Everett to reach out to Silver Lake area

EVERETT — If you live in an unincorporated neighborhood east of Silver Lake, the city of Everett may soon be knocking on your door.

The Everett City Council on Wednesday voted 4-2 in favor of a resolution that sets in motion an outreach effort to gauge how supportive people in that area are of joining the city through annexation.

“This is something looked at for a while,” City Councilman Mark Olson said. He added that people in urban areas are better served by cities than they are by Snohomish County.

A study released last month concluded that if Everett wanted to cash in on a 10-year state sales tax rebate for mega-annexations, stretching its boundaries east of Silver Lake made the most financial sense.

Still, even with the sales tax incentive, the analysis predicts Everett would begin running deficits if it extended police, fire and other services to the Eastmont, Hilton and Ruggs lake areas.

The next step is likely a scientific poll of residents in the area to assess how willing they would be to vote in favor of an annexation. There are about 12,500 people in the area the city is considering annexing.

The 47-page fiscal analysis by Berk &Associates of Seattle concludes the neighborhoods east of Silver Lake could generate enough tax revenue to maintain fire service at current levels provided by Fire District 1. The area would pay for police service at a higher level compared to that now offered by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the study also suggests.

Everett City Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher, an accountant and former consultant, voted against the resolution.

She questioned the study’s methodology, which did not include the cost of acquiring land for parks or other capital expenses, such as building or leasing a new police substation.

Factoring other expenses, Stonecipher said annexing the areas would wipe out a projected budget surplus and wind up costing Everett taxpayers $25.4 million by 2025.

“As I look at this, it doesn’t make a bit of financial sense,” she said.

One of the main reasons that annexation is being considered is a 10-year sales tax rebate that would allow the city to keep tens of millions of dollars that would otherwise go to the state.

For cities that annex 10,000 people by 2010, it extends a one-tenth of 1-cent sales tax credit for 10 years. That amount doubles for cities that annex 20,000 or more people. With a massive state budget shortfall projected this year, it is unclear how willing lawmakers would be to extend the offer.

The tax rebate created in 2006 is the state Legislature’s attempt to help city’s with the financial sting of following the broad policy of the state Growth Management Act, which encourages cities to absorb urban areas and to provide essential services such as police and fire protection, parks and planning.

“We’re missing the boat here if we don’t take advantage of this tax credit,” Councilman Arlan Hatloe said.

Council President Drew Nielsen, who voted against the resolution Wednesday, said the state’s enticement was like following a candy bar at the end of a fishing pole into a dark alley.

“I fear we’re making a hundred-year decision based on a 10-year incentive,” he said.

City Councilman Paul Roberts said one of the greatest failures of the Growth Management Act is it does too little to help cities swallow urbanizing areas.

Nearly two decades after the growth act’s passage, tens of thousands of residents in Snohomish County live on islands of county land sandwiched between Everett, Mill Creek, Lynnwood and Mukilteo.

That’s because no one has seen a compelling enough financial incentive to take in those communities, including the relatively high-crime neighborhoods in south Everett near Mariner High School.

Keith Gitchel, a resident of the Greenwood Park, a community with about 150 homes north of Mill Creek, spoke in favor of annexation on Wednesday.

“The one area that we cannot get help in is in the area of police protection,” he said.

Reporter David Chircop: 425-339-3429 or dchircop@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Two snowboarders head up the mountain in a lift chair on the opening day of ski season at Stevens Pass Ski Area on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, near Skykomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Ski season delayed at Stevens Pass due to minimal snow

Resort originally planned to open Dec. 1. But staff are hopeful this week’s snow will allow guests to hit the slopes soon.

Siblings Qingyun, left, and Ruoyun Li, 12 and 13, respectively, are together on campus at Everett Community College on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Everett, Washington. The two are taking a full course load at the community college this semester. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Siblings, age 12 and 13, are youngest students at EvCC campus

Qingyun Li was 11 when he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test. His sister, Ruoyun, was one point away.

Edmond’s newly elected mayor Mike Rosen on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mayor-elect Rosen wants to ‘make Edmonds politics boring again’

Mike Rosen handily defeated incumbent Mayor Mike Nelson. He talked with The Herald about how he wants to gather the “full input” of residents.

A speed camera facing west along 220th Street Southwest on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Traffic cameras, and tickets, come to Edmonds; Mukilteo could be next

New school zone cameras in Edmonds will begin operating in January. Mukilteo is considering enforcement cameras as well.

A person walks their dog along a flooded Old Snohomish Monroe Road on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Flood-resistant floors and sandbags are price of riverside life in Sultan

Flooding is a threat every year for 75,000 locals — and the long-term forecast suggests it’ll only get worse in the coming decades.

Everett Community College is introducing a new Trojan design as the college's symbol of student spirit and athletics. The design incorporates the Feather Star, EvCC's official logo, in the Trojan's cape.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Amid staffing crisis, student nurses run into shortages in education too

Everett Community College’s nursing program has 79 slots. Hundreds apply each year — and that’s just the first hurdle.

A family walks through the Wintertide lights Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Legion Park in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Wintertide Lights returns for the month of December in Everett

The free family event is open nightly at Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens in Legion Park.

A suspected gas explosion on Wednesday destroyed a house in the 19700 block of 25TH DR SE in Bothell, Washington. (Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue)
‘Gas explosion’ destroys Bothell house; no injuries

A vacant home blew up Wednesday in the 19700 block of 25th Drive SE, throwing a garage door across the street.

Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the 196th ST SW Improvement Project near the 196th and 44th Ave West intersection in Lynnwood, Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Jarred by anti-Semitic rants, Lynnwood council approves tax increase

Three people spewed hate speech via Zoom at a council meeting this week. Then, the council moved on to regular business.

From the patrol car footage of Everett police officer Ryan Greely, Molly Wright sits in the back of a police car after being arrested for obstructing a law enforcement officer on Aug. 10, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Screenshot from a video provided by Molly Wright)
‘My rights were violated’: Everett officer arrests woman filming him

Ryan Greely arrested Molly Wright in August on charges of obstructing, though state law generally allows filming police in public.

The Days Inn on Everett Mall Way, which Snohomish County is set to purchase and convert into emergency housing, is seen Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Over $130M for affordable housing set to be approved by County Council

The five-year investment plan of the 0.1% sales tax aims to construct 550 new affordable units.

Man killed in Highway 99 crash near Lynnwood identified

Brian Paulin, 32, lost control while driving on Lincoln Way and Highway 99.

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.