Regarding the Aug. 12th Herald article, “Snohomish making plans to restore the 107 year old Carnegie building”:
Although our 105 Cedar Avenue Foundation was able to halt the imminent fast-tracking of the historic 1968 Annex’s destruction until at least 2018, nevertheless, the lame-duck city council voted on Aug. 15 to limit public comment and input to only one plan, namely, the 2011 Carnegie Master Plan, except now it will be funded with city real estate taxes and water and sewer revenue skimmed from city utility ratepayers instead of private donations.
We feel this new funding source to benefit a private organization (the Snohomish Carnegie Educational Center run by the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation) is patently unfair and constitutes “unjust enrichment” of private interests.
With this Aug. 15 decision, the public can’t suggest or influence or support other viable options such as selling the properties to a private developer or saving the historic 1968 Annex, either as a refurbished or separated building as proposed in the City’s 2005 BOLA Master Plan.
In 2014 (see July 15, 2014 council minutes), the estimated cost to restore the interior alone of the 4,000-square-foot 1910 building amounted to $4 million or about $1,000 per square foot. These are Taj Mahal prices, right up there with the once-planned 1967 courthouse replacement that because of public opinion was rejected as too extravagant.
Even though the current city council will be wasting tax dollars promoting the 2011 plan, the ultimate decision will be made by the new council in 2018.
105 Cedar Avenue Foundation