County approves bonds for courthouse, parks and roads
Snohomish County approved $120 million in bonds Wednesday as part of a package to build a new courthouse and a new sheriff’s precinct, as well as to purchase improved laptops for deputies, with funding also available for conservation futures, parks and roads projects.
The package, passed Wednesday by the County Council and soon to be signed by Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, will allow for construction and renovation of a new and existing courthouse. A new sheriff’s precinct will be built off Cathcart Way, linking the office with the existing Sheriff’s Shooting Range and impound lot.
A list of parks and roads projects – which includes road safety improvements near several elementary schools and the extension of the Centennial Trail between Snohomish and the county’s southern border – has already been forwarded by the Executive Office to the Council for its consideration and approval.
“While the courthouse is the main focus of the package, parks and roads projects throughout the county will provide much needed benefits to the whole county.”
Reardon said. “I am grateful to Council Chair Stephanie Wright and the rest of the Council for their consideration of these projects.”
The new courthouse, at an expected cost of $75 million, will include public space, courtrooms and offices serving the Superior Court, District Court, Clerk, Sheriff, Prosecuting Attorney and the Office of Public Defense.
In addition, Reardon has recommended $5 million for nearly 30 roads and drainage projects that will improve safety at school intersections, pedestrian areas and bike routes, including work near Discovery, Voyager and Picnic Point elementary schools as well as 39th Avenue Southeast, Cathcart Way and 148th Street Southwest.
The Executive proposal also includes about $3.6 million for 15 parks improvements and expansions, including the connection of the Centennial Trail, design at North Creek Park and Big Gulch Trail, and ADA enhancements at Kayak Point Golf Course and Twin Rivers Park.
The Sheriff’s Precinct, to cost nearly $3 million, replaces the existing South Precinct Station, which the county has leased for years. Another $1 million will purchase new, more rugged laptops, replacing aging equipment found in sheriff’s vehicles.
Finally, about $25 million will be set aside for yet-to-be determined conservation futures projects. The county’s Conservation Futures Board will consider projects and make recommendations to the County Council for approval.