The city of Lakewood is poised to take over primary responsibility of the state-owned Fort Steilacoom Park from Pierce County in early 2014.
The Pierce County Council had previously reduced the county’s contribution for park maintenance, promising $50,000 a year for three years with its contributions ending after 2014. The County Council also had said it would no longer be the primary lease holder of the park after next year.
The Lakewood City Council voted Monday night to speed up the county’s exit. Once the city receives the county’s $50,000 pledged for 2014, the county will be removed from the equation and the city will become the primary leaseholder of the state-owned park. Lakewood leaders expect the transition to happen early next year.
The 340-acre park is within city limits, but the county has leased it from the state for more than 40 years. The city shared maintenance responsibilities with the county, but in recent years the city has done the majority of the work, spending about $400,000 annually.
The city hopes to work with the state to gain ownership of the park, the largest in Lakewood and one of the largest in the region.brynn.grimley@ thenewstribune.com