Marysville’s come a long way this past decade

  • Saturday, December 7, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

As we approach the end of the current decade, I thought it would be informative to look back at some key improvements our city has made since 2010.

As mayor, I have made it a priority to partner with the City Council to focus on plans and projects that make a difference in the everyday lives of those who call Marysville home. To that end, we have made many important investments.

The City Council and I have worked diligently over the years to maximize tax dollars while delivering projects and services. And because most large infrastructure projects take place over many years and can cost millions of dollars, we are grateful for the vision of city leaders who came before us and for our state, local and federal funding partners.

Here are some of the larger city investments this decade, using the priorities I often hear about from Marysville residents — public safety, transportation, and parks and recreation.

•Public safety: Increasing the number of police officers has been a priority; since 2010 we have added 28 more officers, 15 in the last five years. The police department has 73 officer positions, and the 2020 budget provides for adding two more.

Our crime rate has decreased by 21% since 2010, dropping from 129 to 102 crimes per 1,000. Marysville’s rate is lower than Arlington (123) and Everett (153).

•Transportation: In 2010 we extended 88th Street NE east of 67th Avenue NE to open Ingraham Boulevard to serve the new Marysville Getchell High School and growing eastside neighborhoods. A state Transportation Improvement Board grant partially funded this roadway.

The Lakewood overcrossing, including a two-lane bridge over Interstate 5 and a connector road between 156th Street NE and Twin Lakes Avenue, was completed in 2012. This new roadway provides alternate access to the Lakewood Crossing retail center. It was designed to work into a planned future I-5 freeway interchange at 156th Street NE. Because of the city’s investment, the state has fully funded the on- and off-ramps for to be completed in coming years.

In 2012 the city and Snohomish County funded the construction of 51st Avenue NE, a two-lane arterial between 84th Street NE and 88th Street NE near Pinewood Elementary. This gave us another complete north/south route within our city.

The widening of State Avenue from three lanes to five between 116th Street NE and 136th

Street NE was finished in 2015. Another TIB grant partially funded the project. The next phase of the State Avenue widening project, from 100th Street NE to 104th Street NE, goes out to bid this month with construction expected in 2020-21.

•Parks and rec: The city opened the popular Spray Park at Comeford Park in 2014, offering children and families a fun, free option for cooling down on summer days along with improvements to the park and adjacent Ken Baxter Community Center.

In 2017, we opened the first phase of the Ebey Waterfront Trail, which gives users an up-close look at native plants and wildlife in the estuary.

And in early 2018 the city bought the Marysville Opera House, the only building in in the city listed on the historic register, after leasing it and performing extensive renovations. It is home to many expanded cultural programs offered by the city, including concerts, outdoor speakers, movies and more. The Opera House is also a popular rental venue for weddings and special events.

Those are just a few highlights of many city improvements made over the past decade. We look forward to the next 10 years, when several more large transportation infrastructure projects will be built thanks to significant state funding. You can find more information on the city website at www.marysvillewa.gov.

Jon Nehring is the mayor of Marysville. His column runs monthly.

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