Arlington rejects bid for downtown innovation center, pocket park

ARLINGTON – The City Council on Monday rejected a bid that was more than twice above estimates for a proposed downtown Innovation Center and pocket park.

The only bid the city received was for $583,750, which was $301,000 more than budgeted City Administrator Paul Ellis said.

A glut of construction activity has kept contractors up to their eyeballs in projects, so the city plans to advertise the contract again in January when the bidding climate should be more favorable, Ellis said.

The remodel of the city-owned “old Shell station” at 4th Street and Olympic Avenue is being funded through a $275,000 state Commerce Department grant, and an additional $45,000 grant was secured for pocket park development.

The center will house meeting space and educational resources to help entrepreneurs and start-up business users, while park amenities will include public restrooms, outdoor seating, bicycle parking and landscaping.

In other council action:

• Accepted right of way dedicated to the city along Smokey Point Boulevard and related to widening 31st Avenue NE for the 315-unit, three-story Villas at Arlington, an affordable rental housing project by the Stillaguamish Senior Center.

• Approved a development agreement with Baker-Mor, which is developing commercial, retail and senior apartments under a binding site plan at 172nd Street NE and 40th Avenue NE. The project will feature an extension of 40th through the 8-acre property to connect with a future 173rd Street that would alleviate some congestion on 172nd. The agreement in part will enable project traffic mitigation fees to be used to build the extension.

• Ended an agreement with Marysville for storm water billing, in effect since 2006. There are as many as 1,000 Arlington residents who get surface water services from Arlington and get other utility services from Marysville. Now there will no longer be a separate bill for those customers, which saves Arlington as much as $12,000 a year in billing and collection costs.

• Read a proclamation declaring September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Mayor Barb Tolbert welcomed Layla Beckstrand and her family of Marysville, who were present, and Ayden Rapelyea and Maddie White of Arlington as among the hundreds of children being treated for cancer in Washington state, and encouraged residents to support children battling cancer, and become more informed about the impacts it has on children and their families.

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