Visitor center to go it alone Snohomish plans unfazed by vote

By LESLIE MORIARTY

Herald Writer

SNOHOMISH – When city leaders decided not to put the riverfront trail issue on the ballot again until 2001, they threw a monkey wrench in plans for the Visitors Information Center.

And they added $50,000 to the center’s price tag, which is expected to cost more than $340,000.

But that’s not discouraging the center’s supporters from going ahead with the idea.

"They are very dedicated to this project," said Brad Nelson, director of support services for the city of Snohomish. "They want to see it built and the sooner the better."

A $2 million riverfront trail bond issue failed in an election in February. The trail was planned to go under the First Street bridge and wrap around an area at First Street and Avenue D, where the visitors center is planned.

But when the bond issue failed, trail supporters scaled back the project, and it is no longer planned to go under the bridge.

That means that an additional $50,000 to $60,000 will be added to the costs of the center because the survey and land preparation work necessary for the center was going to be done as a part of the trail work.

"The center will now have to be responsible on its own for the permitting and the prep costs," Nelson said. "But most of the people involved are business people and they know that location is critical to success.

"They feel the First Street and Avenue D site is still the right site for the visitors center."

The center is planned to be a 30-by-30-foot building. The center has $104,000 in the city’s year 2000 budget. Of that amount, $4,000 has been spent on consulting fees to learn about applying for grant funding.

The remaining $100,000 is expected to be covered by higher business license fees that were increased $17 this year by the city council.

The project is a public-private partnership among the city and the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau, chamber of commerce, historical society, garden club and other civic groups.

The city hopes to apply for state and federal grants for the building. But Nelson said that can be competitive.

"When Sultan did its center, they applied three times before they got their funding," he said.

To be more competitive, supporters plan to show how they will be able to staff the center and cover its operational costs once it is built.

The center is planned as a place where visitors to the city, known for its many antique stores, will be able to find out about businesses, primarily those in the Historic Downtown Business District. It will also provide information about historic sites in the city.

Costs of the center may go higher, depending on environmental protection steps that will have to be taken.

"This is a public building, built near a salmon-bearing river," Nelson said. "It will be built so that it is environmentally friendly – despite the costs."

To gather support for the project, the city plans a public information session on the center at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Waltz Building, 116 Ave. B.

The city council is expected to have an official public hearing on the center Aug. 1. If the council decides that city participation will continue, Nelson expects the city to be applying for grants by Aug. 15.

Miranda Harris, spokeswoman for the tourism bureau, said anytime a city can add a visitors information center it’s a good idea.

"Especially in a city as cute as Snohomish," she said. "It’s a place where people can go to get information. It helps promote business.

"And it will also give the county a boost because the center in Snohomish will be able to give out information on other places to visit in Snohomish County," Harris said.

You can call Herald Writer Leslie Moriarty at 425-339-3436 or send e-mail to

moriarty@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

Grayson Huff, left, a 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary, peeks around his sign during the Marysville School District budget presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State OKs Marysville plan with schools, jobs on chopping block

The revised plan would mean the loss of dozens of jobs and two schools — still to be identified — in a school district staring down a budget crunch.

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to give feedback on the US 2 trestle and its future

Often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and on shaky ground? So is the trestle. A new $17 million study seeks solutions for the route east of Everett.

Lynnwood
Suspected DUI crash injures trooper on I-5 north in Lynnwood

WSP spokesperson said two suspected impaired drivers have crashed into a state trooper in the past 24 hours.

John Pederson lifts a flag in the air while himself and other maintenance crew set up flags for Memorial Day at Floral Hills Cemetery on Friday, May 24, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Volunteers place thousands of flags by veterans’ graves in Lynnwood

Ahead of Memorial Day, local veterans ensure fellow military service members are never forgotten.

People hang up hearts with messages about saving the Clark Park gazebo during a “heart bomb” event hosted by Historic Everett on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Future of historic Clark Park gazebo now in hands of City Council

On June 5, the Everett council is set to decide whether to fund removal of the gazebo. It could be stored elsewhere.

Brian Hennessy leads a demonstration of equipment used in fire training at the Maritime Institute in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘Ready to go full sail’: Maritime Institute embarks at Port of Everett

The training facility offers Coast Guard-certified courses for recreational boaters and commercial vessel operators.

George Beard poses for a photo outside of the the Stanwood Library in Stanwood, Washington on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
From sick to the streets: How an illness left a Stanwood man homeless

Medical bills wiped out George Beard’s savings. Left to heal in his car, he got sicker. Now, he’s desperate for housing. It could take years.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Lawsuit says Snohomish County deputies not justified in Sultan shooting

Two deputies repeatedly shot an unarmed Sultan man last year, body camera video shows. An internal investigation is pending.

An airplane is parked at Gate M9 on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. (Jordan Hansen/The Herald)
Good luck to Memorial Day travelers: If you’re like me, you’ll need it

I spent a night in the Chicago airport. I wouldn’t recommend it — but with flight delays near an all-time high, you might want to pack a pillow.

toon
Editorial cartoons for Friday, May 24

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

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.