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

Mayor Nehring gives State of the City

 

Christopher Andersson

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring gives his State of the City address at the Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce meeting on Jan. 27.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring discussed public safety, transportation projects, incoming business and more during his Jan. 27 State of the City address.

Public safety is always a top concern for the public, said Nehring.

Last year three new police officers were added to the department and this year four new positions are scheduled to be added as well.

"Marysville is at 67,000 [population] now, one of the fastest growing cities in the state, and even in the nation, and we need to keep up with this growth," said Nehring.

Nehring said that Police Chief Rick Smith hopes to create more community outreach this year and connect with the community, and has been given the resources to do that.

He also recognized the work of the regional property crimes unit which works with officers from local jurisdictions and Snohomish County officers.

"This team reaches out and tries to solve property crimes at their root," he said. Their work led to 548 arrests last year.

Local police officers and other departments also worked on targeting 17 drug houses last year, said Nehring.

Of those 17, seven are currently boarded up, one closed and another was voluntarily vacated, he said.

"This is not easy work and, of course, with private property it should not be easy to just go in and remove people, but we work within what is legal and with the banks to clean up these areas," he said.

In fighting homelessness, the city also provided three city-owned houses to be used for transitional housing.

The city worked with the Everett Gospel Mission to provide a place for those who have been through transition programs "and are ready to integrate back into society," said Nehring.

Nehring said that he wanted to work toward helping all homeless get back to contributing to society.

"You can't be a 100 percent lifelong consumer, you have to meet us somewhere," he said. "I refuse, as the mayor of Marysville, and as a citizen frankly, to say that's an acceptable lifestyle to say 'well, we're just going to write some of you off to this,'" he said.

Streets and transportation are also a primary concern, said Nehring.

In north Marysville, State Avenue was expanded. "We almost have all of State [Avenue] up to five lanes and we're going to talk about the gap area moving forward in 2017," he said.

Grant money could finish this year the last bit of State Avenue that is not five lanes currently, he said.

About $2 million in street overlays was completed last year and is scheduled for the upcoming year.

"As the economy took a severe downturn, street overlays was one of the first things to go in communities, which mean streets start to deteriorate. If they deteriorate far enough, they become extremely expensive rebuilds for millions of dollars," said Nehring.

The city is also looking at an additional lane at 88th Street to help the congestion at State and 88th.

Another priority is the Lakewood area.

"We recognize that new business has brought traffic issues," said Nehring. Some additional supporting roads may be added to the area soon.

The big fix, an I-5 interchange at 156th Street, is funded by the state, but won't be coming for a few years, said Nehring.

That Lakewood traffic is, in part, because of the booming economy in the area and in many parts of the city.

"We did permit 335 residential units so the economy is back up and people are building homes in Marysville," said Nehring. "It's important to note how much construction is going on and what it was like in the years that wasn't happening," he said.

New businesses are likely to continue flowing into the city, said Nehring, who added many are scheduled to open this year.

That includes restaurants like Arby's and Sonic Drive-In, three car dealerships, two new hotels and community resources like the Smokey Point Behavioral Health Hospital and a new Twin Lakes Housing Hope project.

This upcoming year will see the continuation of the Opera House lease, bringing concerts, movies and cultural opportunities to the downtown Marysville area.

The first stage of the downtown, Qwuloolt trail is scheduled to open this spring.

"If you haven't been out in this area, in the Qwuloolt area where the dike was breached, the wildlife you see out there and the natural beauty is something a lot of our citizens haven't been able to enjoy, but this trail will provide that," he said.

For those that want to see Nehring's full State of the City address, the city plans to eventually post the full video online at marysvillewa.gov.

 

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