Rallying support for the Main Street Revitalization Project

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Sara Crumm, State Director for Sen. Maria Cantwell, Mountlake Terrace City Manager Arlene Fisher, Mayor Jerry Smith and Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore listen to discussion of the Main Street Revitalization Project last week in the Mountlake Terrace City Council Chambers.
Sara Crumm, State Director for Sen. Maria Cantwell, Mountlake Terrace City Manager Arlene Fisher, Mayor Jerry Smith and Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore (right) listen to discussion of the Main Street Revitalization Project last week in the Mountlake Terrace City Council Chambers.

Last week’s special meeting about funding options for the Mountlake Terrace Main Street Revitalization Project drew a wide range of participants from the federal, state and local levels of government.

The meeting was called by Sen. Maria Cantwell, who unfortunately was not able to attend. Three members of the Senator’s staff were at the meeting and she definitely is a supporter of the project, according to Cantwell’s State Director Sara Crumm.

The goal of the meeting was to try to find ways to support the project, to brainstorm ideas and to learn about various resources.

“The Senator really appreciates people focusing on this project,” Crumm said. “It is her neck of the woods. This area really means a lot to her.”

The Main Street Revitalization Project will design street, pedestrian, and bicycle enhancements along with improvements to utilities, street lighting and signals, stormwater systems, and undergrounding of overhead power along 56th Ave. W. (236th St. SW. north to 230th St. SW.), and 232nd and 234th Streets, as well as along 236th St. SW. from 56th Ave. W. to the Transit Station.

The Main Street Project is part of the Town Center Plan to help revitalize the downtown and to build a walkable and transit-oriented downtown area. It is expected to provide more than 1,100 housing units.

The City needs about $7.9 million to fully fund the project, which is estimated to cost a total of $18 million. To complete the project, the City will need to look elsewhere for funding.

“The City is maxed to what it can contribute to the project,” City Manager Arlene Fisher said.

“We just need all of your help,” added Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore. “We can’t do this alone.”

Community Transit and Sound Transit both sent representatives to the meeting and both agencies offered their support to the City, though they both emphasized it likely would be in-kind support.

Mountlake Terrace is one of Community Transit’s key partners. Ridership in Mountlake Terrace is only second to Lynnwood in terms of daily boardings. All of this came about because the City emphasized transit-oriented development.

Patrice Hardy of Sound Transit echoed Community Transit’s support of Mountlake Terrace. She described the Main Street project as a huge catalyst for development.

“We will support any grant and any application,” Hardy said.

Hardy added that the staff at Mountlake Terrace has been extremely helpful.

“Working with the City of Mountlake Terrace is a pure joy,” Hardy said. “They are prepared for everything that comes into the City. … They’ve been more ready than any of the cities that we’ve worked with.”

Snohomish County Executive John Lovick also voiced his support for the City and the project. In walking around the City, Lovick said he felt a tremendous enthusiasm among the residents.

“This project fits right into our vision for the community,” Lovick said.

“Our goal is to bring community, jobs, family, walkability and a sense of place to Mountlake Terrace,” Fisher said.

Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith also offered her support, saying that what’s good for Mountlake Terrace is probably good for Lynnwood. She encouraged the two cities to consider ways to partner.

A representative from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development encouraged the City to look into its programs, which are funneled through the county.

Another potential resource in terms of navigating through the various state and federal programs is a portal from website hosted by the Washington State Department of Commerce. The portal helps identify state and federal sources. Commerce staff also can help identify various funding opportunities and offer guidance for small jurisdictions.

Sen. Maralyn Chase asked about the potential jobs created by the project. The City noted that 1,400 jobs are projected, prompting Chase to say “this is a good project.”

Councilmember Kyoko Matsumoto Wright noted that the City has been working on the Main Street Revitalization project for 10 years and that it is well-known around the region.

“People all around know about this project,” she said. “They’re always asking how it’s going.  … It really is going to be a game changer.”

A follow-up session with the Senator Cantwell likely will be scheduled sometime in August.

– By David Pan

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