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Snohomish County to contribute $150,000 to Mill Creek's Heron Park upgrades

Snohomish County will contribute up to $150,000 to the City of Mill Creek's Heron Park upgrade project. The city has budgeted $410,000 to make repairs to the park in the Parkside neighborhood including replacing the playground equipment and the old cedar-shake picnic shelter/restroom roof.
Broken Heron Park play structure. Photo credit: Richard Van Winkle.

By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.

At their July 2, 2019, meeting the Mill Creek City Council approved an interlocal agreement with Snohomish County to provide up to $150,000 to the city’s upcoming Heron Park upgrade project. The county provides funds to a number of cities in order to increase recreational opportunities and facility capacities for Snohomish County residents.

The city’s 2019-2020 Capital Improvement Plan includes $410,000 to make repairs to the almost 30-year-old park in the Parkside neighborhood including replacing the playground equipment and the old cedar-shake picnic shelter/restroom roof. As well the city plans to upgrade the existing incandescent lighting to energy efficient LED lighting.

Design is scheduled to be complete at the end of 2019 with construction in 2020.

It’s interesting to note that in 1991 the City of Mill Creek paid Terra Dynamics, Inc. $259,518 to build Heron Park including the playground equipment, tennis court, picnic shelter/restroom structure, and nature trail. Construction began in the summer and was completed by the end of the year.

Community Development and Public Works Director Gina Hortillosa told the city council that although city staff have been able to maintain and repair the playground equipment for almost 30 years, it is no longer feasible.

The city removed Heron Park’s swing set in early 2018 due to multiple safety concerns including rot and insect damage in the wooden structure.

Mill Creek’s Parks and Recreation Board recommended a number of park improvements to the city council in the fall of 2018.

As a result, the city council included funds in the city’s 2019-2020 capital budget to address issues at Heron Park, Cougar Park, and Pine Meadow Park.

The city had planned to replace Heron Park’s cedar shake roof with a long-lasting metal seam roof, but Parkside Homeowners Association President Bill Schatz told Hortillosa in a July 2nd email that this roofing choice doesn’t fit with the aesthetic character of the neighborhood.

Schatz informed Hortillosa that the neighborhood designed and developed by Bill Buchan in the 1990s only allows cedar shake, tile, and aesthetically similar artificial shakes on structures. He pointed out that many of the artificial shake roofing materials have the same durability and cost as metal seam roofs.

Hortillosa told the city council that she would work with the Parkside Homeowners Association on the roofing design.

At the July 2nd meeting City Councilmember Mike Todd said that he would not approve a metal seam roof for the Heron Park picnic shelter/restroom. Mayor Pam Pruitt seemed to agree with Todd.

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