Council Sept. 19 set to consider Ballinger Park agreement with Mountlake Terrace

A map of Ballinger Park improvements, looking north. Edmonds city limits are located on the west side of the Interurban Trail.

Among the items on the Edmonds City Council agenda for its Tuesday, Sept. 19 business meeting is a proposed interlocal agreement between the cities of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace supporting improvements at Ballinger Park, which is bordered by both Mountlake Terrace and Edmonds.

The council is also scheduled to hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday to receive a presentation on the city’s Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) and Capital Improvement Program (CFP). That will be in the Brackett Room, third floor of Edmonds City Hall, 121 5th Ave. N. The regular business meeting will follow at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N.

Regarding the Ballinger Park proposal being considered Tuesday, under state law, interlocal agreements allow local government agencies to share resources for their mutual benefit. During the 2023 budget process, the city council approved allocating $200,000 to support City of Mountlake Terrace Ballinger Park Phase 3 improvements, to provide more convenient access to the park and Lake Ballinger for Edmonds residents. The planned improvements on the northwest corner of the park and adjacent to Edmonds include pedestrian access trailhead and trails and a dock for access to the lake in the northwest area of the lake as well.

Jeff Betz, City of Mountlake Terrace Director of Recreation and Parks, will visit the council meeting to provide an overview of the entire Ballinger Park project and more details on Phase 3.

Also on the council business meeting agenda:

– Revisiting the idea to send a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee requesting a meeting regarding the Unocal property next to the Edmonds Marsh. Earlier this year, the council had considered sending a letter to the governor to explore the option of the state retaining ownership of the Unocal property — and work in partnership with the City of Edmonds to achieve mutual objectives for marsh restoration and maintenance. In the end, the matter was tabled.

— A mid-year financial review.

– A presentation of the Fixit Edmonds public reporting phone app.

– A proclamation in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

You can attend the business meeting in person or watch and comment remotely at Or comment by phone: US: +1 253 215 8782 Webinar ID: 957 9848 4261.

All regular council meetings beginning at 7 p.m. are streamed live on the Council Meeting webpage (where you can see the complete agenda), Comcast channel 21 and Ziply channel 39.

The 5 p.m. special meeting agenda is here. You can watch that meeting virtually at or by
phone: US: +1 253 215 8782 Webinar ID: 957 9848 4261.

  1. Gosh, we could contribute 200 k to a project that will be a life-enhancing for everyone. Nope, better to spend 35 million on a property few want and for which we have no clear plans.

    Sometimes I’m tempted to think the mayor and council have their values and priorities backwards.

  2. I think it is nice for the far S of Edmonds and Shoreline. Also, Mountlake Terrace will use Lake Ballinger, which is nice for them, but it isn’t Edmonds. We have already spent much, improving the Lake Ballinger area. You are correct Nathaniel. Not many citizens of Edmonds ALL of Edmonds will use Lake Ballinger Park area. I feel we have much more to do in Edmonds that is more centrally located like sidewalks and Parks W of 99 improving areas outside the bowl. We are still doing improvements in the Bowl with sidewalks and water lines and all of that too. I really think that the Bowl is lovely, but it will run out of room, and we should encourage more retail businesses, Art Galleries of all types to open in other areas in Edmonds by making these communities more desirable. The majority of homeowners and citizens live in our more centrally located areas. It would be nice to walk and view and BUY. This requires beautification in all neighborhoods. The Hill and 99 are the first impression when people visit Edmonds and Edmonds Bowl. I agree many of the priorities are backwards. All of Edmonds will benefit from sales taxes if we create more businesses for easier access of our citizens on the hill. There are many who will patronize and walk there.

  3. I think this is all a good idea and I’m glad we are coming to agreements with MLT about how to handle Ballinger. From what I remember when the island caught fire maybe 15 years ago it just burned because nobody could decide what to do about it or who should be doing it.

    My main question looking at this is: where are the people using the west side of the park supposed to park their cars to use it? As designed this is mostly going to benefit, but also annoy (for those near that new dock), the people who live in the surrounding neighborhood.

    1. The island did catch fire from some teens having a bbq out there. It’ burned for weeks and weeks, despite a borrowed fire boat hosing lake water on it, a helicopter dropping bags of lake water on it for days etc. The island is a mound of peat and fire can burn deeply underground making it very difficult to put out. There were plenty of decisions made, but nothing worked. Then suddenly for about a week the smoke turned to steam and it was over.

      On the upside, the scorched island has rebounded with vertical thick foliage of tree and bush and it just might be more fire resistant now than it was. It’s chock full of insects which attract an uncountable number of flocks of birds and the fish seem to be jumping more.

      1. There’s room for a few parking spots along the east side of the trail, where people now park in the mud in winter and dust in summer. Time will tell if Edmonds steps up and improves these parking spots. They will definitely be needed once this new trail opens.

    2. Edmonds people who must drive to Ballinger Park don’t have to park in Edmonds. They can continue a few more blocks and park in the one of the MLT parking lots.

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