More trails planned in Sultan

SULTAN — The city soon will be able to buy land for future trail construction, thanks to a $324,600 grant from Snohomish County.

The 4.5 acres is located along the Sultan River between Osprey and River parks in Sultan.

“This is a great project offering citizens and visitors (the chance) to explore a trail along the river from one city park to another,” Mayor Carolyn Eslick said, in a statement.

The grant is part of more than $25 million being distributed by the county to purchase land for preservation, with an emphasis on protecting the natural environment and farmland.

The county also is using $190,000 from the same fund to help buy 25 acres to add to Steelhead Park on the Skykomish River, south of the city limits. Steelhead Park’s focus will be overnight camping and fishing.

Both projects also will benefit east Snohomish County’s plan to create the Port-to-Pass Recreation Corridor, a partnership between several cities, chambers of commerce and other organizations to tout the region’s outdoor recreation, said Ken Walker, Sultan’s city administrator, in the statement.

“Approval of both of these projects will be a huge boost to the economic vitality of the Sky Valley and promotion of the Port-to-Pass Recreation Corridor along U.S. 2,” Walker said.

The county’s funding comes from the Conservation Futures Program, which was started 1988 to distribute property taxes that the state allows counties to collect for land preservation.

This round was made possible by a $120 million bond sale the county held in April. The bonds also are being used for a new county courthouse, park infrastructure projects and road improvements.

The county plans to pay back the Conservation Futures portion of the bond using future revenues. Official said they’re acting now to take advantage of low interest rates before land prices rise, or the land gets snapped up for development.

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