MARYSVILLE – Mayor Jon Nehring answered a variety of questions at his Coffee Klatch Monday at City Hall.
Nehring was asked why the city is giving tax breaks to some businesses that locate in the Cascade Industrial Center because it is proved they don’t work. Nehring said only one aerospace firm has used it so far. “It’s just one of the tools in the toolbox,” he said.
At least one spec facility also is being built in the CIC, although it has no tenants yet.
In other areas of town, the Chick-Fil-A building on 88th Street is going up fast. Other new businesses coming this year include: La Quinta, Marysville Self Storage, Roy Robinson RV, Kaiser Permanente and Fieldstone Memory Care.
Asked about the longtime unfinished hotel on 116th, Nehring said it’s in the courts, and they’re hoping for a buyer.
Thanks to state grants work will start at the new Olympic View Park east of the Qwuloolt Estuary this year. Parks director Tara Mizell said progress at Mother Nature’s Window will be awhile because of a lack of similar funding.
Nehring said the city lobbies for federal and state funds and sometimes it takes years.
“We keep at it until it’s funded,” he said. “A community our size can’t foot the whole bill.”
The city also hopes to pave the parking lot at the ballfield at Jennings Park. And a request was made for more benches and picnic tables at Spray Park, although Mizell said more are always placed there in summer.
Homeless and drugs
Chief Jeff Goldman there are some “great hearts in Marysville,” but he asked folks not to give money, food or blankets to panhandlers at the side of roads. “That makes it difficult to move them along,” he said. Instead, the city prefers that people donate to organizations that help the homeless.
Also, Nehring said Providence plans to put a new mental health facility in the Marysville area, and the Maud House women’s shelter is looking into expanding.
Regarding low-income housing, Nehring said, “Marysville has taken on more than its fair share.” The city helps operate housing shelters. The newest one is near Sunnyside Grocery. The other The other one owned by the city is by 47th Avenue and 3rd Street. A third in on Sunnyside Boulevard. One connects directly with the embedded social workers program. Ones that were on First Street were discontinued due to the bypass. One resident said homeless are living in blackberry bushes south of town, but Cmdr. Mark Thomas said police are consistently dealing with them.
One woman said the drug diversion center in Everett was full so someone she knows was put back out on the street. “We don’t want them back in the woods,” Nehring said, adding the city will even send them to Eastern Washington to get help, but that more beds are needed locally.
A resident praised the city for cleaning up drug houses in the Hidden Lake Estates area.
One woman said she’s tired of her neighborhood looking like a ghetto. She said a former drug house burned down, but the home has been rebuilt and the problem has returned, with up to a dozen cars parked in the yard. The city will look into it, Nehring said.
The mayor was asked if anything could be done to help with access to the Hidden Lake Estates development west of the tracks as their is only one right now. Nehring said it’s challenging because surrounding land is tribal. However, in an emergency crews have permission to use a yard for access. Also, Public Works director Kevin Nielsen said the city has a good relationship with Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which will halt a train for 15 minutes to allow access in an emergency. Nehring also was asked if any street lights could be put in there, and he said the city will work with the PUD on that.
Roundabouts again were brought up as a problem, especially the traffic circles on 92nd – “Everybody’s favorite whipping boy,” Nehring joked. While not a fan of them himself, Nehring said they are put in place to please neighbors who complain about speeders. “Lots of countries have them everywhere,” he said, adding education is key to their success. According to the state transportation website: Often there are yellow “roundabout ahead” signs as you approach; slow down as you approach; watch for pedestrians; look to your left as you near the yield sign; yield to traffic already in the roundabout; once you see a gap in traffic, enter the circle and proceed to your exit; use your turn signal before you exit, and make sure to stay in your lane as you navigate the roundabout.
With a multi-lane roundabout, you also will see a black-and-white “lane choice” sign. You will need to choose a lane prior to entering the roundabout.
How to help
One woman asked how people could volunteer to help clean up the town of its “horrific” litter problem. Public works has an Adopt-a-Street program where people can get training on how to deal with needles, etc. Others interested in helping can contact Mizell at the parks department.
Also, a request was made to remove some trees from the wetlands north of the YMCA because they’ve been known to fall down during storms. Nielsen the city can’t do that, even though it’s their land, because they are wetlands.
Nehring ended by praising his staff. He said the government here operates more like a private sector entity, where resources are stretched to do the most good.
“The city doesn’t shut down,” he said, adding even on Super Bowl Sunday a crew was sent out to an emergency. “Things don’t happen in a vacuum.”