2020 to be even busier for Arlington

By Barb Tolbert

As busy as 2019 was for the city of Arlington, it is hard to imagine that 2020 could be any busier. Yet, it looks like that is going to hold true. Here’s a quick look at what’s ahead for the new year.

It could be considered the year of transportation improvements with eight projects either being designed or under construction in addition to our regular pavement preservation work. These projects include construction of roundabouts on Highway 530 at Smokey Point Boulevard (funding dependent) and at 204th Street NE and 77th Avenue; design and construction of a new traffic signal at 204th Street and 74th Avenue; design of a new traffic signal on Highway 531 (172nd Street) at

40th Avenue; design of the Highway 531 widening project; planning for the repaving of Smokey Point Boulevard from 164th to 174th streets in 2021; designing the Smokey Point Boulevard corridor from 174th to 200th streets NE to accommodate more than just vehicle traffic; and completing the design for 173rd Street to take pressure off of 172nd. The city will also be finishing the Complete Streets project on 59th Avenue and 188th Street to connect the Arlington Boys and Girls Club with adjacent parks, providing sidewalks, crosswalks and other amenities to improve safety. All of those projects are included in the city’s Transportation Improvement Plan, which takes a look at transportation needs for the next 20 years. The list is available on our website at www.arlingtonwa.gov/648/Transportation-Improvement-Plan. Many of these projects will be built thanks to significant state funding.

In economic development, work will continue on the Cascade Industrial Center to attract family wage jobs in cooperation with Marysville and our new partner, the Port of Everett. Transportation and utilities infrastructure in the CIC is a top priority for us, and we will be working with Marysville to pursue funding. An important piece of growing the CIC is career-connected learning for our local residents. A new initiative with Arlington Public Schools will connect incoming high school juniors and seniors with local businesses. Contact the school district at aci@asd.wednet.edu for details about the Arlington Career

Internships program, including how to sign up. The city’s Innovation Center, on the corner of 4th and Olympic, will be opening after a remodel. The center will provide co-working and incubator space for entrepreneurs of all industries and will provide access to services and education resources. Finally, we are anticipating completion of the sustainable Downtown Corridors Plan that we have been working on with students from Western Washington

University. That plan will help guide the future of downtown over the next 10-20 years.

In police, we will be transitioning our court and jail services from Marysville to Snohomish County by March 1. That move was prompted by a lack of capacity in Marysville court and jail due to population growth in both cities. Arlington Fire will be focused on further conversations with North County Regional Fire Authority on additional partnerships. In addition, the city will be designing and breaking ground on a new Fire Station 48 on Airport Boulevard. Both departments will be focusing on planning for growth.

Our focus in Community Development will be on development of a Housing Action Plan with our community to address affordable housing.

These and other plans and projects require input from our local community. I encourage you to get and stay involved.

Barb Tolbert is the mayor of Arlington, which has a monthly column in this newspaper.