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Snohomish council talks about city goals, outlines future projects

SNOHOMISH — At a City Council budget workshop last week, a draft of the council’s goals was proposed and selected by council members to be finalized at a future meeting. The council also reviewed the 2019-2020 budget and previewed the budget for 2021-2022.
The council spent a large portion of the meeting discussing the priorities for Snohomish and what needs to be considered a goal in the next two years. During discussion, council members selected goals that they would like to be responsible for drafting and working on.
The council refined their list to roughly 13 goals. Their plan is to narrow down that further at a future meeting to ensure these goals can be achieved within the next two years. 
Some heavily discussed topics were:
• Public safety including public health, disaster preparedness, environmental, equity and inclusiveness, and crime prevention
• Increasing communication between the city, the council and the citizens, including to introduce an annual town hall meeting and improving equitable communication channels
• City-wide broadband internet as the pandemic forced many residents to work from home and with schools going fully remote
• Exploring annexation possibilities within the north and south urban growth areas. More specifically, to determine the feasibility of annexing Harvey Airfield in the southern UGA. 
• and exploring affordable housing options. Items pointed out are to remove barriers to affordable housing initiatives and explore options in the Pilchuck District, Bonneville Avenue and Bickford Avenue. 
Other council goals included Snohomish’s economic and business recovery, the regional trail connection, a North Blackman Lake sewer extension, additional parking downtown, environmental policies and greenspaces,
Some of the council’s goals were taken off or pushed to a future list because of a lack of feasibility. After two hours of discussion, it was suggested the council hold a goal selection workshop at a later date to discuss further.
Over the next few weeks, the council will refine the list to be finalized in the fall.

Future projects outlined

SNOHOMISH — The 2021/2022 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) was presented at the city council budget and goal selection workshop on Aug. 11.
City engineer Yoshihiro Monzaki led the presentation of the CIP to the council. The CIP included projects like; repairing roads, replacing pipelines, improving crosswalks, city facility upgrades, improvements to all riverfront parks and upgrades to city hall.
Multiple paving projects, including from the roundabout on Bickford Avenue to the state Route 9 overpass, are going to be funded by a grant from the Transportation Improvement Board. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused setbacks and because of a decrease in gas taxes, the state has requested the city to put a hold on those projects until next year, according to Monzaki. 
The Second Street corridor project design is 90% complete and will be presented to the council at a future meeting. Monzaki said that there are utility upgrades along the corridor that need to be completed before construction can start. As of now the construction on the Second Street corridor has no funding and the city is looking into possibly doing the construction in phases, according to Monzaki. 
The Midtown project was also briefly discussed but the council is leaving the majority of that topic to the Midtown Task Force Committee and the city Planning Commission. 
The public works utility facility is going to be torn down and rebuilt outside of the shoreline buffer, this will also include an upgrade to the facility. The modular office building that is currently the facility site will be removed and replaced with a larger building that will house all utility departments in one location.
A pipeline leading from Swifty Creek to the Snohomish River is planned to be replaced, although this project could prove to be difficult. The pipeline in question is over three miles long and under private property for the majority of it. According to Monzaki the pipe is original and the only section they know the condition of is the end near the river, which was replaced a number of years ago. Monzaki states the route of that pipeline is not entirely clear because of its age, but replacing the pipe to increase water capacity and flow is a goal. 
All riverfront parks will be getting an upgrade according to this plan. The Gazebo on First Street is going to be replaced, the Kla-Ha-Ya trail will receive upgrades and a bridge will be installed connecting the river walk to the Pilchuck Julia Landing. 
Averill Field, Ludwig Park and Pilchuck Park will be receiving upgrades as well. Ludwig Park will be designed by Otak, Inc. and could include a trail system within the park.
A project that could potentially be completed by the end of this year is the addition of four electric car charging stations. Two stations, each capable of charging two cars at once, and a small parking facility will be installed West of Avenue D on First Street. 
City Hall and the police station will be upgraded. The city hall building, originally the town post office until the 1980s, will be getting a new roof. The police station main entrance is going to be upgraded and an external wall will be replaced to reduce the size of the windows for safety purposes. 
The city produces a biennial budget to cover two years.
2019/2020 revenues are anticipated to meet or slightly exceed the budget, city finance director Debbie Burton said. Burton said the 2021/2022 budget is subject to change and she is “feeling confident” about 2021/2022. The final budget will be released in September.


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