Local Election

$1 million bond for Bender Fields goes before Lynden-area voters

Voters will decide Tuesday, Nov. 4, whether to approve a $1 million bond to build parking spaces and restrooms at Bender Fields.

The Lynden Regional Parks and Recreation District put the measure on the ballot. Voting is open only to residents of the district, which has the same boundaries as the Lynden School District.

In order for the bond to pass, at least 2,970 voters must turn out and 60 percent of them must vote yes.

Property taxes will be used to repay the 20-year bond at a rate of about 6 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. That means the owner of a $250,000 home would pay about $15 a year for the bond.

If approved, the bond would be used to add roughly 200 parking spaces and replace two portable toilets with new restrooms that would have hot running water and be hooked into the city’s sewer system.

The project would be on the 21-acre, northern portion of Bender owned by the parks and recreation district. It is used as open space and as soccer and lacrosse fields.

The city of Lynden owns the 35 acres on the south, which has space for softball and youth baseball.

“It’s getting a lot of use,” bond supporter Gary Vis said, referring to the district’s 21 acres and the increasing popularity of open-field sports such as Ultimate Frisbee that are fueling that demand.

Vis, executive director of the Lynden Chamber of Commerce, was on the committee that wrote the statement in support of the measure for the voters’ pamphlet.

No group wrote a statement against the measure.

Vis said the project is needed.

Those 21 acres are used by residents as well as visitors, including the colleges and universities that came for an Ultimate Frisbee tournament earlier this year.

“I don’t think it’s an extravagant thing we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a place to park your car and a place to use the facilities,” Vis said. “The improvements will far outlast the bond.”