Council spending tacks on millions

EVERETT – As it goes looking to borrow money, Snohomish County should consider expanding its spending plan to $58 million for road and other public projects, County Councilman Dave Gossett said.

On Tuesday, Gossett and the County Council tacked on $24 million in proposed projects to be built in fast-growing neighborhoods across the county.

“If we can deliver projects quicker and save money doing so, we ought to do it,” Gossett said.

The list is larger than the $34 million previously on the table.

The proposals are part of an effort to sell about $58 million in bonds to pay for a series of projects, including a gun range for deputies and a public works maintenance center.

Today, the council will consider a two-week delay required to legally expand the project list.

The seed of the spending plan includes $12.6 million in road, park and storm water projects spread across the county proposed by County Executive Aaron Reardon.

He’s dubbed the program CIDI – Community Infrastructure Development Initiative.

Reardon wants to borrow money while interest rates are low as a way to avoid paying high construction costs, which are growing faster than inflation.

The debt would be paid with road taxes collected from unincorporated property owners and real estate excise taxes.

The premise is solid, Gossett said.

“All these projects are high-priority projects,” Gossett said.

Some of the projects were years away, and rising property values and construction costs might add millions to bill.

Reardon’s list of proposed projects tested the water.

“We’re very pleased with the council’s support of the CIDI projects, and very pleased they want to expand the project list. I’ll be supportive of those additional projects,” he said.

The council’s proposals include a wider 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens, work on Beverly-Edmonds Road and a $3 million sidewalk near Martha Lake.

The council was being pushed to approve money quickly to allow construction to begin for the Cathcart maintenance center.

If the council instead approves a promise to pay for the project, it buys more time to raise money for the work, public works officials said.

The Snohomish County Council plans a public hearing on a borrowing proposal at 10:30 a.m. today on the eighth floor of the county administration building, 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett.

$31.5 million for parks, roads and storm water control projects proposed by County Executive Aaron Reardon and the County Council.

$10.7 million for the county public works maintenance center at Cathcart on Highway 9.

$8.75 million for Paine Field airport projects, including storm water control, a fire department project and a taxiway.

$5 million for costs and project contingencies.

$1.9 million for a gun range for sheriffs deputies and an impound lot, also at the countys Cathcart property.

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