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Marysville purchases Geddes marina for $1.9 million
MARYSVILLE — After four years of legal wrangling, the city of Marysville purchased Ed and Susan Geddes' marina for approximately $1.9 million last month.
That selling price was agreed to and finalized by city officials and the Geddeses on July 13, and includes the settlement of the Geddeses' lawsuit against the city of Marysville in 2006 over city surface water flowing into the marina on the south side of First Street, next to Ebey Slough.
Ed Geddes' father, Bill, acquired the marina in the 1930s, and Ed and Susan Geddes have owned the marina for the past decade.
City of Marysville Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima explained that discussions between city officials and the Geddeses about the city possibly purchasing the marina began in 2007. According to city Public Works Director Kevin Nielsen, the city was motivated to purchase the marina because the city's downtown storm water drains into the marina.
"We should own the locations where our public utilities discharge," Nielsen said. "We weren't going to change that discharge location. We own it now, and we're in the process of evaluating it to determine what we'll do with it next. There'll probably be some water quality improvements, but we don't know yet what the business future of that area will be."
Nielsen confirmed that the purchase agreement prevents the city from changing of the 47 current lease agreements for boat slips at the marina through Oct. 31. He added that the city has hired a real estate management company to manage those leases, while the city evaluates its possible plans for the marine in the long term.
Hirashima clarified that a planned cleanup process at the marina will include both structural and environmental work, and noted that the city's comprehensive plan includes a waterfront trail or boardwalk along the city's southern edge, extending from I-5 in the west to the Sunnyside area in the east. Hirashima and Nielsen agreed that it was too soon to say if there would be any further improvements or changes to the five-acre marina area, but promised to make tenants aware of the city's plans as they develop.
Catherine Clark, the attorney for the Geddeses, described this outcome as for the best for her clients.
"After a long battle in the courts, the Geddeses decided to move on with the next chapter of their lives, and this let them do that," Clark said. "It's a good thing for them. I hope that, however the city chooses to develop that site, they retain the rich history of the property. What began as a retention pond for the lumber mill morphed into this marina, and it'd be fun to preserve it like Gas Works Park in Seattle."