Mountlake Terrace leaders weighing federal ARPA fund options

Bathrooms, body cameras, generators, radios, roadwork, roof replacement, sidewalks, trails and more loom for the $4.5 million.

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

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Bathrooms or body cameras. Emergency generator or digital firewall. Roadwork or roof replacement.

Some of these things could get funded by a portion of the $4.5 million federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds at the disposal of Mountlake Terrace city leaders. The Mountlake Terrace City Council discussed its priorities for spending proposed by city staff Thursday. They are set to vote spending at least some of it Monday night.

The city had a little under $6 million in federal money. It spent about $1.4 million on utility bill assistance through the Volunteers of America of Western Washington, child care workforce development, parks and recreation scholarships and other items.

Now city leaders are trying to figure out how to use the rest after department heads presented their capital expense proposals that totaled $1.3 million more money than the city has left from ARPA.

“These are all very important and need to be funded,” Mountlake Terrace City Council member Bryan Wahl said.

In the facilities department, the city could spend $550,000 for emergency generators to power city hall, police and fire stations, as well as $750,000 to replace the library roof and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units. The library’s roof and HVAC system has been there since 1988, according to the city.

Information technology asked for money to secure a “next gen” firewall for cybersecurity, cloud service, laptops, timesheet software and fiber connections at the public works and recreation pavilion, among other items.

Park and recreation sought $50,000 for an update to its arts plan by a consultant, $500,000 for trail work and picnic shelter at Ballinger Park and $600,000 for a bathroom and planning at Terrace Creek Park.

The Mountlake Terrace Police Department could get 30 body cameras and the necessary software and support for $250,000.

Public works had the highest valued request at $2.2 million for pavement preservation. Most of that would be for pavement maintenance over four years after going unfunded by the city the past nine years, with the rest buying an asphalt hot box that would keep the material usable for three days. Currently, crews have to go to the asphalt plant, buy more than they need to keep the rest hot enough, then dump what gets too cold.

“I can see us saving so much money on that,” Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto-Wright said.

The other public works recommendation was $460,000 to build a short retaining wall and about 125 of new sidewalk near the intersection of 48th Avenue W and 216th Street SW. It would help complete a separate grant-funded project to redo the intersection with accessible ramps, bulb outs and crosswalks with flashing beacons.

Council members said they were weighing which items could qualify for grant funding from other sources, as well as which could match with public survey results about how the money should be used. In that survey, public health and safety was the top choice, followed by household assistance such as rent and utility bills, infrastructure and amenities, businesses and nonprofits, and replacing lost revenue for government.

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

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