Every two years, the State Legislature meets to adopt a biennial budget. This year they met and approved the 2019-2021 operating, capital, and transportation budgets. Snohomish County and its partners lobbied the legislature to make important investments in our county and we were very successful on multiple fronts. In this month’s column, I will highlight some of the significant wins in the Washington State budget for Snohomish County residents.

RAP Program

As I have written before, the Regional Apprenticeship Pathways (RAP) Program is a collaborative effort between the local school districts, Everett Community College, labor groups, industry, and local government to prepare more students for careers in the construction and building trades. We lobbied successfully for $1.5 million in ongoing funding in the State’s operating budget to fund the program. I will be dedicating a future column to the RAP Program and the implementation work which is ongoing.

Snohomish County Capital Requests

Snohomish County requested funding for multiple projects in the State’s capital budget which funds local community construction projects. The adopted capital budget includes funding for the Sheriff’s South Precinct and Evergreen Speedway.

Due to population growth and additional demands on our Sheriff’s office, the South Precinct is in desperate need of replacement. Snohomish County has committed $2 million to this project and the capital budget included $1 million to help us move forward.

The Evergreen Speedway, located at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, is a huge driver for the local economy and is looking to expand its NASCAR appeal. As part of that effort, we requested state capital dollars to help with improvements and expansion of the speedway. The capital budget included $150,000 for the project and the operator has already invested $500,000 into the speedway.

Other Local and Community Projects

In all, Snohomish County received $12.6 million in local and community projects from the adopted 2019-2021 State capital budget. Close to $1.2 million of that is in projects here in North Snohomish County including:

  • $530,000 to the Arlington Boys and Girls Club for parking and safety improvements
  • $412,000 to the City of Granite Falls for their police department renovation project
  • $300,000 for the State Route 530 “Oso” Slide Memorial Project

Transportation Investments

While the legislature did not pass a much anticipated transportation package, they did pass a transportation budget that builds on some of the past transportation investments that have been made. In total, Snohomish County will see almost $1.8 billion in new transportation investments over the next ten years. Some projects affecting North Snohomish County residents include:

  • $215 million in additional improvements to the Highway 9 corridor
  • $30 million in additional investments to the I-5 interchanges at 116th St. and 88th St.
  • $1.6 million to study congestion improvements on the US 2 trestle

We are grateful to our partners in the State Legislature for their continued investments in important project in Snohomish County. Please join me in thanking them for making our communities a priority in Olympia.

Nate Nehring is a member of the Snohomish County Council and represents District 1 which includes Arlington, Darrington, Granite Falls, Marysville, Stanwood, and unincorporated north county. He can be reached by email at Nate.Nehring@snoco.org or by phone at 425-388-3494.

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