Marysville to put TBD measure on April ballot

MARYSVILLE — A two-tenths of a percent sales-tax measure that city officials say will pave the way for fixing roads, taking care of unmet transportation needs, and improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and access will go before Marysville voters on April 22.

On Jan. 13, the Marysville City Council formed a Transportation Benefit District, a separate and independent public entity allowed by state law for the sole purpose of repairing, building, improving, preserving and funding transportation improvements within the district.

The ballot measure, Proposition 1, would initiate a two-tenths of a percent sales tax that would generate roughly $1.6 million per year to meet Marysville’s unmet transportation needs. Marysville’s sales tax rate would increase from 8.6 percent to 8.8 percent, still lower than most cities in Snohomish County.

If approved, the sales tax would be paid by everyone who shops in Marysville and uses the city’s streets and services, not just Marysville residents. The increased tax on $100 of taxable goods purchased in the city of Marysville would be 20 cents.

Marysville has numerous road segments, among the 420 lane-miles maintained by the city, that are in failing or near-failing condition.

“The gas tax, sales tax and other traditional street revenues have steadily declined, to the point where the city is faced with a deteriorating infrastructure and no way to invest in all the projects necessary,” said Doug Buell, community information officer for the city. “The TBD can help us start to replace transportation funding that has been cumulatively lost over the past several years, and be better able to preserve, maintain and expand our transportation infrastructure into the future.”

The TBD project list is based on a pavement condition study that evaluated all roadways within the city limits. The study identified road segments that are at failing or near-failing condition, and in need of preservation, repair or rebuilding.

The $16 million transportation project list over the next 10 years, starting in 2015, would include:

• 33 arterial, collector and residential pavement preservation projects within city limits.

• Seven potential capital improvement projects.

• Sidewalk improvement projects to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and access within Marysville.

Priority would be given to main arterials and high-traffic roads, followed by collector roads and residential streets that are rated as failing or near-failing.

While city officials have successfully acquired federal and state grant dollars to rebuild city streets, the grant dollars available are shrinking and competition is getting tougher among jurisdictions.

“The city will not receive the same amount of grant dollars as it has in the past,” Buell said. “Moreover, Marysville will not meet the requirements for future grant funds if the city does not invest in the preservation of our streets.”

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