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

Arlington City Council plans only one meeting in August


August 2, 2017 | View PDF

Arlington City Council was not scheduled to meet on the fifth Monday, July 31, and their plan to cancel meetings in August is delayed until after Aug. 7, when council will meet to vote on several issues discussed at the July 24 workshop meeting.

At the Monday, July 24, workshop meeting, Mike and Terri Schur received the Mayor's Volunteer Award for their time managing the concession stand at Little League games.

Votes scheduled for Aug. 7 include the following issues, discussed at the July 25 workshop meeting.

Council discussed a recommendation from the Planning Commission to reject an exemption of taxes on multi-family housing. Staff suggested having a discussion on the potential exemption, even though they had determined in the review process that it would have negative impacts on future revenues and conflicts with the city’s mixed-use overlays that already encourage multi-family housing.

“We thought we should have the conversation,” said Marc Hayes, community development director.

City Councilman Mike Hobson questioned whether current plans provide enough apartments and low-income housing and he was assured that the city’s form-based code strategy for urban centers would provide multi-family housing.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously against the urban center/multi-family tax exemption.

Council also discussed last Monday changes to the billing structure for water and sewer for multi-family and commercial accounts, after a utility billing analysis completed in 2015-16 by the city’s Public Works Department determined that the cost of providing water and processing wastewater to single family residences was not equitable with multi-family residences and commercial entities. Based on the analysis, Public Works proposed modifying the billing structure for multi-family and commercial services, with no changes to single family residential rates. Modifications include changing from metering each apartment to a single meter for apartment complexes. It will be up to landlords to determine charges to their tenants.

“This structure will bring charges in line with what customers actually use,” said Jim Kelly, Public Works Director, at the July 24 workshop meeting. “This is another incentive for urban center developments.”

Council was glad to hear on July 24 that an agreement had been reached on the acquisition of right-of-way for Arlington Valley Road, which is scheduled for construction next year, from 188th Street to 204th Street. Public Works staff worked with Tierra ROW Associates and the state Department of Transportation to make an offer to a property owner, Vern Rengen, in a letter issued in December 2016. Now all parties have agreed to an alignment and a purchase price.

Council is also considering a contract with Murraysmith Inc. (MSA) Engineers to prepare construction documents, including drawings, specifications and cost estimates, for water main replacement and pavement preservation work planned from 2018 to 2021.

An estimate of $320,000 will cover the cost of advance planning, including preparing documents for improving aged and failing water/sewer/storm infrastructure and, at the same time, to resurface the roads.

Funding for this work will be divided among Water Capital Improvement Fund, Sewer CIP Fund, Storm CIP fund and the Transportation Benefit District funds, Kelly told council.

Staff is also requesting approval to pay almost $78,000 for an upgrade from an 8-inch water main to a 12-inch water main, beyond city limits to Hayden Park on 91st Avenue NE. A staff analysis determined that an 8-inch pipe would be adequate for Hayden Park, but a 12-inch water main would accommodate future growth in the area, so the city needs to pay the difference.

On July 24, Police Chief Jonathan Venture presented another strategy for ridding city streets of drug dealers. He explained a program called SODA to “trespass” repeat offenders from the Smokey Point corridor, where special forces are arresting 20 people a night.

“This is another tool,” said Mayor Barbara Tolbert.

State auditors are expected to show up on Aug. 21 to conduct an accountability and financial statement audit of 2016, Garcia told council on July 24.


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