Proposed park.Women’s Club pitches plan for park district posted on 08/31/2019
Representatives from the Hoodland Women’s Club (HWC) kicked
off a two-month community polling process at the Tuesday, Aug. 6 Mt. Hood Area
Chamber of Commerce meeting as part of the grass roots initiative to form a new
Hoodland Community Park District for the funding of a new park in Welches.
Regina Lythgoe, HWC committee co-chair for Hoodland Park
District, noted the park district would be funded with property tax dollars
from residents in the district as well as grants. She stated the current
estimated tax rate would be between $0.49 and $0.54 per $1,000 of assessed
property value, with an estimated annual assessment of $150-165 on a $300,000
home. The tax base would create an estimated annual budget between $480,000 and
“It could be the jewel of the community,” Lythgoe said. “It
will be built for the safety of children and community to go outside and
This presentation was the first of several the HWC is
holding around the mountain through September to discuss potential plans for
the park and to take a poll of public sentiment regarding the proposed tax
“Formation of the park district requires an initial
expenditure of considerable time and money,” the HWC explained in information
accompanying the poll. “The HWC is
willing to take on this task, however, we want to be certain this is deemed to
be a worthy cause and one that will be supported by local residents.”
The potential park tax district will use the same district
lines as the Oregon Trail School District 46.
The park was first proposed when Clackamas County offered to
gift the deeds to three parcels of property on Salmon River Road in Welches for
the formation of a community park. The
parcels include the former site of the Dorman Center across from Welches
Elementary School and the current community garden space. The county can only
deed land to a government or a public entity such as a park district.
The HWC has secured a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from
the county for a deed transfer for the three parcels upon the establishment of
a funded park district with a governing board in the November 2020 elections.
If the district is not established the county will sell the property to the
The HWC consulted with the Mackenzie Group, a regional
design firm that created a park design proposal to conduct a feasibility study
and determine costs for initial development and long-term maintenance of a park
in the community.
Some features of the proposed park include a pavilion,
amphitheater, skate park, dog park, play area, expanded community gardens, and
walking path with an accessible inner loop. The park would also require
restrooms, lighting, parking with shuttle drop-off, benches, kiosks and bike
The Mackenzie Group’s proposal noted, “Using a comparative
analysis, the park design could cost between $3 million and $5 million in
today’s construction market.” The proposal cited excavation, grading and the
skate park being major cost leaders.
“We’ll be frugal with
the tax money,” Lythgoe said. She added
the park will be managed by a board of locally elected members and will create
jobs in the community.
If enough of the community shows favorable interest in the
park a petition will be circulated to get the park district, the tax base for
the district and nominated board members on the ballot for November 2020.
Lythgoe said the petition will need support from 750 voters
in the proposed district and the HWC will need to submit the petitions to the
county clerk’s office by March 2020 to get it on the ballot.
The HWC will be presenting the park proposal at the
Rhododendron CPO meeting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in the public
meeting room of the Hoodland Fire Station, 69634 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches.
For more information regarding the Hoodland Community Park
District visit www.2020parkvision.org. The HWC welcomes courteous public input
both positive and negative by email at email@example.com,
www.hoodlandwomensclub.org or www.2020parkvision.org.
By Benjamin Simpson/MT