No state capital budget, no Arlington splash pad

ARLINGTON — The water feature envisioned as a centerpiece of the overhauled Haller Park has been put on hold, after years of fundraising and planning, due to lack of progress on a state capital budget.

Dozens of projects around Snohomish County — some of which were in line for tens of thousands of state dollars, others for millions — have been left in the lurch.

The splash pad at Haller Park may not be the largest of the projects, but it’s something the community has waited for and donated to for several years. It’s part of a multi-year redesign of the park aimed at making it a safe, welcoming place for families, combating concerns over drug use and other problems at the riverside hangout. Work has included a new playground, parking area, restrooms and boat launch.

With fundraising headed by the Rotary Club and more than $500,000 from the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, the project had drawn more than $660,000 in local dollars as of this spring. Past Great Stilly Duck Dash events, which pit rubber ducks against each other in a race down the river, raised money toward funding the splash pad.

The plan was to start building the water play area this summer after Fourth of July festivities at Haller. But then, at the end of the longest legislative session in state history, Washington lawmakers failed to pass a capital budget. It contained, as part of a lengthy list of allocations, money for state Recreation and Conservation Board grants.

About $500,000 in recreation grant money had been requested for the splash pad in Arlington. Planners put the project on hold to wait for the outcome on that grant, now frozen along with the rest of the $4.2 billion in the proposed capital budget. The Recreation and Conservation Board informed the city that money is not available at this time due to the budget, but to prepare for their project, said Sarah Lopez, recreation manager for the city.

Such grants are used to reimburse the cost of projects. However, any work done before a contract is in place with the state won’t qualify for reimbursement, so the city needs to wait on construction until the money is available and a contract can be signed. In the meantime, design work and engineering are underway, Lopez said.

The hope had been to open the splash pad next summer. That’s looking less and less likely.

“We can’t make any promises now,” Lopez said. “We don’t know how long this is going to take for the government to finalize their budget.”

Lawmakers reached an impasse over the capital budget due to their inability to agree on how to address a state Supreme Court decision concerning water supply and wells.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439;

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Coupeville-Port Townsend ferry route will only have one vessel until late June, Washington State Ferries announced after an engine fire on one vessel and ongoing crew shortages. (Emily Gilbert / Whidbey News-Times)
Coupeville ferry route down to one boat through June 27

Another delay in two-boat service means Coupeville ferry riders should expect long waits until June.

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Arlington and local Cub Scouts planted trees at Stormwater Wetland Park on May 1. (City of Arlington)
Scouts, Rotarians collaborate to restore an Arlinton park

Rotary and Cub Scouts plant trees in Arlington Stormwater Wetland Park has… Continue reading

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1386 on Monday. Here, he talks in Tukwila before last week's signing of the new capital gains tax bill. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)
Inslee signs bill extending tax break used by area cities

It’s helped Arlington and Marysville attract new businesses to Cascade Industrial Center.

Matt Reed (left) with his mother-in-law, Karen Alvin, remembers the day Meredith Reed died leaving behind baby Dylan, born two months premature. Meredith died of an embolism in her lungs just after Dylan was delivered by C-section April 15.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A tragic loss, a fragile new life, a mother never forgotten

Meredith Reed died of a blood clot in her lung the day her son Dylan was born three months early.

From the third floor crow's nest of its new building in the port's South Marina, Everett Yacht Club Commodore John Seger points out what will be the club's dock on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Everett Yacht Club, at 114, gets a new home in South Marina

Once a fancy destination, the old building will be demolished — amid many changes to the city’s waterfront.

Pedestrian hit, killed by train in Marysville

Roads were closed as police investigated the scene on 88th Street NE and State Avenue.

Everett man sentenced for crashing into police car head-on

Thomas Susnios, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault. He was sentenced to 8½ years in prison.

Jeffrey Phebus is sentenced to over 31 years in prison for the murder of his wife Rebecca Phebus, on Monday, May 10, 2021, at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
‘No words’: Arlington man sentenced for killing wife at work

Jeffery Phebus, 61, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 31⅔ years in prison Monday.

Detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify a suspect in a bank robbery that occurred on Monday, April 26, at the Wells Fargo Bank located in the 1200 block of 13th Street in Snohomish. (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)
Police: Snohomish bank robbery suspect rented getaway car

Police tracked down a Sultan man with the help of a rented car with Montana license plates.

Most Read