Naches park needs funding & wants your help

NACHES, Wash. -- A local community could be without a pool this year. Voters in Naches didn't pass a levy to pay for the Parks and Recreation Department. Now, there could be major changes for Applewood Park.

Kristin St. Martin comes to Applewood Park in Naches almost every day.

"We come to run off all our energy and play on the toys and throw the football," said Kristin.

But, money to upkeep the park is running out. Voters in Naches didn't renew a levy to cover maintenance and operations. That would have meant $100,000 towards the park.

"We did not pass by a very small margin," said Naches Park District Finance Officer Kit Hawver. "We had 59.71%. We needed 60%. So close."

The Naches Park District only has about $25,000 in its reserves. That's not enough to keep the community pool operating all year. It's likely not to open at all. And public bathrooms could also be closed.

"The maintenance that needs to be done such as the tables repaired and cleaned," said Kit. "They won't get done."

Another problem is the grass. It already died off for the winter. But, park officials worry it might stay this way with no one to water or mow without the money. Naches might call on volunteers to do it as a last resort.

Park officials are asking property owners to donate the money they would've paid if the levy had passed. That's 60 dollars a year for every $100,000 your home is worth.

The park would still be open to the public, but would not be maintained as it has been. Kristin worries that could invite vandals.

"That really makes me sad because we work really hard as a community to help keep this place clean and nice and a fun place to bring our kids and we don't want to come here when it's in disrepair," said Kristin.

Naches is proposing another levy for the upcoming ballot. But, that's only to cover next year. It's too late to vote on money for this year.

Applewood Park does not get money from the city or county because it's a private municipal park. The levy will be on the February ballot.