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

Arlington transportation plan paves way for regional transportation funding

 


A public hearing was scheduled this Monday on the annual update of the city’s six-year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP).

The plan is important because any road project must be listed on the plan to be eligible for state or federal funding from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

At last week’s workshop meeting Public Works Director Jim Kelly explained the plan with projections for funding and construction for various projects. He then requested a vote after the public hearing this Monday so that a deadline for a grant application could be met.

Council member Jan Schuette asked about timing for a proposed roundabout at Olympic Place at 204th Street NE, considering the new apartment complex currently in construction south of 204th Street.

The roundabout is not funded at this time, but the city has funds for the Arlington Valley Road, connecting 204th to 188th through an industrial zone. Construction of that road is planned for next year.

After discussion at last week’s workshop meeting, three items were approved for the consent agenda, including a mural by Erika Bruss portraying an owl on the exterior wall of the restroom building in Terrace Park and five art cows for Jensen Park. Both projects were proposed by Arlington Arts Council.

Council was also expected to approve the final acceptance of the Haller Park restroom project and renovations at Quake Field.

At last week’s workshop meeting, Mayor Barb Tolbert and City Administrator Paul Ellis asked council members their thoughts on the potential formation of a Regional Fire Authority with the City of Marysville and Fire District 12, after hearing more about the factors involved from the RFA Planning Committee recently.

The goal is to find a more sustainable, (i.e. affordable) fire/EMS system that meets the needs of each city’s residents and communities. Benefits include eliminating redundancy in the Smokey Point area for cost savings. Challenges include management of the RFA. Would it be based on equal representation of proportional governance?

If the RFA were funded by a levy, it would remove pressure from the city’s general fund, Councilman Chris Raezer noted.

“We have to do something,” Councilwoman Deborah Nelson said.

Council membersseemed to agree.

“It would be a new tax,” Marilyn Oertle said. “It might be a hard sell.”

Mayor Tolbert asked council members to consider the values and principles that should guide the decision.

 

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