Marysville OKs use of eminent domain in bypass, State projects

MARYSVILLE – The First Street Bypass and the widening of State Avenue are two road projects many people in town are excited about. But you may not be if part of your land will be taken by one of them.

Michael Smith spoke about just that during the public comment period Monday at the City Council meeting. He said some of his neighbors also were there.

Smith said they were concerned that the council that night was going to discuss using eminent domain to take their land. He said he and his neighbors were still interested in negotiating with the city.

Public Works Director Kevin Nielsen assured them, “We are still in the process of negotiations with people who live along there,” meaning State Avenue.

City Attorney Jon Walker said Tuesday there are about 41 property owners the city is dealing with along State. There are about 12 on the east end of First Street for the bypass, but those are only construction easements and not obtaining land.

All the council did Monday night was approve that eminent domain could be used with property owners that the city can’t reach an agreement with. “We hope we don’t have to use” it, Walker said.

The First Street Bypass is being built to help alleviate congestion downtown by sending motorists east starting in the Waterfront Park area. That especially will be important when the Highway 529 onramp and offramp at I-5 is constructed.

The widening of State Avenue is taking place from 100th to 116th so there will be multiple north-south lanes all the way from Smokey Point to downtown Marysville.

In other council news:

•Mayor Jon Nehring signed a proclamation recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month. He presented Jim Strickland, special education teacher in Marysville, with a plaque, saying, “Jim deserves the most credit” with helping people with disabilities get jobs in town.

•Planning Director Dave Koenig said the city is growing fast with 241 final plats approved on five subdivisions, 14 more subdivisions with 576 lots under construction, and 28 new subdivisions with 696 lots under review. Add to that 163 single-family homes and 110 duplexes, he said.

•The merger of SNOPAC and SNOCOM is finalized, saving $500,000, Nehring said.

•Fire Chief Martin McFalls thanked the council for its resolution supporting Proposition 1, which would provide public funding for a new emergency radio service.

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