City of Snohomish administrators believe our local state legislators will be successful in gaining a $1.95 million grant to demolish the 1968 annex of the Carnegie Building and help refurbish the original 1910 building at 105 Cedar Ave. Their latest plan involves matching the state grant with $1.65 million of city real estate taxes and water/sewer utility ratepayers’ funds to continue the ongoing 13-year-old restoration project of the 1910 building. The plan now is to replace the 5,300 square-foot annex with lawn and call it Veteran’s Memorial Park.
This project will now cost the taxpayers and utility ratepayers in 2018 alone $3.6 million. This doesn’t include the nearly $1 million the taxpayers spent in 2013 on the 1910 building.
So from 2013 to 2018, the taxpayers and ratepayers will have spent $4.6 million for a two-story (with an ADA-unfriendly basement and upstairs) totaling 4,000 square feet for a still unknown purpose. This, not even counting the cost of land, pencils out to more than $1,150 per square foot!
Just think what $3.6 million could really do for Snohomish area residents and businesses. It would allow the purchase of the former Waltz Mill site for a joint city/county regional park. The 30 or so acres has paved parking and is close to the river and planned bicycle/pedestrian trails to Monroe and Woodinville and the existing Centennial Trail across the railroad trestle.
Or, $3.6 million could replace outdated signal lights or add another roundabout.
Whatever happened to common sense priorities and frugality in our government leaders?
Judy Kirkland Betten