Plan to build new sheriff’s office precinct put on hold

CLEARVIEW — A multimillion-dollar plan to build a new Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office precinct in the Cathcart area is on hold.

The county executive’s office, which changed leadership last summer, wants to review the previous plans and gather more information, Deputy County Executive Mark Ericks said Wednesday. The precinct project was put on pause while they worked on the county courthouse plans, he said.

Officials initially had hoped to move the existing sheriff’s south precinct from Mill Creek to county-owned property on Cathcart Way, near Glacier Peak High School. The Mill Creek site is too small and too old to accommodate growth, according to the sheriff’s office.

The county had approved $3 million in bond money for the project, and received a state grant for another $1 million.

The new precinct was supposed to be about 10,000 square feet.

The sheriff’s office likely needs twice that space, Ericks said. The county plans to hire someone to conduct a study of the south precinct service area and look at population growth predictions and where cities might incorporate.

“We need to build a building that will last for 25, 30 years,” Ericks said.

Cathcart Way might not be the best fit, he said. He’s been meeting with Sheriff Ty Trenary.

Sometime after the study, Trenary is expected to make a new proposal to the County Council on a potential location.

Final decisions will be up to the council, Ericks said.

The sheriff’s office operates headquarters at the county courthouse in downtown Everett and three precincts in north, east and south county.

The current south precinct is at 15928 Mill Creek Blvd., within Mill Creek city limits. More than 70 sheriff’s employees and volunteers are assigned there.

South county deputies handle more 911 calls than the north and east precincts combined, according to the sheriff’s office.

The lease for the Mill Creek building can be renewed through 2016. The lease has been in place since the 1980s.

The north precinct is in Smokey Point, the east in Sultan. Both of those buildings also are leased — an issue that might need to be reconsidered in the future, Ericks said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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