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

Geddes Marina property closer to becoming park


Christopher Andersson

Crews knock down the former buildings at the former Geddes Marina property.

The Geddes Marina area in Marysville is closer to becoming an extension of the Ebey Waterfront Park because of an environmental cleanup happening this summer.

The City of Marysville applied for and was awarded a Brownfield Cleanup Grant. The grant, awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency, provides cities with funds to cleanup publicly-owned properties that have contamination from their historic use.

"Basically they are a way for communities such as Marysville to turn an undesirable property into a us able asset to the community," said David Rasar, an engineering technician for the city.

Historically the site has been used for the lumber and marine industry, and these uses have "caused low-level contamination in some of the soil and groundwater. Some of the levels of contaminants are above state regulatory cleanup levels, triggering the need for remediation," said Rasar.

Rasar said that a clean soil cap will be used to improve the area.

"A clean soil cap means that a layer of clean, uncontaminated soil will be placed over these areas. This essentially blocks any people or animals from coming into contact with the contaminated soils," he said.

A clearly marked layer will also be put below the soil, which "will act as a marker for where the contaminated soils are located."

The cleanup is scheduled to begin this summer and take about a month to complete.

"The city is very excited to be able to turn this key piece of waterfront property into a usable and enjoyable place for the community to share," said Rasar.

Marysville bought the property for $1.9 million in 2010.

Jim Ballew, Marysville's Parks, Culture and Recreation director, said that the city has developed a master plan for the waterfront and the marina property is a part that they plan to turn into a park site.

"It will create a new identity for the community," said Ballew, as it will be a very visible part of the entranceway to the city.

"This is a very exciting time for the community. Change is often hard but this improvement for the community will be right at our front door," he said.

A new park area would provide increased public access to the Ebey Slough shoreline.

"We own a lot of the shoreline, but there's only 900 feet of it's that accessible to the public. That will change dramatically when we get this implemented," he said.

The pond will likely still be at the marina property for recreational uses, but it may be modified from its current form, said Ballew.

Courtesy of the city of Marysville

What the Ebey Waterfront Park could potentially look like when the Geddes Marina property is converted to an extension of the park.

A launch point for light boats like kayaks or canoes is also planned for the park. Ballew expects a high amount of visitation from those who want a good access point to the Snohomish River system that is easily accessed from the I-5 corridor.

Ballew also expects multiple opportunities for special events or concerts at the location.

"There will be a multitude of year-round opportunities," he said.

The park could also tie into the Ebey Waterfront Trail that the city plans to begin construction of this summer, said Ballew.

Marysville currently has a master plan for a trail system downtown that will "hopefully go all the way around the Sunnyside area when it is complete," he said.

The park project still needs a funding source, but Ballew expects once one is found it will take the city a year or two to go out to bid and another six months for construction.

"We're working on it diligently and we hope to work with the council this summer to develop some financing options," he said.


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