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

Marysville City Council considers budget

 

Christopher Andersson

Land adjacent to the Ebey Waterfront Park is currently being cleaned up and could become part of the park in the future. Funding for the project is part of the currently proposed 2017-18 city budget.

The City of Marysville is working on its next biennial budget for 2017-18 which could help bring traffic improvements to north Marysville and help advance a waterfront park project.

"Our first priority in crafting a budget is always to take care of the core needs of government: police, streets, fire, EMS and parks," said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.

Nehring said there are funds in the proposed budget to maintain or improve many of those core functions.

Two new police officers are scheduled to be hired. About $2 million worth of paving projects are meant to extend the life of local roads like Grove Street.

"We're trying to make sure we maintain the roads we have," said Nehring.

For recreation, the Marysville Opera House is scheduled to see continuing funding for their programs, said Nehring, as well as funds to keep the parks maintained.

Nehring described the budget as one of the more "aggressive" budgets the city has proposed in a few years.

"Five or six years ago we spent some time rightsizing our finances and stabilizing our reserves and really getting things in shape," he said.

Currently the city's reserves are back up to 10 percent of the total budget. The increasing amount of business growth is also expanding the retail tax base as well, said Nehring.

"Now we're prepared to make some sizable investments into our community. We've paid down our debts and have the capacity to take on some new projects," he said.

Multiple transportation projects are on the proposed budget.

In the Lakewood area, city officials hope to add some additional roads to help with the congestion in the area.

"I think everyone understands we have congestion up there and anything we can do to help alleviate that is money well spent," said Nehring.

The "biggest fix" for the area will be an interchange on 156th Street connecting to I-5, said Nehring, a project which has funding secured from the state's transportation bill from last year, but is still "eight or nine years down the road."

On the east side of the highway, the proposed budget includes more roads to help incoming businesses that city officials hope to attract to the area.

"We're trying to attract some industrial jobs and development, so we're putting in some road network in there as well," said Nehring.

"When manufacturers come in, the first thing they look at is 'okay, if we build here, how do we get it to where it needs to go?'" he said.

Nehring added the area has already been the site of a couple of new businesses and more interest has begun from just the discussion of increasing the infrastructure in the area.

In the downtown area, a First Street bypass is meant to give another route east to the Sunnyside Area besides 4th/64th Street.

An SR-529 interchange, which "should be completed in 2019," will allow I-5 travelers to come off of I-5 and straight into the downtown area via SR-529.

"When that's completed we don't want everyone coming over that bridge and merging with the Fourth Street traffic coming from the other exit," said Nehring.

The bypass would extend First Street to go to the Sunnyside area, useful not just for residents but for the people who travel through Marysville to get to Lake Stevens or Granite Falls, said Nehring.

Christopher Andersson

The busy intersection at 172nd Street and 27th Avenue in Lakewood is one of the local traffic problems that Marysville city staff hope to alleviate with projects in the 2017-18 proposed city budget.

Also in the downtown, improvements to the Qwuloolt trail system and waterfront park are proposed in the budget.

"That's a big step forward in transforming our waterfront and our downtown," said Nehring.

The area, which used to be filled with industrial businesses, sat empty for years after the businesses left, but has begun to be cleaned up after the city bought the property.

"We actually want to turn it into an asset for the community now," said Nehring.

"When we had our 125th Anniversary Celebration [at Ebey Waterfront Park], I heard from a ton of people that said 'we need more events down here. This is really fun,' and I think that really introduced people to the waterfront," said Nehring.

The proposed budget was scheduled to be heard at a public hearing of the Marysville City Council on Nov. 14.

 

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