Worksession gives update on possible annexation

By Brandon Gustafson | Oct 11, 2017
Photo by: Brandon Gustafson Councilmembers Bob Champion, Steve Schmalz, Richard Emery and Christine Cook listen intently to Mukilteo’s Community Development Director, Patricia Love, speak about Snohomish County’s view of the possible annexation of land into Mukilteo. The County has been on board with the latest proposal thus far.

A Mukilteo City Council worksession took place Monday, Oct. 9 giving an update on the possible annexation of certain parts of unincorporated Snohomish County into Mukilteo.

Councilmembers Christine Cook and Richard Emery were among the members at the meeting, along with Council President Bob Champion and Vice President Steve Schmalz.

Patricia Love, Mukilteo’s Community Development Director, led the hour-long meeting, which gave the councilmembers an update regarding the next steps for possible annexation.

The city currently has an Annexation Interlocal Agreement, referred to as an ILA, with Snohomish County that is valid through the end of 2017.

Before Mukilteo can pursue any annexation, a new ILA must be adopted along with a six-year strategy plan, otherwise a whole new agreement between Mukilteo and Snohomish County would need to be adopted, and the process would have to be restarted. That process could take between six months and a year.

The Municipal Urban Growth Area, or MUGA, is the name given to the proposed area. This area includes the strip mall section of the Mukilteo Speedway where Azteca and McDonald’s is located, and goes as far south as 148th Street Southwest.

“The biggest issue for this council has been the priorities in phasing,” Love said.

The last proposal was for one large annexation and Mukilteo citizens voted resoundingly against annexation, which Councilmember Schmalz recalled during the meeting.

The latest plan is to have the annexation occur in three phases, starting as early as next year, with a two-year gap between phases.

Around 70 percent of voters said no to adding the proposed land to Mukilteo in an advisory vote back in 2011. One of the concerns of the council was that some people in Mukilteo might want to keep the city small, as shown through that previous vote.

The first phase, which Love said could take place between the middle of 2018 to 2020, would include the east side of SR 525 from the intersection by QFC south to Beverly Park Road, and then north along Beverly Park Road to the southern part of Paine Field Airport.

“People think that across the street there by Azteca and Spiro’s is Mukilteo, but it’s not; it’s owned by the county,” Schmalz said. “But we service that in a local agreement with fire and police…what’s the analysis? Is it worth the revenue versus the expenditures in taking that area?”

"The county doesn’t have concerns with phase one,” Love said, but they worry more about phases two and three…due to the high population.”

The second and third phases of the MUGA includes Picnic Point, and would go as far south as 148th Street Southwest and go from Highway 99 east to Airport Road.

Schmalz voiced his concerns regarding the costs of studies that would need to be done if the city decides to go ahead with a new ILA.

Love said during the meeting that if they decide to go ahead with a new ILA, they are not forced to go through with the annexation, but they will go through with the studies, which cost roughly $300,000 last time.

Questions that still need to be answered regarding costs include the amount it would cost for fire and police to serve in the annexed areas, staffing for public works and City Hall, as well as possible improvements to roads and stormwater draining. Love said she will go to different entities and get a better estimate for the council to look at.

 

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