Community

Conference focuses on Public Works

Greg Giraldo of SVR Design, left, hears from city of Arlington Stormwater Utility Director Bill Blake on April 4 in the Tulalip Resort about public works projects such as the jointly coordinated efforts between the cities of Arlington and Marysville. - Kirk Boxleitner
Greg Giraldo of SVR Design, left, hears from city of Arlington Stormwater Utility Director Bill Blake on April 4 in the Tulalip Resort about public works projects such as the jointly coordinated efforts between the cities of Arlington and Marysville.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

TULALIP — The cities of Marysville and Arlington, and the Tulalip Tribes, were among the agencies within Snohomish County represented at the American Public Works Association Washington Chapter 2012 Spring Conference at the Tulalip Resort from April 4-6.

An estimated 500 APWA members attended sessions relating to public works projects and innovations in transportation planning, road construction and maintenance, wastewater, solid waste and more.

City of Marysville Public Works Director Kevin Nielsen took pride in being able to show the rest of the region what the Marysville and Tulalip communities have achieved through their partnership. He cited the I-5/116th Street NE interchange project coordinated between the city of Marysville and the Tulalip Tribes, as well as the Lakewood Triangle access/156th Street I-5 over-crossing project, as tangible examples of Marysville’s successful initiatives.

“When you hear the Tribes talk about their economic development, at the same time that you can see what’s going on around the nation, you realize that it’s not happening everywhere, but there are still hot spots,” said Nielsen, who also appreciated learning at the conference about the state Legislature’s priorities for transportation funding, so that Marysville can focus on getting those grants.

While the city of Marysville and the Tulalip Tribes co-hosted the conference with Snohomish County, the city of Arlington was not without its own input, as city of Arlington Stormwater Utility Director Bill Blake expressed his appreciation for being able to check in with Nielsen at the conference — a compliment that Nielsen returned — given the number of projects that their two cities have coordinated over the course of the past decade.

“It’s a great benefit, as neighboring jurisdictions, to work together efficiently toward development patterns and stormwater solutions,” said Blake, who touted what he sees as Arlington’s ability to restore and preserve natural resources while still supporting local business development.

Blake explained that Arlington has planned, with Marysville, the long-term restoration and reconstruction of Edgecomb Creek as it passes through the two jurisdictions.

“We developed a restoration strategy a number of years ago and share this with potential developers so they understand where the final footprint of the stream will be,” Blake said. “Having a well thought-out and coordinated plan between the two jurisdictions is an element of an economic development strategy to support the neighboring development patterns, rather than resulting in increased urban flooding problems.”

Blake added that the Old Town Stormwater wetland, still in its first year of use, has yielded benefits both as a popular park and as a means of reducing the pollutants in the Stillaguamish River.

 

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