The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Tracy Thompson
the Times 

Waitsburg Parks and Recreation board members encourage a "Yes" levy vote

Commissioners hold meet and greet to Saturday in advance of November 5th election


October 24, 2019

WAITSBURG—In operation for just one year, the Waitsburg Parks and Recreation District is organized and energized to continue with their goal of actively involving citizens with their community. In support of the upcoming levy to fund the organization, all board members will be available at a meet and greet event this Sunday, October 27th at 11:00 a.m. at Words-N-Print (Ju’s Traveling Pages bookstore), located at 101 Main street.

The levy to fund the district is on the ballot for Waitsburg residents on Tuesday, November 5th and would apply a .01 cents tax per $1,000 of assessed property value, hoping to achieve a starting budget of approximately $15,000. Carpenter and her board members opted to file for a one-year levy, in order to encourage citizens to “give us a chance to succeed, without feeling like they are locked in” to the typical six-year bond.

“The last Parks and Recreation Board for our town ended their service in 1993, but purposely left enough funds in the account to cover the costs of participating in a future levy ballot,” said Board chair Danielle Carpenter.

Carpenter, along with Board members Sandra Morrison, Justin Stegall, Wyatt Withers and Dane Kiefel have accomplished quite a bit in just a year’s time. They offered a movie night in Preston Park, helped with the Pioneer Fall Festival and successfully applied for and received a grant for $800 from the Blue Mountain Community Foundation.

“With the grant funds we have officially purchased three dog waste dispensers along with safety fencing to create temporary dog parks on the weekends in Rankin Park,” said Carpenter. Through their initial discovery process, the Board learned that community members really wanted a leash-free dog opportunity so that was the project they tackled first.

With the support of levy funds, Carpenter hopes that the Board could hire a part-time employee, who would handle paperwork, look into grant opportunities, help set up events and be a key contact person to the community. They have explored the option of creating office space in City Hall, or someplace else centrally located.

Other goals include providing funds towards lifeguard training and certification costs and increasing lifeguard pay.

“Waitsburg has a lot of potential, it really does – we have a beautiful park and it would be awesome to see it utilized more,” Carpenter enthused.

Unfortunately for Waitsburg, Carpenter and her husband, Waitsburg local Nick Carpenter are pulling up stakes and moving north to Spokane, in the hopes that Ms. Carpenter can secure a job with the Spokane Police Department crime lab.

Board member Dane Kiefel will step into the Director position and said that he would “ like to really emphasize community events that encompass anybody, any age group and provide people with a chance to have fun and enjoy our community. By participating in ongoing events we hope to be responsive and open to community suggestions.”


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