At this time last year, the first diagnosed U.S. COVID patient was recovering at home after being released from treatment at Providence Hospital in Everett. 2020 was marked by a worldwide pandemic that harmed not only public health, but also our economy, personal lives, social networks and more. I’m proud of the way your City of Marysville leaders and employees stepped up, pivoted as needed, and met the many challenges we faced to continue to deliver high-quality public service and move forward on important projects.
My annual State of the City presentation details many of the city’s accomplishments in 2020 and previews some of what’s ahead this year. Some highlights:
Public safety: Our Police department’s targeted policing strategy continues to make a real dent in crime in our community. Overall crime levels are 21% below the 2019 rate and as much as 48% below what we saw six years ago in 2014. Last year Marysville Police handled nearly 69,000 calls for service. In 2020, we also welcomed new Police Chief Erik Scairpon along with 12 new officers and a records unit specialist, continuing the city’s long-term investment in law enforcement.
Marysville’s state-renowned Embedded Social Worker team continues to change the lives of some of our residents with addiction or mental health issues by building trusting relationships and offering them treatment or other social services. The team started here in 2018 and pairs a Police officer and a social worker who meet with clients on the streets, in jail, in homeless camps and through referrals. Since the program started, 93 people have successfully graduated from inpatient treatment; many have jobs, housing and renewed family relationships. In 2021 we look to expand this program, in part by adding dedicated mental health professionals to our team.
Infrastructure: Tying together public safety and infrastructure is the new Public Safety Center and Civic Campus. That project has been under construction on Delta Avenue west of Comeford Park for about a year now and is on track for completion in spring 2022.
The First Street Bypass project was completed in October, on time and within budget. It will support new traffic flows coming when the state builds a new I-5 interchange connecting with SR 529; that construction is scheduled to begin next year. Together, these projects will bring a new south entryway to the city that avoids traffic delays from train tracks and the congested 4th Street interchange.
You have likely seen construction underway on State Avenue north of 100th Street NE. The segment of State between 100th and 116th Street NE is the last remaining portion of this busy arterial corridor to be improved. The most difficult and expensive section, building a new bridge where the road crosses Quilceda Creek, is about halfway complete. We expect to complete this phase from 100th to 104th Street NE in early 2022. We intend to complete final design and property acquisition of the last section between 104th and 116th St NE this year, with construction in 2022.
This year we also have several pavement preservation, traffic safety and stormwater treatment improvements planned throughout the city.
Quality of life: I’m proud that our city continues to invest in parks and trails that are so vital to our community. Last year we completed the renovation of Cedar Field with new synthetic turf and LED lighting that will greatly extend the playing season for our Little League youth just as soon as they can return to the field.
Construction is wrapping up on the new Olympic View Park in the Sunnyside area. It features amazing views of the Qwuloolt Estuary, Ebey Slough and Olympic Mountains and will open soon.
I’m excited that the city will build a new 1.5-mile trail segment connecting the city’s Bayview Trail to the regional Centennial Trail projected to open for public use this fall.
City-owned Cedarcrest Golf Course has emerged as one of the real success stories during the pandemic. Even with a state-mandated 40-day closure in the spring, the course hosted 47,704 rounds of golf last year, a 22% increase over 2019.
Of course, we all look forward to returning to some degree of normalcy in the months ahead. In the meantime, your city continues to work hard on your behalf.
To watch the full State of the City presentation, visit www.marysvillewa.gov, the City of Marysville channel on YouTube, or our local public access TV channels, Comcast channel 21 and Ziply channel 25.
Jon Nehring has been Mayor of Marysville since 2010. You can reach him at 360-363-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.