Next Tuesday, June 6, the Happy Valley City Council will vote on whether to withdraw from the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD), which it has been part of since 2006.
NCPRD, overseen by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, is a service district that provides exceptional parks and recreation programs and facilities, serving more than 122,000 residents in Happy Valley, Milwaukie and a large unincorporated area.
We respect Happy Valley's desire to offer parks-and-recreation services directly to its own residents. If the city decides to leave the district, NCPRD will work to make the separation as smooth as possible.
I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight the role NCPRD has played in Happy Valley:
n Happy Valley joined NCPRD through an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). The top priority as listed in the IGA, was: "A community park in the Rock Creek area of 20 to 30 acres to include athletic fields adjacent to a school site if possible."
n NCPRD developed Hood View Park within three years of the city joining the district. With its impressive sports fields, walking trail, and picnic facilities, it is the largest project in the district's history.
n Due to the downturn in the housing market after Hood View Park was built, system development charges (SDCs) from Happy Valley to the district were low for several years. SDCs are one-time fees — assessed on developers — to support infrastructure.
n SDCs that are collected from new development within the city of Happy Valley are spent within the zone that the city exists within. That's how the district works — collected fees are spent within zones, not city limits. Some parks developed or improved in this zone include Pioneer, Pfeifer and Trillium Creek. And of course, Happy Valley residents enjoy the trails and other improvements at Mt. Talbert Nature Park, which NCPRD worked on with Metro.
n NCPRD currently has almost $10 million of these zone SDCs collected from Happy Valley developers on reserve for new projects. There are several Happy Valley projects on the drawing board, one scheduled to break ground this summer.
n NCPRD has partnered with the North Clackamas School District to exchange Hood View Park for two school district properties and several million dollars' worth of bond funds. This partnership was developed in order to free up much-needed capital funds and allow investments to be made in additional parks and recreation facilities.
n Further, this partnership was designed to continue to allow NCPRD to program use of this park after hours. Citizens of Happy Valley, who are by far the majority users of Hood View Park, will continue to be able to enjoy the outdoor recreation and organized sports opportunities this outstanding facility offers.
For more information, I encourage district residents to visit ncprd.com/happyvalley.
I'd like to assure the 102,000 residents remaining in the district should the city withdraw, we will continue to offer the same high-quality services and top-notch facilities you have enjoyed for years.
Don Krupp is the Clackamas County administrator.