programs and projects. The expanded program includes new ongoing scholarship support for youth who are not otherwise able to afford fees and other costs associated with organized sports programs.
”We are thrilled about this $20,000 grant,” said Lynessa Cronn, Head of the Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children. “It will help ensure that our deaf and hard of hearing students, along with our Saturday Playgroup participants from the broader Puget Sound community, can have specially designed recreational opportunities. We also appreciate Councilmember Dembowski's work to ensure that the county's new Youth Sports and Recreation grant program prioritizes children with unique needs.”
Additional funds secured by Dembowski for other North King County cities include:
• $611,000 for Saint Edward State Park to upgrade ballfields in partnership with the City of Kenmore,
• $325,000 for the Northshore Parks and Recreation Service Area to start a new program to help fund future youth recreation facilities in North King County,
• $25,000 for the City of Lake Forest Park to fund park improvements,
• $20,000 for the Northshore YMCA to fund afterschool youth programs, including its successful “Hang Time” program,
• $10,000 for the Northshore Senior Center to fund senior fitness program.