County Council continues hearing on Smith Island dike removal

EVERETT — A legal agreement to address the concerns of businesses near Snohomish County’s Smith Island salmon-habitat project is still before the County Council. People testified for and against the $25 million dike-removal project during a hearing Wednesday. The council opted to continue the hearing at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, when members might reach a decision.

The county’s plan for Smith Island, between Everett and Marysville, is to flood about 350 acres of agricultural land to create salmon habitat. It faces strong opposition from farmers and equally strong backing from conservationists and the Tulalip Tribes.

The proposed agreement addresses concerns about the effect dike removal could have on Dagmars Marina, Hima Nursery, Buse Timber and the diking district that seeks to protect the businesses’ land. Worries include construction traffic at Dagmars, saltwater infiltration affecting soils at Hima and added sediment in a slough the mill uses to transport logs.

The agreement would cost the county about $400,000 over five years. It would settle four of five pending appeals at the state’s Shoreline Hearings Board.

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