There is an important Snohomish City Council meeting today, March 6, involving spending the balance, around $1.2 million, of the city’s real estate excise taxes on the dubious Carnegie Restoration Project.
The project plan consists of demolishing the 1968 annex and constructing a new, much smaller annex and changing the main entrance to the 1910 building from Cedar Avenue to the east alley. After spending millions of dollars, the taxpayers will end up, with about 1,500 usable square feet in the upper-level of the 1910 building.
So far, city government has not announced what uses are planned for the space. Surely, there’s no room for Council or Town Hall meetings.
In the past, a private foundation was given control of the uses and I believe they want to continue that role.
But here’s the rub: Denise Johns, the city’s Carnegie project manager, in a recent memo to the city’s parks board writes “Staff is recommending a Metropolitan Parks District be considered and remarketed.” (See Snohomish Parks Board Feb 28 agenda). Presumably to replenish the soon to be depleted excise tax fund.
In 2015, city voters by over a 2-1 margin rejected this parks district property tax scheme.
I say, if the private Snohomish Carnegie Foundation wants the 1968 annex demolished for aesthetic reasons, then let them raise the money.
Property taxes are already too high in Snohomish.