City council authorizes $565,962 loan application for Safe Routes to School project

Public Works Director Jesse Hoffman answers the city council’s questions about the Safe Routes to Schools loan.

Among the items approved during the Jan. 11 Mountlake Terrace City Council meeting was the Snohomish County loan for the Safe Routes to School Project.

The loan is for $565,962 with a 20-year term at 1.5%, with a total interest payment of $93,335.47. Payments of $32,964.87 will be made annually.

Public Works Director Jesse Hoffman explained that the loan will help the city spread the cost over time rather than spending one lump sum. Further, there is an option to pay off the loan early.

The city’s 2023-2024 adopted budget and capital improvement plan included the Safe Routes to School Improvement Project (SRTS) at the 216th Street Southwest and 48th Avenue West intersection. 

Funding sources include the city’s water, stormwater and street construction funds, a grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation SRTS program, and money from the city’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation.

Hoffman said the project includes extending the sidewalk with missing gaps filled and lifting the intersection by one foot. Further, a new water distribution line will be needed to avoid water service interruptions due to intersection improvements.

The project also calls for removing blackberry bramble along the road and replacing it with a fence, improving visibility for motorists.

Approval of the county loan application has been moved to the council’s Jan. 25 consent calendar.

The council’s public comment period was interrupted by hate speech — the second such incident at city meetings in two weeks. As a result, staff will be implementing a new registration system for commenters. Read more here.

In other business, the city council approved moving to the Jan. 25 consent calendar a professional services agreement with Miguel Edwards for art at the new pedestrian plaza at the corner of Van Ry Boulevard and 236th Street Southwest.

Rise Together will be wired for illumination and, potentially, audio. (Images courtesy City of Mountlake Terrace)

The Rise Together steel sculpture will be unique to Mountlake Terrace and will be located adjacent to the new light rail station. Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Betz said part of the artist agreement is that the City of Mountlake Terrace owns the artwork and the art can’t be replicated in another city.

Funding is through the city’s 1% for Arts program. A total of $96,000 will be paid for the artwork in three installments: 

— $24,000 for preliminary design, project schedule and an itemized list of materials.

— $22,000 due upon confirmation and approval of rough sculpture forms.

— $50,000 upon installation and final acceptance of completed artwork.

Betz said the scope of Edwards’ work would be the design, base fabrication and installation, including artwork fabrication with rolled steel tube, lighting and electrical. Also, there is the potential for an audio element.

The project is in the design phase during the first and second quarters of 2024. Installation is expected during the third and fourth quarters.

The city council also approved the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) agreement for a local park maintenance grant. The $94,190 grant will support refurbishing the outdoor basketball court at the Recreation Pavilion.

The basketball court was developed in the late 1980s with funding from the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics and Metropolitan Life and is commonly referred to as the “Sonics Court.” 

The funds will support repairs and resurfacing of the court, replacement of chain link fencing, and the addition of gates and new backboards and rims.

The city council also reviewed the Edmonds wastewater treatment plant agreement supplement and voted to move the agreement to the Jan. 25 consent calendar.

The City of Mountlake Terrace has a 30-year partnership agreement with Olympic View Water and Sewer District, the Ronald Sewer District and the City of Edmonds to cover costs for updating, operating and maintaining Edmonds’ wastewater treatment plant.

Under this agreement, the City of Mountlake Terrace is responsible for 23.174% of capital charges and allocated an amount of domestic sewage flow into the system of 2.103 million gallons a day.

Hoffman explained that maintenance and operations costs are calculated by the partner’s percentage of the flow of wastewater moving into the plant.

“Let’s say we flowed 29% or 30% from our system into the Edmonds wastewater treatment plant; our maintenance and operations fee would be based on 29% or 30% of what the total cost of maintenance and operations would be to match our flow into the plant,” Hoffman said.

He added that the City of Edmonds charges all partners a 10% overhead fee.

This amendment is the fifth extension of the 2018 agreement and extends the partnership to February 17, 2026.  

Other council business Jan. 11 included:

— Voting  to review amendments to the Fire Code Chapter 15.10 of the Mountlake Terrace Municipal Code during a public hearing on Jan. 25. The council adopted the 2018 edition of the Washington State Model Fire Code, which lists the minimum construction requirements allowed for local jurisdictions in the state. The amendment is meant to align Mountlake Terrace’s municipal code with the current International Fire Code.

— Approving the professional agreement with the Johnstone Group, which provides federal lobbying services to assist in securing federal funds for various projects such as Main Street and Ballinger Park. The Johnstone Group will advocate for policies of importance to the Mountlake Terrace community, such as a new Transportation and Infrastructure Grant program and increased support of CDBG and HOME HUD funding. It will also advocate for tax policies that benefit the city.

The city council meeting for Jan. 18 has been canceled due to councilmember scheduling conflicts.

The council’s next meeting is Thursday, Jan. 25. It will begin at 7 p.m. in Mountlake Terrace City Hall, 23204 58th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace. To attend the meeting online, visit and enter meeting ID 810 1113 9518; no passcode is needed.

To listen via telephone, call 1-253-215-8782 and enter the same meeting ID.

You also can view livestreamed meetings and past video recordings at complete agenda can be viewed here.

— By Rick Sinnett

  1. The playground @Lake Ballinger needs a “sun bonnet” so the sun-hot play equipment doesn’t burn the kiddies!

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