By Oliver Lazenby
Blaine and Birch Bay residents will vote on a six-year renewal of the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 levy on November’s general election ballot.
The levy rate of 10 cents per $1,000 in assessed value is the same as the current rate, which was passed in 2013 and expires this year. Under the rate, property owners pay $25 per year on a house with a $250,000 assessed value.
The park district uses the money for its general fund, which pays for staffing, operations, maintenance and capital improvements.
In the last four years the district’s achievements include acquiring easements for a planned Birch Bay to Blaine trail, partnering with the city and other groups to build the pavilion on H Street in Blaine, contributing to the playground at Marine Park in Blaine, and rebuilding pickle ball courts at its activity center at Bay Horizon Park in Birch Bay, said director Ted Morris.
“I think we’re as solid as ever and we’re accomplishing and serving a lot of people in the district,” Morris said. “I think every year we operate we’ve served more community members.”
The district has also seen a lot of growth in its Zumba, barre classes, line dancing, and other programs at the activity center, activity coordinator Kristina Pollard said. In the last couple of years, the center has gone from offering just a few classes to more than 15, and those classes usually have about 25 attendees, she said. The district decided to pursue a six-year levy this time, rather than a four-year term, to provide more financial stability for long-term projects.
“We felt it would be better to go for more stability rather than try to get more money,” Morris said. “The amount seems to be comfortable for our operation.”
The levy needs 60 percent approval to pass. The district’s 2013 levy passed with 67.2 percent of the vote. The measure will appear on ballots for all voters within the district, which has similar boundaries to the Blaine school district but does not include Point Roberts.