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Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, right, and Snohomish County Agriculture Coordinator Linda Neunzig talk with federal officials about the Cascade Industrial Center on Aug. 31.

 

Federal officials and local leaders met to talk about the Cascade Industrial Center, how it has grown and its future needs.

Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Washington State Rural Development Division and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency toured Snohomish County on Aug. 31.

“The County Executive [Dave Somers] invited the regional administrators for the EPA, the USDA and the Small Business Administration to see Snohomish County,” said Kent Patton, communications director with the County Executive’s office.

“Not only so that local officials can build relationships with these federal partners, but so that we could look at the areas of the county where exciting things are happening,” he said.

Officials toured through areas such as a 5G farm that used modern technology to improve crop yields and the Cascade Industrial Center in Smokey Point.

The CIC is a joint project between Arlington and Marysville to create a dedicated manufacturing area with supportive infrastructure that is meant to attract industrial jobs.

“We appreciate Snohomish County's support of the Cascade Industrial Center, and the efforts of County Executive Somers to arrange this meeting,” said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.

Arlington City Administrator Paul Ellis said it was good to talk about how the area could continue to be improved.

“We were excited to get out and talk about the CIC and our current needs here,” he said. “We talked about the job creation that it was bringing to the community already.”

The CIC received its official manufacturing area designation three years ago. Since then Marysville and Arlington have processed almost 100 development permits for the area.

“Those projects represent 2,500 direct jobs and an equal number of indirect and induced jobs, not including major temporary construction work. That's a quarter of the way toward the 20,000 new family-wage jobs we expect to attract to the CIC by 2040,” said Nehring.

Ellis said the development has come fast for the area.

“It is further along than we predicted right now,” he said. “The economy has really been recovering steadily and a lot of businesses are running out of room in the Seattle area, which has helped bring them here.”

The local jobs are providing opportunities for families to stay closer to home and commute less.

“Its really helpful for residents here so that they can work in the community and don’t have to drive to Everett or Seattle,” said Ellis.

Patton said Somers was happy to highlight the area.

“We talked a lot about the Cascade Industrial Center because even during the pandemic it was still attracting businesses,” said Patton.

“The executive was saying ‘look, this model is working,’” he added.

The area has been able to take legacy manufacturing jobs and updating those with modern technology and infrastructure, said Patton.

With an airport, a railroad and I-5 all nearby, the area is also a unique hub for manufacturing businesses to bring in or send out supplies.

“Somers is very bullish on the potential for the CIC,” said Patton.

“It is an area that deserves additional investment from the community and from the private sector,” he added.

Local officials talked about the area’s needs in the hopes of more future support.

“Major projects like the CIC are most successful when all layers of government work together in partnership,” said Nehring.

“We are looking to our federal partners for infrastructure investment, particularly related to highway and utilities improvements to serve our growing business community in north Snohomish County,” he said.

Ellis said he expects the development of the CIC to continue.

“There’s certainly a lot of space left in Marysville,” he said. The area around the Arlington Airport had already been receiving development and big businesses such as Amazon have taken up a lot of the room in Smokey Point, but land remains for further businesses to come in.

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