How Should We Spend $42 Million?

Good Afternoon to WRPA Executive Board, Exec Director, LEG Chair & Leg Committee, and LEG Distribution List:

I wanted to give you all a brief rundown of – and a chance to provide input on – the work that the state Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO) is doing in evaluating how to best deploy a one-time, $42 million sum of funds that is left over from a Stadium and Exhibition Center Account maintained by the state and used to pay off the bonds on the Seahawks Stadium approved by statewide voters many years ago.  By law, the excess revenues no longer needed for the stadium go into a Community Outdoor Athletic Facility fund per RCW 43.99N.060. The fund bears some similarities to the Youth Athletic Facilities (YAF) account we benefit from today.

As it looks at how to best spend $42 million, the RCO wants to ensure that it designs a program that looks somewhat different than the traditional YAF so as not to undermine the YAF program that’s working well now.  Additionally, RCO sees this as an opportunity to achieve goals related to improving equity.

The RCO also wants to bring in considerable stakeholder feedback and in fact has established a 20-member Advisory Group – the Community Outdoor Athletic Fund Advisory Committee (COAFF) – to do so. At the bottom of this e-mail I’ve re-cut and pasted the Members of the Advisory Group – they include Paul Simmons of Olympia, Ken Wilkinson of Tacoma, and Michael Shiosaki of the Recreation & Conservation Funding Board (and City of Bellevue), all three of whom are copied on this e-mail.

The “COAFF” had its first two-hour meeting on Monday afternoon and will meet again in June, I believe. I have attached the two (1,2) main PowerPoints they were provided – one which Adam Cole of RCO staff took them through, and one looking at access, equity, and physical activities that Dr. Julie McCleery of the University of Washington Center for Leadership in Athletics took them through.

I have also attached for you the comments that WRPA provided to the RCO back in July 2021, when the Agency was first trying to determine how to proceed on the use of and deployment of the $42 million. You can see our thoughts about utilizing $$ for M&O, for non-traditional sports, toward equity, phasing of funding, etc.

At the “COAFF’s” first meeting, there was a lot of discussion about equity and how to ensure all communities could be appropriately included in the use of the $42 million – most of which RCO envisions putting out in 2023 and likely in phases. RCO also asked Advisory Committee Members about the idea of doing a small amount of initial planning grants in 2022, particularly to help smaller and more rural and under-served areas get prepared to apply for more meaningful funding in 2023.RCO is asking for feedback on this and the wisdom of doing so – much of the feedback at Monday’s meeting was positive, but I think hearing from local parks folks would be good. I would invite you to share your thoughts with Paul Simmons, Ken Wilkinson, Michael Shiosaki, and myself – e-mails here:
[email protected];
[email protected];
[email protected];
[email protected]

In the meantime, please take a look through the two (1,2PPTs I’ve shared with you for useful background – and you can peruse the WRPA’s Summer 2021 input and perspectives as well.

Thanks and let me know if any questions!
Doug Levy, Owner
Outcomes By Levy, LLC (425)922-3999 – work/cell
[email protected] (Work E-mail)
[email protected]; [email protected] (Personal E-Mails)


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