M’ville letter seeks regional designation for MIC

MARYSVILLE – The writing’s not on the wall, so it’s been placed in a letter.

The City Council agreed Monday night to send a letter to try to increase its chances of getting regional designation for the Arlington-Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center.

The Puget Sound Regional Council Growth Management Policy Board is seeking comments through Nov. 8.

Current standards for designation require at least 10,000 jobs and planning for at least 20,000 jobs. But a new second pathway is a minimum size of 2,000 acres, existing jobs of at least 4,000 and planning for at least 10,000 jobs. The local MIC would qualify under the second pathway, Community Development director Dave Koenig told the council.

The designation is critical for the MIC because it would make it eligible for Snohomish County and regional pots of money that would help pay for transportation needs.

The letter says military installations should be included as major employers. That would allow Naval Base Everett – Smokey Point Support Complex to be recognized as a countywide center. The letter supports the need to work with tribes in a cooperative regional approach on growth.

The letter also states that infrastructure already there includes BNSF main and spur lines, Arlington Municipal Airport, direct access onto I-5 and utilities. Both communities are making investments to develop it into an area for family wage jobs. In September, both cities were awarded funds from the Community Economic Revitalization Board to do a subarea plan. They have committed local funds also. Also Monday, the council OK’d a new fee structure for the use of some city facilities. Parks director Jim Ballew said the Jennings Barn, Rotary Ranch, Community Center and Opera House are busy almost all of the time. Compared to costs in nearby cities, he said the fees are above average, but “not out of league.” He did say costs for the Opera House actually went down for nonprofits during the week because it was unaffordable for them – from $760 to $380 per day and from $95 to $47.50 for a four-hour minimum. The $100 barn deposit and $200 Community Center deposit were removed. The center deposit if there is alcohol was reduced from $300 to $200. But prices are going up for picnic shelters from $65 per day to $75; Jennings Park Barn $15 per hour to $20; Barn for nonprofits $20 to $30 for three hours; and full day barn $95 to $125.

During the public comment period, the council had a lengthy discussion about “Spook Woods” south of Pinewood Elementary School, where a teen was recently killed during a fight. Neighbors said there are diseased trees there that are falling. The city said if an arborist says the trees need to be removed, the landowner must remove them or be liable for damage.

A neighbor said homeless and drug addicts also are a problem in the five-acre parcel. Chief Rick Smith said police can sweep them out, and then public works will clean up the mess. During the sweep, Smith said police can find out what types of crimes are ongoing in the neighborhood, and then focus on that to drive them out or arrest them.

In other news:

•Recreation coordinator Andrea Kingsford received her 10-year pin working for the city. The recreation coordinator supervises hundreds of young employees in the parks department with “special events,” summer camps and classes put on by the city.

•Councilman Stephen Muller said committee talks on governance are going well regarding a Regional Fire Authority, but three other issues need to be hammered out.

•The council OK’d a working agreement with other police departments in the county regarding a regional child abduction task force. Smith said the first 24 hours after an abduction are critical, and this agreement means all of the agencies will work together on such cases to try and solve them quickly.

•Smith reiterated his stance against marijuana businesses coming town after two producers made a plea for the council to change its mind on the topic. He said the potency of pot is much higher today than in the old days, and that more people are going to hospital emergency rooms as a result.

•Smith also said police made a sweep of the homeless encampments on 116th Street, and the Tulalip Tribes were scheduled to clean it up Tuesday.

•The council approved 45 houses to be built on 9.3 acres at Davis Meadows, just south of Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

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