Gold Bar residents’ wish list is short on funding

By LESLIE MORIARTY

Herald Writer

GOLD BAR — Residents around here want more parks, better roads and sewers.

At least those were the priorities they marked on a recent survey.

But paying for them is another matter.

At the request of councilman Steve Fuller, more than 500 surveys were mailed to residents in Gold Bar in August. Only about 10 percent returned the survey, city clerk Hester Ihrig said.

But those who returned surveys agree with council members as to the importance of various items.

"The public basically has the same interests as the council has," Ihrig said.

The survey showed that parks and providing recreational space is the No. 1 item to residents.

The second is getting the city on a sanitary sewer system.

Third is road repairs and traffic control and safety on nearby U.S. 2.

Mayor Ken Foster agrees with that list but knows that each item will take money.

"Some of these things, we’re doing about the best we can given our financial constraints," Foster said. "Citizens say they want better roads, but so far voters have turned down three bond issues aimed at getting the money for paving and maintaining our city streets."

Foster said, because of that, the city has gone after grants for street repairs and has been somewhat successful. But, he said, some of that money was affected by the passage of I-695, which limited the money the state has to share with cities for transportation costs.

"We’re expecting to see some of what we’ve been promised for road projects in 2001," Ihrig said.

As a means of fulfilling residents’ desires for more parks, the city has appointed councilwoman Debbie Hunt to work on creating a master plan for parks.

"Without that, we can’t apply for the grant money that’s out there for parks," Ihrig said.

And, with such a limited budget, Ihrig said the city is having a hard time finding the money to cover the costs of creating a park plan.

For now, the city is trying to use volunteer labor and donations to spruce up its main park near city hall and the U.S. 2 park it maintains. In the plans is a gazebo to be placed in the parcel park next to city hall.

As for sewers in Gold Bar, Foster and Ihrig said that may be years away.

"We’re talking millions of dollars on that one," she said. "It probably won’t happen unless the county undertakes an overall plan for sewer extensions."

But the city is applying for grants to fund a sewer study, Fuller said.

Other items that were ranked by residents were sidewalks, a community center, more police patrol and animal control.

Fuller, who spent his own time tabulating the survey, said he had hoped for a higher number of surveys to be returned.

"But I’m fairly happy with the results," Fuller said. "It looks like the council is going the direction the citizens want."

He said he’d never known Gold Bar to survey residents on their priorities for the town and just decided to do it.

"With Gold Bar growing as fast as it is, I thought it would be a good way to find out what people wanted. Not all residents can get to the meetings to tell us. So this was just another way to hear them out."

Fuller also hopes that the city will be able to begin a newsletter or Web site in the coming weeks, to help residents keep in touch with city officials and the council members.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Everett
Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

36 hours after final show, Everett radio host Charlye Parker, 80, dies

When Parker got into radio, she was a rarity: a woman in a DJ booth. For the past 12 years, she hosted weekend country music shows at KXA.

Dr. Scott Macfee and Dr. Daniel Goodman outside of the Community Health Center on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett CHC doctors, feeling like ‘commodities,’ speak up on ailing system

At the Community Health Center of Snohomish County, doctors say they feel like “rats getting off a sinking ship.” They want it to get better.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Man charged with shooting at ex-girlfriend, child in Mountlake Terrace

The man, 21, showed up to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and opened fire through the door, new court records say.

People walk along Olympic Avenue past Lifeway Cafe and Olympic Theater that currently hosts Lifeway Church on Friday, July 7, 2023 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington churches waged covert ‘battle’ against Pride event, records show

Sermons, emails and interviews reveal how an LGBTQ+ nonprofit became the target of a covert campaign by local evangelical leaders.

Drive-in movies are coming to the north Island. (Port of Everett image)
Where to catch outdoor movies this summer in Snohomish County

Bring a chair, blanket and the kids for a cinema night under the stars with your favorite movies, including “Barbie” and “Trolls.”

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Monroe in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Roundabout construction may slow traffic around Monroe

A state project to put a roundabout on Highway 203 will close a heavily used intersection for days starting Friday.

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.