County and Burien say they’ve worked out the Puget Sound Park controversy

This just in from County Executive Dow Constantine‘s office:

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Burien Mayor Joan McGilton today announced an agreement for King County to transfer ownership of Puget Sound Park to the city of Burien.

“We were able to resolve this in a way that sets the right tone for this new era in King County government,” said Mayor McGilton. “I thank the County Executive for his leadership to reach a fair agreement on the parks transfer.”

“A deal’s a deal, and it was the city’s understanding of the annexation process that it would receive six parks from the County, including Puget Sound Park,” said Executive Constantine. “After detailed discussions, I agree that transfer of the park to the city is the right thing to do and should occur as part of that larger annexation.”

Voters in the southern portion of the North Highline Potential Annexation Area (PAA) approved their annexation by the city of Burien in August 2009. City Council action to implement the annexation was held up after the previous County administration entered into negotiations to sell part of Puget Sound Park to a third party.

Before taking office in November, then-Councilmember Constantine asked the previous Executive to slow down the proposed sale, in order to have more time to talk with the city about the proposal. Deputy County Executive Fred Jarrett appeared before the City Council on December 7 to hear the city’s position.

The proposed interlocal agreement must be approved by both the Burien City Council and the Metropolitan King County Council.

The City Council is expected to set the effective date for the annexation of the North Highline PAA at its next meeting on January 11.

More as we get it. ADDED 6:34 PM: We asked Frank Abe in the County Executive’s office what this means to the previous proposal for part of the park site. His reply: “We’ve let the King County Library System know of the new Executive’s agreement to transfer the park to the city. The city could pursue that option if it chooses to do so, within the restrictions of state law that governs the transfer of parks such as this.”

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