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Former county yard on Avenue D may be ready to sell

SNOHOMISH — The land which once was a Snohomish County maintenance site, off Avenue D and Bonneville Avenue, is nearing its final stages of ecological clean-up and could potentially host an affordable housing site someday.
Officials from Snohomish County, which owns the property, met with City of Snohomish staff to see if there can be a collaboration in what the future of the land will be.
The vacant lot covers approximately 9.5 acres and has been in disuse since 2008, when the county facility was moved across the valley to Cathcart Way.
According to Mayor Tom Hamilton of Snohomish, members from the city and county met to discuss the possibility of what will happen with the land, after the Department of Ecology gives a clear indication that it is ready to be sold.
Hamilton said that the city has suggested to the county the possibility of affordable housing and retail in the space, which sits across the street from Haggen and Safeway. Randy Blair, a special projects coordinator with Snohomish County Public Works, confirmed the county is “excited” to be working with the city on what the land will be used for. Blair said the city and the county have been “good neighbors” with each other, and they will be collaborating ideas on what this property should eventually be.
Blair said the lengthy process of the ecological cleanup of the site began in 2013.
Snohomish city manager Larry Bauman said because the lot was a county maintenance site before, there were some contaminants from things such as spilled paint that needed to be removed. He added that contaminants had leaked underground from a dry-cleaning business in the strip mall across the street that needed to be removed as well. The county has been working with the owner of the strip mall on these cleanup efforts.
The next step is to submit new test results and hopefully get the cleanup approved by the Department of Ecology, which  should be within the next month or two, Blair said.
After that, he said the county will be looking to hire a consulting team to help decide the best way of selling the land. They are still unsure about whether they will be selling the land or leasing it. He also added that some of the revenue from the sale of the property will go toward building a new road maintenance facility in the Arlington area.


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