The public is invited to join Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Port Commissioner Tom Albro, Seattle Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, King County Councilmember Larry Phillips, State Representative Gael Tarleton and community representatives tomorrow, (Friday, May 31st) for a celebration of Smith Cove Park at 1:30 p.m.
The announcement for the new park space and water quality improvements came in April, a result of negotiations between the City, County and Port to both expand park space at Smith Cove in response to neighborhood input and to support the County’s investments in controlling combined sewer overflow:
The new park will be more than five acres and is a long-desired waterfront space on Elliott Bay. “This is a great day for parks and neighborhoods in Seattle,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “It took a lot of work over the years, but today we have put together a path forward for supporting more parks in Seattle and for helping support the County’s sewer infrastructure.” “The cooperation between our agencies illustrates perfectly how government can and should work in serving the public interest, and our work together at Smith Cove will create tremendous community and environmental benefits,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. King County led the effort for this agreement because of the need to site a new facility in the Magnolia area. Community members identified this as an opportunity for a new park and King County worked with its partners at the Port and the City to move the idea forward to protect Puget Sound from overflows of stormwater and sewage that occur near Smith Cove Park during heavy rains.
The $5,216,000 acquisition cost will be funded by the 2000 Parks Levy, 2008 Parks Levy, Conservation Futures Funding and the sale of easements to King County for the Magnolia Combined Sewer Overflow project. The deal is still pending legislative action from both City and County councils, and the Port commission. Still, it is a project that has been on the mind of many for a long time coming:
“After years of conversations, the dream of Smith Cove Park will be realized,” said Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “I am grateful that all parties involved — the City of Seattle, King County, and the Port –found a path to ‘yes’. I especially want to thank the Magnolia and Queen Anne community members who persisted in their vision. Together we will replace blackberry vines and chain link fencing with another green gem along our Waterfront. Kudos to all!”