As we look toward the New Year, here at the City of Marysville we have been preparing for the next state legislative session that starts on Jan. 11. Over the past several years, the City Council and I have been very successful in obtaining state funding for projects that are important to our community. We are grateful for strong working relationships with our legislators in Olympia who represent Marysville and surrounding areas.
Marysville’s track record of successfully obtaining state funding can largely be attributed to taking the long view, establishing city priorities, and articulating our vision and need consistently over time. In many cases, we first spent multiple years introducing the public need for a Marysville project to lawmakers in Olympia and subsequently repeated and added details to that message. It is often a long process that is worth the effort to gain significant funding for many key projects.
State funding has helped make many Marysville trails, parks and other projects happen. The state also funded huge transportation projects in our area through its Connecting Washington package. These include the new I-5/SR 529 interchange and a new northbound lane on I-5 between north Everett and south Marysville (project construction to begin in 2021), and a new I-5 interchange at 156th Street NE (project construction to begin in 2025). City leaders continue to stress the importance of these transportation improvements to Marysville residents, businesses and to the overall quality of life that we offer.
Early next year, City Councilmembers and I will discuss with our legislators in Olympia the city’s priorities for state funding requests. Here is an overview:
Grove Street Overcrossing: The city is requesting $24 million to build an elevated roadway over the railroad tracks on Grove Street between State and Cedar avenues. A 2015 study found this the most suitable overcrossing location because it would not impede access to State Avenue or local business entrances and requires minimal property acquisition. Routing traffic away from the railroad crossing will help ease downtown congestion and increase east-west connectivity.
Ebey Waterfront Trail: The city is requesting $1.5 million for design, right-of-way and construction of the next and final phase of this urban trail. A 1.28-mile trail section along the dike through the Ebey Estuary would connect the First Street Bypass area with the existing trail in the Sunnyside area. When complete, the Ebey Waterfront Trail will have nearly six miles of fully connected trails.
156th Street NE Railroad Overcrossing: The city is requesting $1 million to fund design, early permitting and right-of-way assessment for future construction of an elevated roadway overcrossing the BNSF mainline tracks at 156th Street NE just west of I-5. This is needed to offer expanded access to the Lakewood area and complement the previously funded freeway interchange at 156th Street NE that will also serve the growing Cascade Industrial Center.
Marysville-Lake Stevens Trail Connector: In this joint project with Lake Stevens, the City of Marysville seeks $500,000 for design, permitting and property acquisition for future construction of a 5.5-mile trail segment connecting to the regional Centennial Trail to the north and 20th St. NE to the south.
Cascade Industrial Center: This long-term joint effort by the cities of Marysville and Arlington is a growing hub for manufacturing activity. We expect to add 20,000 more family-wage jobs in the CIC over the next 10 years, helping residents work close to home and boosting our local economy. A key incentive for businesses interested in locating here is a property tax exemption scheduled to expire in 2022; the city will be requesting an increase in the population threshold and an extension of the eligibility date for the property tax exemption.
We continue to update our colleagues in Olympia about the concerns we hear from Marysville residents — most often public safety and transportation. Building relationships, understanding and trust is key. Through experience, we have found that your government works best when we all work together.
Jon Nehring has been Mayor of Marysville since 2010. You can reach him at 360-363-8000 or email@example.com.