Ballots are due Tuesday in special election

Folks in Marysville, Darrington, Monroe and Sultan have decisions to make.

EVERETT — Time is running out to turn in special election ballots.

Votes need to be submitted by 8 p.m. Tuesday. Districts in Darrington, Marysville, Monroe and Sultan have decisions to make about schools, fire service and hospital facilities.

As of Friday morning, nearly 19 percent of all ballots had been returned, according to the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office.

The Darrington School District is asking for a $1.4 million capital projects levy. It would replace a bond to renovate the high school from 20 years ago.

Property taxes would not go up, Superintendent Buck Marsh has said.

The money would go toward a new heating system in the high school, a new roof on the elementary school and safety equipment in both.

In Marysville, the fire district hopes to create a regional fire authority.

For more than two decades the Marysville Fire District and Snohomish County Fire District 12 have worked together, but receive funding from different places.

A “yes” vote changes that, and means they get money from the same place. Taxes would change differently for voters depending on where they live.

They all would end up paying the same amount, $1.45 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. That adds up to about $435 annually for a $300,000 home.

That number doesn’t include a separate tax for emergency medical services, which is 50 cents per $1,000.

The district’s service area wouldn’t change. It covers about 60 square miles, including the city of Marysville, some of the Tulalip Indian Reservation, the Seven Lakes area and other parts of unincorporated Snohomish County.

EvergreenHealth Monroe is requesting a levy lift that would help reopen its maternity ward.

Expecting mothers in east county haven’t had a nearby hospital to give birth since it closed in 2011. They either have to go to EvergreenHealth in Kirkland or Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

The money also would replace aging emergency room equipment and update the electronic medical records system.

The levy would raise property taxes by 20 cents, to 47 cents per $1,000 assessed property value. That means a property owner would pay $141 annually on a $300,000 home.

Snohomish County Fire District 5 in Sultan wants to build a new public safety center on land they own along Cascade View Drive.

The campus would include a fire station, an emergency center in case of a natural disaster and meeting space that could double as an evacuation center.

“Today we have a very poor place to do CPR classes. It’s too small,” Chief Merlin Halverson said.

The agency is asking for a 20-year bond worth $8 million.

Property taxes would go up by a maximum of 55 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. That means a person who owns a $250,000 house would pay up to $137 more per year.

“We’ve done everything in our power to keep our cost down,” Halverson said. “… It doesn’t seem to be a debate in our community whether we need a new fire station. That’s a given. The issue is the cost of the building, and that’s something we can’t control.”

Mailed votes must be postmarked by Tuesday. Ballot drop boxes around the county are open 24 hours. Visit the county website for a list of locations.

Call the county elections office at 425-388-3444 for more information.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192;; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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