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Village Green park district campaign gathers steam

KINGSTON — With one month left to gather some 900 signatures, supporters of a proposed Kingston park district are ramping up their campaign.

Volunteers are gathering signatures in support of a ballot measure to create a taxing district to pay for the operation costs of a planned community center building at Village Green. The measure would be placed on the Aug. 17 primary election ballot.

The group, led by the Village Green Foundation, has gathered 333 signatures since launching their campaign in early December. The group plans to gather 1,200 to 1,300 names by mid-February.

“It started out pretty slowly, but it’s picking up speed,” foundation Executive Director Bobbie Moore said.

Petitions are available in several Kingston businesses, including American Marine Bank, Cup and Muffin, Cuppa Bella, Henerey’s Hardware, Sacks, Coffee Exchange, Kingston Fitness and the chamber of commerce. Beginning this weekend, signature gatherers will be taking petitions door-to-door.

The foundation wants to form the park district rather than rely on scarce funding from the county.

Taxes levied in the proposed district would pay for upkeep and programs at the planned community center on West Kingston Road. Yearly operations are estimated at $200,000.

The district would levy up to $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed home value across the greater Kingston area. The district would not include the communities of Eglon, Little Boston and Indianola.

Miles Yanick and Co. of Bainbridge Island is working on designs for the 25,000 square-foot community center this month. The single-story building would house several multipurpose and meeting rooms, a senior center and Boys and Girls Club, offices and 8,000 square feet for a Kitsap Regional Library branch.

Miles Yanick said the building will feature Northwest-style architecture and “natural materials.”

The Village Green Foundation board will review initial building designs at a Friday meeting.

The Foundation is still seeking funds to build the center and will be applying for state and federal appropriations. Moore said a staff person from U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks’ office was expected to attend the Friday presentation. Dicks sits on the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations.

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