Over a dozen members of the Frederickson-Clover Creek Community Council attended last week’s in-district Pierce County Council meeting held at the recently constructed Pierce County Skills Center on Canyon Rd.
Led by their president, Amy Pivetta-Hoffman, the F-CCCC members came to discuss a variety of community issues, such as increased park and recreation opportunities, support of business “of all sizes, not just the large ones,” and recognition of their unique character and needs – such as, how do 7,000 residents live harmoniously on 12 square miles with industrial giants like Boeing, which operates a massive wing-assembly plant in “Freddy Town,” as members playfully called their home.
Pivetta-Hoffman delivered a compelling and descriptive overview of her community. She told the Council that the F-CCCC was the “oldest NGO (non-governmental organization) in the area,” having formed in 1977. In addition, the F-CCCC is 100% volunteer-run, and has been the foundation for other community organizations, such as the Frederickson-Clover Creek Land Use Advisory Commission, which decides on building permits at variance to their Community Development Plan.
Ms. Pivetta-Hoffman stated that their community council is a key voice for citizens as the area transitions from a rural one to an “economic powerhouse.”
“Some of us live on dirt roads, others live in gated communities,” she told the PCC.
Pivetta-Hoffman identified three main goals of the F-CCCC; specifically: community education, advocacy of businesses and residents, and “community building,” and she addressed this latter aspect at length.
She described how the F-CCCC is seeking to build a greater Frederickson identity by hosting free outdoor movie nights for families in the summer.
“Hundreds of residents come out regularly, and it’s a great time,” she told the County Council.
The F-CCCC also sponsors a “Fun Run” that is part of the very popular “Freddy Fest,” which includes a “Corporate Chili Challenge.” Last October, this festival attracted nearly 30 culinary contestants, and ironically, the competition was won by the staff of the Pierce County Auditor’s Office. This announcement prompted one quip to say that the fest should be renamed “Corporate-Politico Chili Challenge.”
However, the foremost issue the F-CCCC presented to the County Council was the lack of development in a 64-acre parcel of land on Military Rd. donated by John and Joan Cross to the County for a park and recreation center. Several F-CCCC members – and some in obviously advancing age – came to the podium and spoke in earnest terms.
“Frederickson and Clover Creek need this park,” said John Austin. “There are no other recreational facilities in the area.”
Dick Thurston, an F-CCCC board member, also addressed the County Council on the park issue. Speaking in cordial terms but with but a succinct message, he said, “We know that money is tight, and there are priorities. But, every year, as we see the limited funding go elsewhere, we get told that ‘your turn will come.’ Well, I hope it does before the turn of the next century.”
In an extended exchange between the F-CCCC’s speakers and County Councilmembers, in particular District 3’s Roger Bush, they discussed the nitty-gritty of park development.
Bush told the residents that the PCC has proposed budgeting preliminary funding for surveys and developmental planning, and the F-CCCC acknowledged that a master plan for the “Cross” Park has been developed.
In addition, the F-CCC told the Councilmembers that a separate community group, Friends of Cross Park, has been formed to assist Pierce County Parks and Recreation in gathering funds.
Further, Joan Cross asked the PCC specifically, “Where is Metro Parks in all of this?” The county-wide Metro Park District, and its independent taxing authority, was formed last year by the Pierce County Council to help ease funding pressure on the County’s beleaguered Parks and Recreation Department.
Mr. Bush indicated that the Metro Park concept is being reviewed by the council’s staff, but he offered no specific details on when it will be functioning. However, in later comments with the Director of the County’s Parks and Recreation Department, Kathy Kravit-Smith, it was revealed that a sizeable amount of funding has been scrapped together to repair the nearby Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway.
Sprinker Center, which houses the County’s only public ice skating rink along with other community facilities, has a badly leaking roof and the ice-making system requires a total re-build.
Kravit-Smith told the audience that the recreation center will close in May for about eight months to undergo these needed repairs, and will re-open in December 2011.
In the meantime, Kravit-Smith assured the PCC and the audience that the outdoor facilities at Sprinker, along with the indoor tennis courts, will continue to be open during the construction.
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