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Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee to hold public hearing on potential Opportunity Fund projects

Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee to hold public hearing on potential Opportunity Fund projects

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee has rescheduled the public hearing to gather public comments on the proposed second round of Opportunity Fund projects for Monday, April 22, 2013. The hearing at Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E, will take place from 6 – 9 p.m.

Parks staff and the Levy Oversight Committee heard more than 40 group project presentations in January 2013. The committee is holding a public hearing to gather input before submitting its recommended projects to the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, Mayor and City Council. These community initiated projects represent interesting ideas from many Seattle neighborhoods.

The Levy Opportunity Fund is a $15 million fund within the $146 million Levy allocated to projects identified by neighborhood and community groups. After consideration and recommendation by the Oversight Committee, funding for these acquisition and/or development projects are approved by ordinance. The City Council approved a first round of Opportunity Fund projects in April 2011, and this hearing is for the second round that will allocate up to $8 million.

Some examples of projects from the first round include the acquisition of new park property at the corner of 19th Ave. and E Madison St., the Bitter Lake Reservoir Park Enhancement project, the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands, and the Lewis Park Reforestation project.

The 16-member volunteer Citizen Oversight Committee advises the Parks Superintendent, the Mayor and the City Council on issues related to Levy fund expenditures. They advise on allocations for upcoming budget years, make recommendations on Opportunity Fund expenditures, and perform other duties. Members serve staggered terms over the life of the levy (2009-2014), are appointed by the Mayor (eight members) and City Council (eight members) and represent the community at large geographically.

For more information on the public hearing or the projects please call Rick Nishi at 206-733-9319 or email him at rick.nishi@seattle.gov. For more information on the Levy Opportunity Fund, please go to http://www.seattle.gov/parks/levy/opportunity.htm.