By Chris Winters Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — City leaders Tuesday night grabbed an opportunity to jump-start a number of roads projects that otherwise would be put off by a year.
The city’s Transportation Benefit District, which the voters authorized to use tax revenues to fund road projects in the city in the April 22 special election, provides for raising $16 million over 10 years by increasing local sales tax by 0.2 percent.
However, the tax increase doesn’t take effect until Oct. 1, with the revenue not becoming available until the following year.
The solution is a complex agreement that allows the city to lend the district $600,000 now to fund a few projects this summer.
The money will be repaid at a rate of $200,000 per year, plus interest, over three years starting in 2015 out of tax funds collected by the district.
“What is allows us to do is take advantage of the season for construction right now,” said city Councilman Jeffrey Vaughan, who heads the district.
There are a number of projects in the city that need attention now, Vaughan said, and delaying work could lead to increased repair costs.
The city has drawn up a 10-year work list of more than 50 projects, ranging from pavement overlay projects on major arterials to rehabbing old sidewalks.
“We thought it would be a show of good faith for the voters, just to show them that their tax dollars were being put to good use as quickly as possible,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said. “The roads are not currently in horrendous shape, but if you don’t maintain these roads, the fix becomes a much more expensive proposition,” Nehring said.
The city has identified two pavement overlay projects that will be paid for with the short-term loan this summer: Eighth Street in the downtown area between State Avenue and Ash Avenue, and 108th Street NE near Marysville-Pilchuck High School between 51st Avenue NE and 67th Avenue NE.
The city will also be working on a couple of projects that were already budgeted for in the city’s general fund, city administrator Gloria Hirashima said.
One is near the Marysville Cemetery this year, overlaying a section of State Avenue between 88th Street NE and 92nd Street NE, and on 92nd Street from State to 47th Avenue NE, which will cost $375,000.
In the east end of town, the city also will be working on Grove Street between 73rd Street NE and 79th Drive NE, a $400,000 project.
Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; email@example.com.