Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more local transportation projects approved for funding.

Mayor Jon Nehring and the City Council attended a conference and visited lawmakers in Washington, D.C. They were told that some funds are tough for them to get because they are targeted for larger cities.

“It’s tough for us to compete,” he said. Nehring found out that if the city combined with Arlington, for example, on a request – such as to widen 172nd – it would have a better chance. “More in line with what a larger city” or regional plan” would look like.

He said Sen. Maria Cantwell is working on a special grant for railroad mitigation that would be so narrow in scope that it would fill Marysville’s needs for an overcrossing. He said he also is optimistic about obtaining federal funds to hire more police officers. He said it also looks good for a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder program for public safety workers.

Nehring said he liked information he received on community engagement.

“Some we’ve tried before, like a youth council… but we can take a look at it again,” he said. Nehring said many of the conference classes were on the COVID-19 coronavirus. “It’s a moving target that changes every day,” he said of precautions for communities. He added they also were told about how to “recoup funds on the back end.” The Marysville contingent was part of a Senate group Association of Washington Cities meeting with Cantwell and Patty Murray, and another one with Reps. like Rick Larsen. They talked about the success of the embedded social worker program in getting addicts into treatment and homeless off the streets. Nehring said there is bipartisan agreement that more beds and temporary homes are needed.

“They get it,” the mayor said of lawmakers. “Everybody agrees it needs to happen.” They also talked about phase 4 of the Ebey Waterfront project, the Grove overcrossing and the intersection at 156th and I-5. The Marysville leaders also met with the Housing and Urban Development director regarding community development block grants, which are always on the chopping block due to the city’s small population of 70,000, Nehring said. The city has used those funds for minor home repairs for seniors, crosswalk improvements, Cedar Field upgrades, the Snohomish County Boys and Girls Club, food bank backpack program, Housing Hope low-income apartments, meals on wheels and more.