MARYSVILLE – When talking to a chamber of commerce, of course you want to emphasize business.
That’s what Mayor Jon Nehring did Friday in his State of the City address to the Marysville-Tulalip chamber.
And, just as obviously, that’s what chamber CEO Jesica Stickles did in her State of the Chamber address.
Nehring emphasized that since the Seattle metro area is clogged up, more businesses and people are moving this way.
Last year, 489 new businesses came to town, including Toyota, Sonic, Popeye’s, Mod Pizza in Lakewood and Harbor Freight Tools.
This year, new businesses expected include: Chick-fil-A, 5 Rights Brewing, Kaiser Permanente health clinic, Immersion, Hotel America, Dutch Brothers Coffee, a Ford used auto dealership and more.
And there will be much more to come as development occurs on the 1,800-acre Manufacturing Industrial Center with family wage light industry and manufacturing jobs.
In her address, Stickles said the chamber had 7 percent growth and now has 233 business members representing 21,683 employees. She said 30 percent of its members aren’t even located in Marysville, but joined the chamber for networking opportunities.
She said the businesses are classified into 24 categories with the largest ones being health care, retail, financial and nonprofits.
Regarding public safety, Nehring thanked the community for passing the small sales tax increase that will pay for a new police station and jail. As part of that the city will sell some of its buildings and consolidate most departments in a new civic campus downtown.
He again praised the embedded social worker program for reducing homelessness, especially in the Smokey Point area. It also helps people with addiction and mental health issues get help if they want it. If they don’t want help, they go to jail, which may be one reason why the number of people jailed last year was up 16 percent.
“Things are getting cleaned up a bit,” Nehring said he has been told by citizens.
Related to that, code enforcement closed 443 cases last year, which included 768 criminal citations.
Overall, crime is down 7.6 percent, although robberies and assaults, mostly due to domestic violence, are up. Four new officers will be hired over the next two years.
Other police statistics: 2,000 students took 58 classes on bullying; the property crimes unit made 970 arrests and retrieved $350,000 in stolen property; and 50 Neighborhood Watch programs are now in town.
Regarding infrastructure, the First Street Bypass will “transform our downtown,” providing relief to busy Fourth Street. State Avenue will be improved from 100th to 104th and eventually 116th. There will be corridor improvements on 88th, and a Grove Street overcrossing is in the works. In the next few years there will be a Highway 529 interchange at Interstate 5. From Everett to Marysville there also will be a shoulder lane that can be used during peak commuter hours.
As for parks, the Bayview Trail will connect to Centennial Trail and the new Ebey Waterfront Trail will connect to the new Olympic View Park on a side hill at Sunnyside. Design also will continue on the waterfront park.
Other stats: The two-year budget for the city of 68,864 is $352 million, with property taxes paying 35 percent and sales taxes 27 percent. And Public safety gets two-thirds of the general fund.
Meanwhile, in Stickles’ address the big news is the chamber is moving, but just to a larger location in the same building complex.
She introduced Dom Amor of Puget Sound Energy as the new president of the chamber board of directors.
Stickles listed a number of events coming up this year.
•April 6 will be the Marysville Brew and Cider Fest with 15-20 vendors. Wine also will be available. Cost includes food and live entertainment. Pre-sale tickets are $25.
•The fourth annual Chamber Carnival will be June 6-9 at the field south of Cabela’s. An arts and crafts fair also is in the works to give adults something to do while the kids go on the 16 rides.
•The fifth annual Home for the Holidays dinner-auction will be Dec. 5 at the Tulalip Resort Casino. Last year $33,000 was raised, including $6,000 that was donated to the city’s annual Toy Store to help those in need at Christmas.