MARYSVILLE — Thousands of people in neighborhoods east of State Avenue will go to bed tonight in unincorporated Snohomish County and wake up Wednesday in Marysville.
Those people will be part of what will become the second-largest city in the county. As of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Marysville will expand to include 19,000 residents within its borders, going to about 56,000 from 37,530, behind only Everett’s 103,500. Edmonds, currently the second-largest city in the county, will suddenly become a distant third at 40,900.
Another large annexation, of about 10,000 people joining Lake Stevens, takes effect Thursday.
Much of the time, residents may not notice a difference. Marysville already provides utilities for the area, for example. Other services, such as police service and street maintenance, will switch from Snohomish County to the city.
Police protection will be one of the more visible, immediate changes, officials say.
Marysville is planning to eventually add more officers to patrol the area and has a special unit that addresses pressing crime problems in the city, Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux said.
The department will start patrols of the new 4 ½ square-mile area by adding one overtime officer per shift, Chief Rick Smith said. In addition, police officers with police dogs and riding motorcycles will go on routine patrols in the area, he said.
“It’s going to be a whole lot of overtime,” he said.
The area is 75 percent contiguous with current city boundaries and officers already are accustomed to jumping across the line and assisting the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Smith said.
The Sheriff’s Office has offered to do the same for city officers once the transition takes place, Smith said.
Marysville plans to hire five more officers this coming year who are expected to be on duty between three and 11 months from now, depending on whether they are established career police officers or entry-level officers who require more training.
Eventually, the department plans to add a total of 12 to 14 more commissioned patrol officers to its current force of 53, Smith said.
By comparison, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has 40 officers, with four positions currently vacant, to cover the northern part of unincorporated Snohomish County, spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said. The north precinct covers everything roughly from Lake Stevens north, though many of those areas are not densely populated.
Lamoureux said Marysville’s special unit of a sergeant and three officers targets whatever is the biggest issue in the city at the time, such as a drug house, and works to resolve it quickly.
“They’re well known, they’re very aggressive and they make a lot of arrests,” he said.
The unit helps free patrol officers to answer their calls quickly, he added.
It could be partly because of the unit’s reputation that the department has heard through its grapevine that some troublemakers in the area already are planning to move out when Marysville police move in, Lamoureux said.
County Sheriff John Lovick isn’t ready to agree that cities provide quicker police service than the sheriff’s deputies, but said his department is working with Marysville on a smooth transition.
“We are really proud of the level of service we provide to the citizens in those annexed areas,” he said.
The city’s criminal justice system will eventually have to expand its municipal court, its jail and its human resources department to meet the demands of a larger city, Smith said.
The annexation is expected to cost the city close to $4 million its first year, officials have said. Marysville will receive at least $1 million from the state for adding more than 10,000 people in one annexation, but it won’t get the additional money until 2011. And it won’t get property tax revenue from the new area until then as well.
To help offset that cost in the first year, the city’s two unions, the Teamsters and the Marysville Police Officers Association, agreed to forego their cost-of-living increases until 2011, saving about $400,000 for the year, city administrator Mary Swenson said.
Then, they’ll receive the raise due this year plus the one due in 2011, but the city will be better able to afford it, Swenson said.
“They understood how we were going to be stretched,” she said. “For the unions to step up and agree to do this was extremely important.”
Police officers also agreed to forego the practice of taking home squad cars. Officers will share cars, cutting the need for the city to immediately buy new patrol vehicles, officials said.
It’s expected to save $240,000 up front and $110,000 a year for several years, Lamoureux said.
In addition to a change in police patrols, Marysville is planning to add four street maintenance employees to its current force of 13 within six months, said Larry Larson, public works supervisor for the city.
The crews will take over sweeping, pothole patching, snow and ice response, repaving and striping and maintenance of storm water ponds and ditches, he said.
“We’re going to have sweepers out in the area next week,” he said.
Overall, the city has been working with other agencies to make the transition, such as with the county to get records transferred.
City officials say they’re looking forward to the challenge of serving the new area, Swenson said.
“We’re ready to take it on,” she said.
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new part of Marysville
Area: 4.45 square miles
Assessed value: $1.9 billion
Estimated population: 18,943
Single-family residences: 6,255
Multi-family residences: 460
Commercial or business zoned areas: 2.9 acres
Multi-family housing zoned areas: 43.1 acres
Single-family zoned areas: 2,757.4 acres
Street miles: 64.6
Storm water pipes (miles): 10
Storm water ponds: 25
Storm drain lines (miles) 30.5