Mountlake Terrace eyes one-time projects for $2.4M in federal funds

Staff recommended $750,000 for a new roof and HVAC at the library, $250,000 toward a nonprofit facility in Lynnwood and more.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The remainder of Mountlake Terrace’s $2.4 million in federal money could go toward a new roof and heating and cooling system for the library, as well as park development, a regional nonprofit service facility and other major projects.

City Manager Jeff Niten proposed the spending plan for 10 projects with an emphasis on infrastructure expenses at the City Council meeting Thursday. Money would come from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds marked for Mountlake Terrace.

“We have an opportunity, a one-time opportunity really, to repair and do some major infrastructure improvements,” Niten told the council.

Most council members said they supported the idea of using the federal funds for capital projects. They are expected to get another presentation and vote on the spending plan in July. If approved, it would conclude almost two years of deliberation about how to dole out the dollars.

“We’ve been talking about this for two years,” Council member Bryan Wahl said. “It’s time to make some decisions and get this done.”

In April 2022, the Council voted to give $500,000 to the Volunteers of America of Western Washington for utility bill assistance, and almost $90,000 as matching funds for a state grant to recruit and retain child care workers at the Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion.

In March this year, the council supported a plan to spend over $2.5 million on police body cameras, generators, emergency response radios and road work.

A good chunk of the remaining millions was proposed for a few major projects, including $750,000 for a new roof and HVAC system at the library.

Niten and city staff proposed $526,000 for Terrace Creek Park planning and bathrooms. The 60-acre park, also called “Candy Cane Park” for its striped swing set, already exists but the city has eyed further development for one of its largest public spaces.

But City Council member Laura Sonmore asked if a public bathroom at Veterans Memorial Park or somewhere closer to the light rail station set to open next year would be a better use of that money.

“I think it’s pretty important to have a restroom by the light rail,” Sonmore said.

City staff also recommended using $500,000 for some final work at its new Civic Campus that opened in 2021. Some of that money will go toward a lawsuit settlement over money owed to the contractor that built it.

After prior direction from the council during its May 21 retreat, the city is putting $250,000 toward the Lynnwood Neighborhood Center being developed by the Volunteers of America of Western Washington. The facility near the intersection of 196th Street SW and Highway 99 is planned to host behavioral health, dental and medical clinics, a preschool for low-income families, programs for adults and seniors, and the Boys and Girls Club, as well as refugee and immigrant assistance, a commercial kitchen and cafe.

An estimated 20,000 people could be served every year at the two-story, 40,000-square-foot facility.

“All of the problems that we have been talking about on some level will funnel through that building,” City Council member Steve Woodward said during the May 21 retreat.

Some of the other proposed spending would fund workforce training at community colleges, equipment replacement at the emergency operations center, fiber-optic redundancy for the public works department and Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion, flooring and cubicles at the police department, time and attendance software for employees citywide, and matching dollars for a Verdant Health Commission grant.

Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037;; Twitter: @benwatanabe.

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