The Pierce County Council cleared the way today for Fort Steilacoom Park to become a true city park by approving a three-year maintenance agreement with Lakewood.
The county will pay the city $50,000 a year to offset Lakewood’s cost to maintain the 340-acre regional park through 2014, when the county will terminate its lease agreement with the state. Lakewood would then negotiate a lease with the state.
County Council member Dick Muri described the park as the “crown jewel” of the Lakewood area.
Muri said it’s the right time to hand over the park to Lakewood.
The City of Lakewood has operated and managed the park since 2006. The county’s lease with the state for the park is scheduled to expire in 2025.
Since 2008, the County Council has sought to cut costs by transferring parks and open spaces to local agencies.
The council voted 6-0 to approve the three-year contract. Council member Stan Flemming was absent.
The County Council also granted Lakewood’s request to eliminate a termination clause in the contract, ensuring the city gets paid for three years.
That change gives a sense of finality to the contract that both Lakewood and the county want, said Deputy County Executive Kevin Phelps.