Letter to the Editor: Support Ballinger Park improvements with a letter

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Ballinger Park scenic, Apr. 8 025.jpg
Two kids jump into Lake Ballinger on a warm spring day. (Photo by Doug Petrowski, taken April 8)

Dear Editor:

As many Mountlake Terrace residents know, the City went through a master planning process last year to prepare a plan for the future of Ballinger park. The purpose of the Ballinger Park Master Plan is to create a clear and concise set of goals, policies and objectives that will provide direction to the city for future development, redevelopment and enhancement opportunities of the park.

Since then the City has been pursuing grant funding opportunities to pay for some of the improvements that are planned to the park such as trails, new bathrooms, a fishing pier, a boat dock, new play equipment and improvements to the creek ecosystem.

Grants for these types of projects are typically competitive, which means that Mountlake Terrace would be competing for limited funds against other agencies. An important part of the scoring of the grant applications is being able to show community support for the project. The city has been busy trying to obtain letters of support from various elected officials and community groups. But just as important as letters of support from community groups and elected officials are individual letters of support from park users.

I’m here asking you to consider writing a letter of support to fund the improvements in the Ballinger Park Master Plan. Your letter of support will increase our chances of receiving funding to improve the park. The best format would be for you to type a letter, print it, sign it, scan and email it to Jeff Betz at the City of Mountlake Terrace at jbetz@ci.mlt.wa.us . If you’re willing to do so, please send the letter by Friday, April 22.

Individualized letters are always better but below are a couple of paragraphs you can use. Even a few sentences explaining why you support the plan would be adequate. Read some of MLTnews coverage of the master plan process here.

It is our understanding that the City Mountlake Terrace is applying for grant funding for development of Ballinger Park, which is a 42-acre newly designated park in the southwest corner of Mountlake Terrace (southwest Snohomish County) that was converted from a 9-hole publicly owned golf course. The city recently engaged the community to complete a master plan that envisions a regional park easily accessible by transit, with active and passive components. 

 The funding request would include park projects such as new ADA compliant restrooms with showers to replace existing restrooms located in the boat launch area. In addition the city is constructing a new fishing pier to separate swimmers, fisherman and boaters. The current boat ramp and dock would be demolished and reconstructed allowing kayakers and other non-motorized boats to launch and cleat safely. Environmental cleanup work would also be undertaken to remove tire riprap retaining walls in the water in addition to strategic native plantings. Also, an internal asphalt trail would be constructed to connect the north and south areas of the park and amenities which will also have ADA access via the Lakeview Trail for bikers, walkers and skaters.

–Dustin DeKoekkoek, Mountlake Terrace

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