Hoodland parks district committee seeks board members, signatures
With in-person everything limited over the past year-plus, the effort to get a proposal for a Hoodland Parks District out to voters was postponed multiple times.
Now, advocates for the effort have one more chance to get the signatures needed to put their measure on the May 2022. Signatures must be obtained in person and not virtually.
This effort was initiated after Clackamas County made a deal with the Hoodland Women's Club, the initial trustee of the project. The club had until November 2020, according to a memorandum of understanding, to find a use for the site of the old Dorman Center — or else the county would sell the property.
The proposed use is to revive the old community hub as a park and also establish a parks district to help pay for maintenance and creation of future public park lands. The land designated for the park consists of three parcels, all on Salmon River Road. That includes the former Dorman Center at 3.97 acres, 5 acres on the other side of the Oregon Department of Transportation road gravel storage, and an 11-acre strip beyond Birdie Lane.
The district would exist within the boundaries of the Hoodland Fire District, spreading from Government Camp to Summertime Road at Alder Creek.
The estimated cost to start up the district is about $480,000, or a tax rate of 49 cents per $1,000 of assessed value of property within the district. People within the park district would not have to pay to use its facilities.
As an official district, the Hoodland Parks District would have access to grant funding to create and maintain opportunities for family and community recreation and entertainment.
This year, the county informed the organizers of the parks district effort that this would be the last memorandum given before the county sells the Dorman center property. This sets a clock for organizers to gather 1,000 signatures from people who were registered and voted in the 2018 gubernatorial election by Nov. 15.
"This will be it for a chance to form a park district that the community would have a say on," said Regina Lythgoe, founding steering committee member. "If the county sold the land it would impact the community garden."
This effort is now being led by a parks district-specific committee and no longer under the umbrella of the Hoodland Women's Club, though club members remain on the committee.
The new steering committee is in need of members, so interested Mount Hood residents are encouraged to join. Members should reside within the proposed district boundaries. Volunteers to gather signatures also are needed and appreciated.
So far, the group has about 30 people volunteering their time to gather signatures. Once the petition is approved, the volunteers will help garner support from voters for the ballot measure.
"I'm looking forward to just having the concept become a reality," Lythgoe said. "I always knew this community could have a place to call our own and not just another tourist place. It would be so much better to have that land turned into something for the community than another big box store."
For more information about the effort, visit hoodlandparkdistrict.us.
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