Pierce County Councilman Terry Lee, R-Gig Harbor, dropped by Friday to say how glad he is that I’m leaving the TNT.
He really didn’t say that. But amid an exchange of good wishes, I extracted quite a bit of news:
Lee is optimistic that the county’s proposed purchase of the Tacoma Narrows Airport will soon be greenlighted by the council. The county is currently conducting due diligence on the deal, as is the new Peninsula Metropolitan Park District.
The county would put up $3 million, the park district $2 million to buy 644 acres that includes the City of Tacoma-owned airport, the Madrona Links golf course to the north, and all the property in between. Lee hopes the county can develop passive recreation use, such as trails and open space, in the buffer zone around the airport. The park district would buy and operate the golf course; unlike many others, Madrona Links is making money and could make more, Lee said.
A key detail: The county wouldn’t use general fund money for the purchase. The county’s share would come from the sale of surplus county property near Elk Plain. Using general fund money would be a deal-killer, Lee said
Lee also noted that groundbreaking for PenMet’s new 97-acre Sehmel Homestead Park is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday. That’s a big deal for Peninsula folks, who approved a $6 million bond issue in 2003 to help pay for it.
Lee also says a county project extending the popular Cushman Trail along Highway 16 to Borgen Boulevard is going to bid, with construction to start this summer. Lee says the plan is to widen and improve the road should all the way to the new park.
(Thanks to reader John Earl for correcting the wayward D that initially and wrongly denoted Terry Lee’s party affiliation.)