Waiting for the waters to recede

By Pam Pruitt | Jan 27, 2017

Closures of 35th Ave SE due to flooding are a safety hazard for residents in the

neighborhoods that receive the diverted traffic. None of our neighborhoods are designed for thousands of extra cars running on quiet streets.

Chief Greg Elwin and Public Works Director Scott Smith have come up with a plan to divert traffic before it reaches the neighborhoods. Cars will be rerouted to use Seattle Hill Road and 132nd St. Road closure signs will be posted to allow drivers to use alternate routes. These changes will be very inconvenient for drivers but it’s a safety issue for our neighborhoods.

While all member of the council are not fully on board with this project, I am committed to seeing it done. We are either going to pay the full price or the full price minus the $4 million grant. If a sink hole opened up somewhere in Mill Creek, we would not call it an inconvenience and tell people to drive around the city. We would fix it. The road will continue to sink and we need to fix it.

The City is waiting for the final permitting and construction costs. Then we have to wait for Snohomish County to finish its work on Seattle Hill Road. Our 35th Ave SE will be the bypass while work is being done on Seattle Hill Rd. Seattle Hill Rd. will be the bypass while we fix 35th Ave. Both cannot be closed at the same time.

Rebecca (Polizzotto) set aside sufficient funds in the approved budget for our share of the repair job. We will continue to look for additional grant money. Hopefully we will get the repair done in the summer of 2018.

Thanks again to Senator Steve Hobbs for helping us get the funding and to Rep. Mark Harmsworth for making sure our project was included on the House project list.

Health District

Last fall, the Health District requested $2 per person or $40,000 from Mill Creek to fund their services. We already pay for these services through other channels. Like all

government agencies, they need more money. The Council voted to postpone a decision until we see how our revenues and expenditures are working in 2017.

This is our first balanced budget without deficit spending. It doesn’t make sense to jump back into a hole.

The Health District has also asked Mill Creek to forgo its $40,000 capital interest in the Health District Building in Everett. The District would like to purchase a new smaller building and keep the remaining funds for additional capital purchases.

Mill Creek contributed that money from 1990–1995. The $40,000 represents only our payments, not any appreciation or interest. We were not aware of this second $40,000 when they asked for more operating funds last fall.

Finance Director Peggy Lauerman and City Attorney Scott Missall will be looking into the City’s options.

We all appreciate the good work of the Health District. Mill Creek must live within its means and can’t just give money away. We will look again at the additional per capita contribution in 2018. We will wait to hear from staff about our capital investment.

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