Family that built ‘Castle Bird Brain’ would love to see it salvaged

MARYSVILLE – The family that built the “Castle Bird Brain” in the early 1990s said Wednesday they hope it can be salvaged rather than demolished to make way for the First Street Bypass.

Les and PJ Finney of Lewiston, ID, said for “sentimental reasons” they would like to see it saved.

They lived in Marysville for about 10 years.

“It was just the family messing around and having fun,” he said on why it was built.

The castle replaced a tree where birds had built nests. It originally was built over the stump, but when that rotted out they made a new base for it.

If someone tried to move it with a forklift, the base would collapse, but they say the castle would hold because of rebar in it.

They said they would love for it to stay in Marysville, such as with the historical society. A new base would have to be built for it.

One of the Finneys’ sons, John Schmidt of Everett, also said he would like to see it salvaged. “We’d love to see it stay in Marysville. It’s a landmark,” he said. “It was a family project. We’d hate to see it destroyed.”

At its work session Monday, the City Council passed a resolution that will allow Kevin Nielsen, the city’s public works director, to award surplus treasures on First Street to community members.

Nielsen plants, front doors and windows could be popular, but nothing deemed hazardous.

“I wouldn’t guess there would be a lot,” he said.

City attorney Jon Walker added, “It reduces our disposal costs, and adds goodwill” in the community.

Apparently some neighbors and the Marysville historical society have shown interest in some of the materials as residents move out who are in the way of construction of the upcoming First Street Bypass.

Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima said the corner lot that had been an auto store is being demolished this week.

“Rather than throwing it away people can reuse it,” she said of surplus items.

Council member Jeff Vaughan was concerned people might just roam the area and pick up stuff. But Nielsen assured Vaughan that only people who contact him would be welcome.

Meanwhile, at this Monday’s regular meeting there will be a public hearing on the city’s Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program.

In the plan, projects in progress include:

•Connect Bayview with Centennial Trail

•Soper Hill roundabout and citywide intersection safety improvements

•Widening or adding lanes on 88th from State to 67th and on State from 100th to 116th.

•116th interchange, 88th interchange and Interstate 5 northbound peak hour use lane and Highway 529 interchange.

Upcoming projects include:

•Grove Street Overcrossing.

Other items to be discussed Monday include:

•The council talked about participating with Snohomish County on its new diversion center. Police Chief Rick Smith explained that with the city’s imbedded social worker program it will need a place to take people off the streets who want to get clean from drugs and/or alcohol. The center provides temporary shelter and access to basic programs until alternative treatment or housing options become available. The county will provide participants meals, laundry equipment, storage for small personal items and basic hygiene kits. A participant’s housing shall not exceed 15 days.

•The council also will decide to use leftover grant money tagged for design to instead be used for construction of intersection improvements, such as at Fourth and Cedar streets.

Also:

•Nielsen said work that has closed parts of Highway 2 has been postponed but will continue weekends from June 22 to Aug. 4, except for July 6-9. No special plans are in place to handle additional traffic that might come through Marysville, he said.

•He also said that technology to put a meter on northbound Interstate 5 at the onramp off Fourth Street has been installed, but “we do not support a meter there at this time.”

•Ballew said 3,000 people attended Healthy Communities Day last weekend, with football players from Marysville-Pilchuck and Marysville Getchell high schools helping with the setting up and taking down.

•He also said Costco has donated $30,000 in plants to the city the past few years.

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