OLYMPIA – May 10, 2016 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will have its regular meeting in Moses Lake next week.
The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 19, at the Moses Lake Best Western, 3000 W. Marina Drive, Moses Lake. (Directions: http://j.mp/1Nslkui) Time for public comment is provided at all regular meetings. The Commission meets seven times a year at various locations around the state. A full agenda item, including information about public comment, is available at http://parks.state.wa.us/154/Commission-Meetings-Agendas.
The Commission will consider adopting a 2015 update to the agency’s 2014 to 2019 Strategic Plan and provide direction to help staff prepare a 2017-19 Operating Budget proposal. The focus of preparations so far has been to continue State Parks’ momentum in rebuilding the park system after the significant reductions made during the Great Recession.
The Commission also will hear an update on recreational business activities in parks. In recent months, State Parks identified possible recreation business activity (RBA) sites in parks. RBA sites are areas with potential for private investors to help develop visitor amenities, at a considerably reduced cost to the state, while creating an income stream to help support park system operations.
Through a public process, staff had selected pilot candidates at two parks, Fort Flagler State Park on Marrowstone Island, and Millersylvania State Park, south of Olympia. At Fort Flagler, private investment could be made in existing buildings or to replace buildings no longer on site to provide new visitor amenities. At Millersylvania, a former gravel pit acquired in 2008 could be developed into cabins or other visitor lodgings.
Staff has recommend that the Commission set aside action on the item for the time-being, to allow additional time to review public comment. Time is also needed to set thresholds for Commission approval and to distinguish between the new RBA exploration and the visitor services traditionally provided through concession agreements.
In other business, the Commission will consider proposed revisions to the section of Washington Administrative Code that defines illegal camping on ocean beaches.
The Commission also will consider an updated position description for the State Parks director, as part of a state biennial position review by the State Human Resources Office.
Also on the agenda is a financial report update and proposed dates and locations for 2017 Commission meetings.
Wednesday work session: A Commission work session is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 18, at Moses Lake Best Western, 3000 W. Marina Drive, Moses Lake. Work sessions are open to the public, however, no public testimony is heard. The Commission takes no formal action at work sessions.
Topics on the work session agenda include a discussion with Chelan Public Utilities District (PUD) on its cooperative relationship with State Parks operating PUD parks. Also to be discussed are updates on the agency operating budget; potential candidates for a capital budget list; a human resources update; an update on Saint Edward Seminary; statewide acquisition and development outreach; a report on planning efforts at Iron Horse State Park and John Wayne Pioneer Trail; agency fencing and agricultural policy; Commission law enforcement policy; and non-recreational use of state parks.
Commission tour: Commission members will tour Steamboat Rock and Sun Lakes-Dry Falls state parks on Tuesday, May 17, the day prior to the work session and regular meeting. The tour will depart from the Moses Lake Best Western at 11:30 a.m., and tour participants will meet at the park office at Steamboat Rock State Park at 1 p.m. to begin the tour.
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
Follow Washington State Parks:
Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.
Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388