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Posted on: July 27, 2017

Significant Impacts to Mill Creek Project Due to Legislature’s Failure to Pass Capital Budget

A major project in Mill Creek is at risk due to the Washington legislature’s failure to pass a capital budget.   

The City depends on the capital budget to fund critical infrastructure projects, such as the field turf replacement and LED lighting upgrade project at the Mill Creek Sports Park.  This project , rated sixth out of 18 projects on the Recreation and Conservation Office Youth Athletic Facilities Grant approved list in 2017. The grant, which is held up by lack of a capital budget, funds $250,000 of a $765,112 project that would replace the field turf, upgrade the lighting system to LED lights and install an ADA-accessible gate by the third-base dugout.

“Delays in this project impact the teams that use this field, which have already had to make arrangements for other facilities during the construction period,” said Brian Davern, recreation and tourism manager. “It is challenging for them to make long-term changes on very short notice. Further, delays impact the design and engineering work that was planned for this year, and could ultimately impact the construction timeline if the capital budget is not resolved quickly.”

The 64,050-square-foot field is slated to receive new turf with embedded baseball, softball, and soccer lines that reduce City maintenance and enhances usability. Opened in 2004, the sports park serves 3,825 youth annually and is home to many soccer, baseball and softball teams. It is rented by youth sports organizations for 2,661 hours over the course of 330 days per year, including use for several regional and state tournaments each year. In addition, the community uses it when not occupied by rental groups.

The new LED lighting is anticipated to last for 20 years, which is a four-fold increase in longevity and is significantly less expensive to operate. The lights will reduce the power consumption for Freedom Field by an estimated 63 percent, according to Snohomish County PUD.

“Another direct impact to the City is that we would lose power consumption savings by further delays,” said Davern. “We urge Washington legislators to pass  a capital budget that includes funding for capital projects important to communities throughout Washington including Recreation Conservation Office projects. 

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