North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Sunnyside utility service transfers to city this January

Marysville will begin to perform water and garbage services to the south Marysville area in 2014.


Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring met with Sunnyside residents on Nov. 26 at a scheduled “koffee klatsch” and the discussion mostly centered on the city’s upcoming takeover of utilities in the area.

Starting at the beginning of the new year, residents of the Soper Hill and Sunnyside area will receive their water and garbage service through the city instead of through Waste Management and Snohomish PUD.

All utility fees will be bundled onto one bill from the city, which will be sent out once every two months, said Nehring.

More than a decade ago the PUD and the City of Marysville agreed that the city would eventually take over the water services of Soper Hill. That transition began last year.

One of Nehring’s goals as mayor has been to make the city self-sufficient in terms of water. At the beginning of his term the city supplied 40 to 50 percent of its residents’ water and that number is about 70 percent now, he said.

“Water is the commodity of the future. If you’re in a city that does not provide water you’re going to be paying a lot of money for water because you’re going to have to buy it from Everett or someone else,” he said. “The water we supply our residents, for instance from Edward Springs or other areas, is probably about 20 percent of the cost of the water we buy from Everett. That means we’re paying almost five times as much for the water we buy compared to the water we supply directly to our citizens.”

The city is currently putting an initial investment of infrastructure into the water system, but Nehring hopes that it will be an asset to Marysville in the long run.

He estimates that the average citizen who lives in the area will see their water bill drop about 20 percent, depending on water usage.

For the first two months residents in the area will be billed at a lower baseline level while all the water meters are still being installed, so the first bill may be lower than usual, he added.

The city is also taking over garbage services currently handled by Waste Management in the area.

The Waste Management contract states that the company will continue to service an area for seven years after they are annexed and after that the service transfers to the city. This transition time is to allow Waste Management time to adjust for lowered revenue and the city to adjust for the increased responsibility, said Nehring.

“It’s not like the city just decided to take over the garbage services in Sunnyside. That clock’s been ticking for seven years, just like the clock continues to tick for the central Marysville annexation and in three more years the city will take that area over,” said Nehring.

Since the city is taking over the area’s waste services, the neighborhoods will be subject to the city’s ordinances which include mandatory garbage pick-up. This will be a change of policy for the area.

The Marysville City Council created the rule to respond to complaints about garbage piling up in residential areas.

“The council made a decision several years ago that we’re an urban city or we’re becoming a more urban city and we need to make sure that garbage is taken care of,” Nehring said.

The mayor also notes that citizens can apply at the city’s Public Works department for reduced garbage pick-up and lower rates or for an exemption from the rule, which is given on a case-by-case basis.

Sunnyside residents will also be seeing stormwater runoff fees on their city bill.

“The question I get a lot from people from the county is, ‘why am I paying stormwater runoff fees now?’ You were paying stormwater to the county too, it was just put on your property taxes,” said Nehring, who argues that putting the fee on a bill instead of on property taxes makes it more transparent for the property owner.

Marysville Mayor Nehring meets with citizens in various Marysville locations every couple of months for his informal coffee klatches. Go to to stay up to date.


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