Arlington could see a burst of new public art soon

ARLINGTON – The Snohomish County town that covets its reputation for public art is about to go on another binge.

A walk around downtown Arlington, city parks or along the Centennial Trail reveals all sorts of art pieces and sculptures – some whimsical, some historical – while roadside art and gateway roundabouts remind drivers of one of the community’s goals for more visual appeal.

The Arlington City Council at its May 7 meeting will decide on whether to accept five proposals for the city’s public art collection, which have a combined value of $16,000.

City Administrator Paul Ellis highlighted the proposals:

• “Steelies” metal fish art for the 67th Avenue medians, proposed by local artists Monica Bretheron and Erika Bruss.

• A “Rip Rap” metal sculpture by Reg Akright for City Hall in the plaza as a memorial to George Boulton, which would include removing some nearby bushes.

• A “Duck Dash” painting reprint of artist Jack Gunter’s prized piece that would be repainted on metal and affixed to the future pump house for the Splash Pad in Haller Park.

• Four-foot tall “Dancing Bears” metal sculptures by Bretherton on loan for a year be installed by the new band stage by the stage under construction in Legion Park.

• Haiku Rock for Terrace Park.

The proposals were reviewed and recommended by the Public Art Committee and Parks and Recreation Board.

In other council business for their next meeting:

• The council may award a $2.3 million contract for the 2018 utility improvement and pavement preservation project. Marysville-based Reece Construction submitted the low bid for planned capital improvements that includes replacing aging and failing water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, and resurfacing roads where the improvements in the north end of downtown.

• City staff recommended adopting updated fee schedule that would increase several fees in planning, public works, EMS and finance. Among the changes, the city’s zoning permit will increase from $2,222 to $2,300, new mixed use development fees will be added, and EMS basic life support service will rise from $568 to $775 while advanced support service will increase from $982 to $1,150. The Council last updated the fees in 2016.

• The council will consider approving an interfund loan of $105,728 to the EMS fund to cover unmet operating expenses in March. The full balance on the loan is $392,417, and similar loans were necessary in January and February. City and fire officials at their annual spring retreat in March discussed options for long-term financial sustainability, which became more imperative after regional fire authority talks fizzled between Arlington and Marysville.

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