The Fall City Metropolitan Park District was voted in by area residents on February 3, 2009 to represent local interests for park and recreation services. The park district represents a specific geographic area similar to that of a fire, school, or water district. As of February 2009 there were 3,775 registered voters within the Fall City Park District.
The FC Park District Commissioners have developed the District's vision, mission, and 'big picture' goals for the District. Specific short and long term goals will form the foundation for the district's future for parks as well as form the basis of a fiscal budget and corresponding levy rate. The adopted Comprehensive Plan for 2010 - 2015 has outlined the direction for the Park District.
A review of this current plan is underway that incorporates input received, takes into consideration the issue of levy prorationing, and makes modifications as appropriate. A copy of the draft Comprehensive Plan for 2014 - 2019 is available for review and comment. Public input is very important as priorities and the future direction of the district are refined.
Please share your thoughts on the District's draft comprehensive plan and/or vision, mission, and goals in one of the following ways:
The FC Park District is governed by five elected commissioners that have been meeting monthly since March 2009. In addition to the monthly meetings, four standing committees have been formed to address various issues within the park district.
The commissioners have also had several meetings to coordinate with area stakeholders. Meetings have been held with King County Parks (KC Parks), the Snoqualmie Tribe, Si View Metropolitan Park District, and the Washington State Department of Transportation. Status updates have also been provided at the Fall City Community Association (FCCA) meetings.
The FC Park District has also partnered with the FCCA to be one of the sponsors of the Fall City Day Fun Run. District sponsorship consisted of an in-kind donation of volunteer hours by Board members who worked with other community volunteers to organize this year's event. Day of race volunteers were provided and managed by leaders from Snoqualmie Valley District schools. Race proceeds benefitted local public schools and were distributed based upon a percentage of race and volunteer participants that supported or represented their local school of choice.
During our first meeting with KC Parks in May 2009, it was discussed how KC Parks has ceased its efforts to divest itself of Fall City Community Park (FCCP). On February 13, 2009 the Snoqualmie Tribe withdrew its offer to take ownership of the park. With these developments, representatives of KC Parks expressed their willingness to maintain ownership and management of FCCP for the time being.
At this same meeting, KC Parks and FC Park District expressed their desire to work cooperatively in consideration of a wide range partnership options from the outright transfer of FCCP to simply sharing duties of maintenance and program administration without actually transferring ownership. A partnership approach between KC Parks and FC Park District would allow KC Parks to continue with the day to day maintenance of the FCCP, including the ball fields and equestrian arena. KC Parks was also receptive to working with FC Park District to better address maintenance priorities as well as partner on potential enhanced services.
Board members from the FC Park District, Snoqualmie Tribe, and KC Parks also met in May 2009 to discuss partnering opportunities for the Tribe's awarded grant from the EPA, which has been applied towards river front natural area restoration. This project has been a true success story by the Tribe and has improved the natural habitat and river access at Fall City Park.
More recently, the District has been coordinating with KC Parks to complete specific improvements to Fall City Park. These projects include:
The Fall City Metropolitan Park District has not levied a property tax in years 2012 and 2013 due to an issue known as levy prorationing. As such, the District has conservatively managed the funds it collected in years 2010 and 2011 (no funds were collected in 2009). Annual expenditure budgets have been followed to extend the balance of funds until economic conditions within our community improve to a point in which levy prorationing is not the principal factor that determines the District's ability to levy property taxes.
It is unknown when the economic conditions will change to allow the Fall City Metropolitan Park District to levy a property tax. The levy rates most recently assessed by the District are as follows:
Metropolitan park districts are one of many special-purpose districts that are set up to provide public services such as fire, roads, hospitals, libraries, and flood control. Some districts, like the Fall City Metropolitan Park District, levy their taxes in a relatively small geographic area, while others serve a larger countywide area like the King County Flood Control District. In accordance with state law, the combined rate collected by all special-purpose districts in a county cannot exceed the state-imposed limit of $5.90 per $1,000 assessed value (AV).
The $5.90 ceiling has not been an issue in King County for many years. Until recently, increasing assessed values have generally led to stable or declining tax rates, thereby avoiding any issues with the $5.90 cap. Now, the recession is having a dramatic impact. As property values go down, the rate necessary for some districts to maintain their functions increases. Unfortunately, this is has occurred over the preceding two years and may continue to occur over an unknown period into the future.
However, because the state limits the amount districts can collect, a number of small jurisdictions in King County are bumping up against the $5.90 tax limit as a result of declining property values. Because many other levies take priority over the Fall City Metropolitan Park District, it cannot collect the park district tax if the combined tax-levy rate is exceeded in any of the levy code areas, even if some areas are in conformance with the $5.90 tax limit. If a code area within a district contains even one property over the $5.90 cap, the Park District is prevented from levying a property tax, anywhere in its boundaries.
Metropolitan park districts are subject to reduction or elimination of their levies according to a sequence established in statute (prorationing), if the aggregate tax rate on a piece of property exceeds statutory limits. RCW 84.52.010, 84.52.043, and 84.52.050.
King County - Snoqualmie River Safety: View Web site (Video and information)