In 2005, the city approved a master plan saving most of the 1968 annex. From 2006 to 2017, the private Snohomish Carnegie Foundation was supposed to raise over $5 million through donations. They could raise only $45,000. So the city took over restoration funding in early 2017.
In the March 21, 2017 city council meeting, the council approved a very reasonable plan to spend $230,000 in improvements to the 1910 building and repair the annex’s leaky roof.
However, on June 20, at the behest of the foundation, the council reversed its March 21 decision (without even getting a structural engineer’s report) and approved a $5.1 million phased-in plan to first demolish the one-level ADA-friendly annex, and then make the 1910 building ADA accessible by adding a new annex with elevators to its upper-level.
So what will the taxpayers end up getting for this project? Only 2,000 sf of ADA-accessible public meeting space at a cost of $2,550 per square foot, not counting cost of land.
I urge Snohomish residents to contact Mayor John Kartak and tell him to keep the annex and to contact 44th District state legislators and tell them not to waste $1.95 million on this Carnegie boondoggle/money pit. Their proposed grant is a classic example of pork-barrel politics run amok.