Capital construction projects in Edmonds left in limbo

EDMONDS — A new community center is one of three construction projects here left in limbo due to an impasse in Olympia blocking passage of a capital budget.

The biggest city project is a new $11 million waterfront community center, which is planned on the site of the current Edmonds Senior Center on Railroad Avenue.

The state construction budget had queued up $2.25 million for it, but even that isn’t the whole story, said Farrell Fleming, the senior center’s executive director.

“The reality is even larger,” he said.

In part that’s because the project had been promised a $1.25 million state grant for the budget year ending June 30. But the money wasn’t spent. Typically that’s rolled over into the new budget, meaning the project was hoping to get a total of $3.5 million in state money, he said.

The money wasn’t spent because the state money is used to reimburse local projects. Until the money is actually spent for part of the project, no state money is received, Fleming said.

“Projects take a while and they take a while to get other funding sources in place,” he said. In May, backers said $5.1 million had been raised.

Once the legislative impasse over state money is resolved, Fleming said he hopes to begin construction in the summer of 2018.

“The worst case it puts it off a year,” he said. “Prices go up.”

A general contractor has just been hired to provide a more up-to-date estimate of buildings costs, Fleming said.

Lawmakers left town last month without passing the $4.2 billion construction budget due to a disagreement over how to respond to a state Supreme Court decision.

That ruling said counties must determine whether there’s enough water available for a new well. Each county must come up with its own system for predicting the impact on water flowing to nearby streams or available to existing wells.

No fix could be found before the end of the longest legislative session in state history, so construction projects statewide are on hold.

“We’re in this no man’s land. It’s never happened before,” said Carrie Hite, Edmonds Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services director.

The city had planned to get underway with a beach restoration project near the senior center next year with $500,000 in state money.

Now, she said, that won’t happen.

The project calls for reconstructing the parking lot adjacent to the senior center, part of which rests on a creosote pier, which will be removed. More beach habitat would be added in the area, along with reconnecting a walkway that now stops short of the senior center.

A rain garden would be added to help cleanse runoff from the new parking lot. Now runoff goes into a storm drain and directly into Puget Sound, she said.

The timing of getting the state money is critical because construction must occur between July and September to prevent conflicts with fisheries and other habitat issues.

The only thing that would prevent the project being delayed from 2018 to 2019 is if the Legislature approves the money early in its next session, which begins in January, she said.

Of the three projects in Edmonds awaiting state money, Mayor Dave Earling said $390,000 for a new roof on the Frances Anderson Center, a recreation and arts center, is the least expensive but nonetheless critical.

Its roof is leaking. “Even though we keep making repairs, we’ve had extensive damage in the electrical system,” he said. “It needs to be taken care of.”

Meanwhile, construction of three news schools in the Edmonds School District won’t be slowed due to the budget issues in Olympia, although $17.7 million in state money is designated for the projects.

Construction work will proceed on Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace elementary schools and Madrona, a school for kindergarten through 8th grade students, said Stewart Mhyre, the district’s executive director of business and operations.

Current projects won’t be affected because the district pays for construction with 2014 bond funds and then is reimbursed for a portion of those costs by the state.

All three schools are scheduled to open in September 2018.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486;

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

Snohomish County likely to feel more like winter, beginning Monday

Get ready for a mix of rain and snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.

Anthony Boggess
Arlington man sentenced for killing roommate who offered shelter

Anthony Boggess, 33, reported hearing the voices of “demons” the night he strangled James Thrower, 65.

Patrick Kunz speaks during his sentencing on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington.(Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett gymnastics coach who spied on students sentenced to 6 months

Patrick Kunz, 47, pleaded guilty to charges of voyuerism and possession of child pornography last month.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
Everett transgender mechanic alleges Boeing treated her ‘like a zoo animal’

For years, Boeing allowed toxicity “to fester and grow” at its Everett factory, according to Rachel Rasmussen, an employee from 1989 to 2024.

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)
Monroe High School teacher accused of sexual misconduct, put on leave

Few details were not available Thursday afternoon. Police were seeking information from the public.

After 10 months, police make arrest in fatal Everett shooting

Police believe Malik “Capone” Fulson killed Joseph Haderlie, 27, in April 2023 outside an apartment complex on Casino Road.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

Ryan Rafter appears in court for sentencing Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of Everett father

In April 2022, Ryan Rafter, 42, shot Christopher Buck, 29, to death after breaking in to his home to steal drugs.

Driver strikes, kills Marysville man who was crossing I-5 in Seattle

The man’s car had broken down near Mercer Street. Troopers reported that he was struck when he tried to cross the freeway.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Police: Darrington woman stabbed, buried 5-year-old daughter

The woman reportedly told investigators she was hearing voices before she killed her young daughter on Valentine’s Day.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.