By Chris Winters Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — Jon Nehring, mayor of Marysville, wants 2014 to be remembered as the year the city invested back into the community.
Nehring delivered his annual State of the City address to the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce on Friday, to a room full of business and political leaders, many of who were wearing Seahawks garb.
Nehring said the economic downturn hit the city hard, but thanks to staff efforts to reduce spending and build up cash reserves, Marysville finished 2013 $1.3 million under budget.
More work will be needed, but now the city can move forward to provide more services and rebuild its reserves.
“We’re healthy, we’re stable, but we’re not flush,” he said.
The City Council has passed a $139 million budget for 2014, of which $42.1 million comprises the general fund.
Property taxes provide 37 percent of funding, while local sales tax contributes 23 percent to the mix.
Nehring took the time to outline a series of projects starting or coming to completion this year, which included:
Funding for six new full-time police officer positions;
Two new aid cars and two full-time firefighter positions;
Renovations of Foothills Park, a new spray park in Comeford Park, extension of the Bayview Trail to 84th Street, and the opening of Doleshel Park in the next few weeks; and
Widening State Avenue to five lanes between 116th and 136th Streets.
Another significant program in the more distant future is a new interchange for the intersection of I-5 and Highway 529. Nehring spent much of this week in Olympia with legislators seeking a way to move it forward.
It would be a critical project for commerce and freight travel in a city that has only at-grade railroad crossings that tie up traffic every time a train comes through.
“It’s a project of regional significance that will help Everett, Marysville and the county,” he said.
Another point Nehring returned to several times in his speech was a plan to revitalize downtown and the waterfront, which the city has tried to move forward a piece at a time.
The city has $200,000 set aside this year for the Qwuloolt Interpretive Trail, which is tied to the Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration Project, an undertaking led by Tulalip Tribes, the federal and state governments.
He wrapped up his talk by emphasizing his efforts to provide good customer service to the taxpayers of Marysville.
“We’ll do everything we can to serve,” he said.
Chris Winters: 425-374-4165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.