The Port of Everett officially signed on to help the Marysville/Arlington Cascade Industrial Center with economic development at a Jan. 8 joint meeting.
Officials from the port, Marysville and Arlington gathered for the joint meeting where the partnership was voted forward and signed.
“This recognizes the Port of Everett as a partner to the cities and formalizes the port’s role in supporting developer and business recruitment, development, financing, permitting, environmental regulatory strategy and legislative advocacy,” said Lisa Lefeber, Port of Everett CEO.
The Cascade Industrial Center (CIC) is a project from the cities of Arlington and Marysville designed to attract manufacturing jobs to the north Marysville and Smokey Point area.
“When our businesses come, we’re going to need to move freight and goods, and we’re going to need to move it efficiently and effectively out of Snohomish County,” said Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert.
“So it only makes sense at this time in the development of the CIC to collaborate with the Port of Everett,” she said.
The CIC represents years of work by staff and elected officials from both Arlington and Marysville.
“This all started with a vision in these cities a couple of decades ago. We have staff and council members who have stood strong,” said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.
“I sat in a meeting as a council member and remember hearing from a business member that ‘you will never attract manufacturing to that area. You need to re-zone it for housing and call it a day,’” Nehring said.
Many people have participated in that drive from both cities.
“I want to thank the city staff and the City Council for having vision and continuing to push for prosperity for their community,” said Tolbert.
Now the city has brought in another partner to help enhance the area and attract jobs.
“The port has developed a strategy that recognizes the significance of the city of Arlington and city of Marysville’s Cascade Industrial Center,” said Terrie Battuello, Chief of Business and Economic Development for the Port of Everett.
If businesses do come to the area, they are expected to bring many jobs to the area as well.
There’s an “anticipated 20,000 full-time employees,” if the area successfully attracts development and manufacturing jobs, said Battuello.
With land becoming more and more scarce in south Snohomish County some studies are estimating a lot of job growth coming to the local area.
“Between 2015 and 2040, about 88 percent of the job growth in the county is expected to be in the Arlington and Marysville area,” said Lefeber.
The incoming growth will likely bring more problems needing to be solved as well.
“The challenging parts of economic development, which is bringing in the infrastructure and the right type of planning that needs to be done,” said Tolbert.
Nehring also acknowledged the change and issues growth can bring, but said those are often better than the alternative.
“As mayors and leaders, we’re dealing with an area of the country and state that is growing rapidly with a lot of opportunity. We need to savor this time … there are areas of this country where people are trying to leave,” he said.
“Yes, we have challenges we have to tackle with all of our partners, but we also have such an exciting opportunity,” he said.
Nehring thanked all of the partners that have come together for the CIC.
“We’re excited to sign this formal partnership with the Port of Everett. We’re excited for the assets that you can bring,” said Tolbert.
Lefeber was also thankful to be working with the two cities.
“I really appreciate the mayors of Arlington and Marysville inviting us to be a part of this partnership,” Lefeber said.