Frequently Asked Questions
How big is the new community center?
23,000 square feet
What is included?
New Kingston Branch of Kitsap Regional Library; Boys & Girls Club; space for senior programs; a commercial kitchen; meeting rooms; computer lab and multipurpose room with sport court.
Is there space to rent?
Yes - the 4 community rooms, kitchen, computer lab and multipurpose room are available for community rental. Since the computer lab and multipurpose room will used by the Boys & Girls Club for programing, these spaces will only be available during non-Club hours.
How is the Metropolitan Park District involved?
The MPD owns the land and will be responsible for overseeing building operations, including programs, and maintenance of both the building and the grounds in perpetuity.
What is the Village Green Metropolitan Park District?
An MPD is a "junior taxing district" funded by property tax.
According to state law as amended in 2002 an MPD can now be formed even by unincorporated areas like Kingston.
Why was the MPD formed in Kingston?
1) The Kitsap County Parks department budget outlook didn’t allow for either building or maintenance of community centers, elsewhere or in Kingston. County Parks was spending less and less in Kingston (no funds were provided for a portable toilet or maintenance at Arness Park starting in 2009).
2) By contrast, the formation of the MPD allowed local control over the funding for the replacement library and community center.
3) We have no other taxing authority, as an unincorporated area. The Port is another junior taxing district but Washington law doesn’t permit funding of a community center by the Port.
4) Funders desired and in some cases required a source of ongoing maintenance and operations money. We had identified funding sources for the building but operating money was and remains very hard to find.
5) Without an MPD, rents and building-use fees would be prohibitively high. This facility is accessible for all who seek to use its services and amenities.
These arguments add up to this simple truth: We could not operate the facility the community so clearly needs without an MPD.
Who's in the MPD?
The Board of the Village Green Foundation looked hard at who uses the present facility. People using the community center, library, and senior center live as far away as Hansville, Indianola, and Eglon. However, those communities have multi-use facilities close at hand, and Hansville and Eglon have easy access to the Little Boston library.
So our Metropolitan Park District is limited to most of the Kingston zip code except for Eglon, plus Miller Bay Estates, which actually has a Poulsbo zip code. Our thinking about Miller Bay estates was guided by the expanded service reach of the replacement facility. An important part of the new building's features is the multi-purpose portion that serves as a permanent home for our Boys & Girls Club, which is usable by all community members during non-Boys & Girls Club hours.
Miller Bay Estates kids go to Kingston schools. That's important in view of the prominence of our Boys & Girls club as a feature of the new facility, and the Kingston bus routes figure in kids being transported to the Boys & Girls Club both before and after school.
What is the cost of the MPD?
The MPD ballot measure passed in August 2010. The MPD was authorized to levy up to 75 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. But that's not what we wanted: We wanted an MPD to be a source of revenue to make the building fees and rentals affordable, and by our calculation that would take 15 to 20 cents per thousand. For the average home value in North Kitsap, that still only amounts to $50 per year.
How can the public be sure that the cost won’t be more?
The individual board members of both the Village Green Foundation and the Metropolitan Park District have a lot of collective experience budgeting and managing resources. You have both direct and indirect roles in keeping the cost low. The MPD is governed by five commissioners, who have to live within the District boundaries. Those five people are your indirect influence: You only elect commissioners who will exercise responsible cost management and will commit to keeping the District budget reasonable. That's the best way of guaranteeing that the MPD doesn't tax and spend more than intended. You could have direct influence over that if you were elected to be a Commissioner yourself!