Arlington has plans to spend stimulus

ARLINGTON — If a federal economic stimulus package means cash, the city of Arlington has a wish list.

The city has 13 underfunded road, building and public works projects it hopes to shop around to state and federal lawmakers who will listen.

City public works director James Kelly plans to take the list to today’s roundtable discussion in Everett hosted by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen. The congressional delegation is set to listen to people’s concerns about the region’s economic needs and to talk about federal investments in infrastructure and helping cities fund vital programs.

The meeting comes as congressional leaders begin discussion on a new economic stimulus package that they hope can jump-start the local economy.

Kelly, assistant city administrator Kristin Banfield and other city officials have put together descriptions of projects that could put people to work and improve Arlington’s aging infrastructure.

“These projects are ready to go, we just need funding,” Banfield said. “It’s critical for us to put our ideas out there and keep Arlington at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Arlington isn’t the only municipality looking ahead to obtain economic stimulus money. Marysville also has a list of projects to hand out, Banfield said.

“In this day and age of tight budgets and reduced levels of funding, we need to be prepared for the time when our population doubles,” she said. “We would rather be ahead of the game than play catch up.”

Arlington’s list of projects is topped by the upgrade and expansion of its wastewater treatment plant.

The $34.6 million project has more than half its funding, Kelly said, but another $14.6 million is needed. The expansion is required for the state’s clean-up program for the Stillaguamish River and for anticipated growth in the city, Kelly said.

Other projects on the wish list include a $1.9 million replacement of a 60-year-old water line, a $560,000 replacement of the Gleneagle reservoir roof, a $2.9 million proposed storm-water system repair project, a proposed $160,000 Legion Park restroom and visitor information center and a $92,000 new sidewalk on Gifford Avenue.

Other roadwork on the list includes an $8.5 million improvement of 67th Avenue and $122,000 for the 188th Street pedestrian trail. Development of the Arlington Airport Business Park could use $4.8 million, the Arlington Food Bank needs $750,000 to build a central facility served by public transportation and the Arlington Library needs $8.7 million for a new building to meet its escalating use.

The city also hopes to find $3.9 million to build a new fire station on the city’s southwest side and refurbish the city’s oldest fire station downtown.

The total monetary value of Arlington’s wish list is nearly $34 million.

“One can only hope,” Mayor Margaret Larson said.

Meeting today

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen plan to meet with educators, economic development experts and local business leaders from 12:30 to 2 p.m. today in the first-floor meeting room, Bob Drewel Building, Snohomish County Administration, 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett.

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