McCormick Village also needs a revenue stream

More than one attendee at Monday night’s Port Orchard Planning Commission meeting raised the operative question with respect to McCormick Village: Will the city’s newest park, still in its planning stages, have a revenue stream with which to pay for its upkeep?

As was discovered long ago when the voters approved the purchase of what we now call South Kitsap Regional Park, good intentions don’t pay the bills.

In the latter case, the community approved a bond measure in the 1980s to purchase the 200-acre tract at the intersection of Jackson and Lund avenues in order to prevent it being from turned into a housing development.

Unfortunately, the voters neglected to devise a mechanism by which the board responsible for the park could maintain it. Consequently, the facility fell into disrepair and was taken over by Kitsap County in 2007.

Grandiose plans for redeveloping South Kitsap Regional Park were unveiled in 2008, but that was before the economy went south, and very little has been accomplished there since.

The city of Port Orchard obviously wants to avoid the same scenario with McCormick Village — a 63.5-acre site designated by McCormick Woods’ developer as a public park.

In addition to the property, the city is also taking possession of more than $600,000 — of which $50,000 is to be used to hire a design consultant.

According to city Planning Director James Weaver, an important element in the design will be facilities such as ballfields for which rent can be charged, with the revenues used to help pay the park’s overhead costs.

It goes without saying the better the facilities, the more the city can charge to use them, so in that respect we agree with the attendee on Monday night who admonished the Planning Commission to develop something “world-class.”

As the old saying goes, let’s do this right or not at all.

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