On August 16, 2019 a Clackamas County jury awarded the return of $18,078,238 to the City of Happy Valley. This resulted from a breach of contract by the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD). When Happy Valley residents voted in favor of joining NCPRD in 2006, both parties signed a contract requiring development fees paid by City homeowners to be transferred from the City to the District for exclusive use on park projects in Happy Valley. Those projects were not delivered, and the jury awarded the return of all those funds to Happy Valley.
The City is committed to using these funds exclusively for the park projects that were promised to the voters when the City joined NCPRD. Those projects include a community park, community center, all-weather turf fields, and completion of the Mt. Scott Trail.
“While I was disappointed we were not able to resolve this dispute before going to trial, the City Council and I are looking forward to delivering the projects Happy Valley residents have been promised for years. With the trial behind us now, I’m hopeful the City and County can get back to working together. We owe that to our shared residents.” Mayor Tom Ellis
The City recognizes that parks are shared by everyone in the community, including those outside Happy Valley. It is important to note that this award only represents a return of funds transferred from Happy Valley to NCPRD. None of these funds were from Milwaukie or the unincorporated areas of NCPRD. Any future investments in new parks will remain open to everyone.
Finally, there are a number of remaining issues between the City and NCPRD, including the City’s withdrawal from the District. The City is hopeful that NCPRD will come to the table to settle all unresolved aspects of the parks and recreation dispute, and the City will continue to explore all other options available, including legislation.
For more information, please contact Ben Bryant, Assistant City Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-783-3840.