Marysville chips up green fees at Cedarcrest

MARYSVILLE – When you think of golf, you may think of big hitters and long drives.

But that’s not the case when it comes to raising the green fees at Cedarcrest Golf Course. It’s more like a putt.

“It’s not a big hit,” city parks director Jim Ballew said Monday at the City Council meeting.

It’s only a dollar hike.

The city has not increased that cost since 2012, and Ballew said some courses, like in Everett, try to increase it every year. The course needs to do it now because of increased insurance and labor costs, estimated to total $41,000 a year. Cedarcrest green fees are some of the lowest in the area.

“It’s quite a bit cheaper than Battle Creek” in Tulalip, Councilman Stephen Muller said, adding why not increase the green fees even more?

“Our goal is to let people play golf,” Ballew said. “Others are struggling. We are seeing growth” at 24 percent at our course.

He said the city may have to look at a bigger increase in the future if it does capital improvements. But until then, “Let’s do it subtly.”

Meanwhile, if you’d like to have a nice yard, but don’t have a green thumb, the city might be able to help.

The council approved a $10,000 grant from Snohomish County to participate in a new Enhanced Natural Yard Care Program.

The effort will include three interactive classroom workshops and an outdoor demonstration event. Each workshop will focus on a best management practice that is easy to implement and inexpensive. The workshops have been modified from the original program to include hands-on activities and displays that will engage participants through applied and visual learning, city documents say. Marysville residents also participated in the original program in 2014. It focused on sustainable and responsible yard care practices. Marysville residents who participated showed increased awareness of yard care issues and adopted more sustainable practices, leading to reduced surface water pollution. Also Monday, the city received $5 million to widen State Avenue from three to five lanes from 100th Street NE to 104th Place NE. The money comes from the Transportation Improvement Board. The city’s portion is $6.23 million. The project includes replacement of the Quil Ceda Creek bridge. Public Works director Kevin Nielsen said the TIB has helped pay for the widening of State from the beginning.

Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima said that grant writers have done an outstanding job obtaining money for the city.

And Councilman Jeff Vaughan reminded Nielsen that he had promised not to retire until that project was done. Nielsen said that still is years away as this first phase will take 18 months. The second phase, from 104th to 116th, will follow that.

The council also agreed to rehire Strategies 360 as its lobbyist in Olympia. Vaughn asked if the city had considered other options.

Mayor Jon Nehring said Al Aldrich has done a great job for the city in Olympia. “Better than any city in Snohomish County.” Nehring said other options would have less experience as many other lobbyists are retiring. Vaughan said while he agreed on Aldrich’s success, lobbying in Washington, D.C., is not as good as in the past. Nehring agreed but said 90 percent of the city’s lobbying is done at the state level.

In other council news:

•Bob Rise was named Volunteer of the Month. He donated more than 4,000 hours to the city last year, more than anyone else. He administers training and scheduling for the Marysville Volunteer Patrol Program.

•Police Chief Rick Smith said in a recent count of transients the number is down to 22 from 58 in October of 2017. It was also said that education will be beefed up at multi-family complexes to deal with an increase in domestic violence.

•Jodi Condyles and Gayle Bluhm were reappointed to the Parks Advisory Board.

•Nehring congratulated finance director Sandy Langdon for another clean audit.

•Friendship China, first passed in 2015, was renewed with the city of Yueqing.

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