Ballinger Park to Receive Million Dollar Upgrade
Story and photos taken from the October, 2018 edition of the City Happenings.
The Mountlake Terrace City Council approved an agreement with the State of Washington’s Recreation Conservation Office (RCO) on August 23 for improvements at Ballinger Park.
This round of improvements will be the first phase of implementing the Ballinger Park Master Plan adopted in 2015. “These upgrades have been a long time coming,” stated Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Betz. “Most of the improvements will replace existing infrastructure that is 40 years old.”
The grant total from the Aquatic Land Enhancement Account (ALEA) is $500,000 and was awarded by the state in February. The city is matching the grant with park impact fees, cash, a grant from Snohomish County, and in-kind services for a total project amount of $1,123,000. New amenities include a new ADA restroom, a reconstructed boat launch, a new floating boat dock in place of the existing fishing pier, and a new replacement fishing pier that will be constructed just north of the swimming beach area. In addition, a new asphalt ADA walking path will be constructed on the east side of the park running north to south from the Senior Center to the Boat Launch parking area.
In August, city staff went back down to the RCO for another grant application. This new project application would be match funding for the Hazel Miller Foundation grant received in May to construct a new Universally Accessible Playground on the east side of Ballinger Park. This project total is $500,000.
The city is also working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for aquatic ecosystem restoration of Hall Creek through Ballinger Park. The federal agency has recently received funding to conduct a feasibility study to realign Hall Creek to a more natural “meandering” state and restore the area around the creek. This study will take approximately one year, then if funding allows and goals align, construction would occur in the next couple of years.
“The Ballinger Park Master Plan really seems to be paying off with multiple projects in the works,” added Betz. “The vision created by residents and the City Council is getting closer to a reality and we couldn’t be any happier with where we are three years later.”