MARYSVILLE – It’s not trail vs. jail. It’s jail and trail.
The Marysville City Council emphasized that at its meeting this week. The council decided to slow down development of a waterfront trail and park until it can figure out what to do about a much-needed Public Safety Building.
The council passed its biennial budget, but cut back spending on the waterfront trail to $3 million, the contested part of the budget that delayed the vote a few weeks.
The city already had cut the cost of the park and trails in half, from a consultant’s $30 million estimate. City staff reduced the plan to $11 million for a waterfront park and $4 million for trails.
By cutting the trail budget $1 million, things such as restrooms, a playground and boardwalk will have to be added later.
“Those were the things we felt basically dropped the cost estimate down,” said Gloria Hirashima, chief administrative officer for the city. “I think the best way to summarize this is to focus on the central trail portion instead.”
Council Member Stephen Muller didn’t like the changes.
“This is like our Qwest Field,” Muller said. “But we got the stadium built but not with the seats put in or the concession stands that make it what it is.”
Board Member Jeff Vaughan said it isn’t so much trail vs. jail but rather two issues that need equal attention over time.
“We’re in the situation we’re in because our council and mayor are wise about making sure we have funds to do those things,” he said.
Vaughan added he wants the trails and park built.
“I am committed to seeing this project complete but maybe not in the timeframe others may like,” he said. “We also have some very important public safety needs in the future we need to address.”
Parks director Jim Ballew said he expects the basic trail project to be done by mid-February.
Mayor Jon Nehring said city staff is still in the process of cutting costs for a Public Safety Building. A consultant’s estimate came in at more than $40 million.
In other council news:
•Mike McDowell was named volunteer of the month for his work at the Marysville Community Food Bank.
•Chris Hornung won an employee services award for her “instrumental changes” in probation services.