Marysville’s next biennial budget will focus on the “core government services” with improvements and spending for transportation, public safety and recreation.
The Marysville City Council approved the city’s 2019-20 biennial budget during their Nov. 26 meeting.
The city moved to two-year budgets a couple of years ago, which “causes us to do more long-term planning and be more conservative in what we do,” said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.
The budget did not have too many changes from previous budgets.
“We focused on core government services with this budget, mainly around public safety and transportation,” said Nehring.
There is no increase to the general property tax and the only big increase in revenue came from the voter-approved 0.1 percent sales tax which will fund a new public safety building for the city.
For public safety the budget has funding for four new police officers, two who are scheduled to be hired in 2019 and two who are scheduled to be hired in 2020.
“With the citizens I talk to, and even with the different surveys we put out, public safety comes out as the top priority,” said Nehring.
“I think we want to continually advance and increase our police force,” he said.
One of the biggest projects in the new budget is the First Street bypass, which will improve and enhance First Street.
The city has money coming from the state which will begin a new interchange in the downtown area which will allow commuters to get off I-5 directly to State Avenue.
“When the new interchange is built, and that will start at the end of 2019, that [First Street] bypass will be how we move traffic into Sunnyside,” said Nehring.
“If we didn’t build the First Street bypass we would have significant traffic issues downtown,” he said.
City officials hope that will help to unclog the downtown area’s traffic.
“The bypass will provide a way to divert some of that traffic, particularly for people who live in Sunnyside,” said Nehring.
The state is also planning to fund an additional lane of traffic on I-5 in the area between Everett and Marysville.
“I know that’s a significant choke area from Everett to Marysville,” said Nehring.
Some funds in the budget are also dedicated to help get Marysville water independent.
City public utilities officials have been working on how to acquire water for the city.
“They have outlined a great plan through perfecting our water rights and that will allow us to produce a good chunk of our own water,” said Nehring.
When he began as mayor Nehring said that the city produced around half of their own water, but now they produce around 75 percent.
Purchasing water from other sources often costs the city, and therefore the residents, much more, said Nehring.
Finally, the budget has some improvements to recreation, with the help of grants from the state legislature.
“We don’t want to leave out some of the quality of life things that make people want to live here,” said Nehring.
Extensions to the Ebey Waterfront Trail and the Bayview Trail are planned for the next two years.
The Bayview Trail will also be able to connect to the Snohomish County Centennial Trail, a long-term goal that Marysville officials had for the trail.
“We didn’t know that would ever happen to be honest but we’re going to see that in 2019,” said Nehring.
“For the first time Marysville residents will have the opportunity to walk or bike from Marysville onto the Centennial Trail,” he said.