Has winter been extended? How thick is the moss? What’s with 29-35 degrees in the morning, every morning, for how many weeks? How many new records for winter rainfall have we set? You get the idea. This has been a tough winter weather pattern for most of us.
Yes, there are folks, like my son John, who are in Bermuda shorts year round. In fact, for John, we are headed into the “hot” season of 60s and 70s, which to him can be uncomfortably warm. Enough of that!
Setting aside my personal weather grumpiness, spring is a very busy time of year at the city. Your approximately 220 full-time employees are busy all year, but in some areas, business intensifies as we move into spring. There is an almost endless list I can give you, but here are a few examples.
We are in the middle of the state legislative session, as well as having important work at the federal level that needs to be done. At the state level, much of our effort will be to “play defense” to assure city revenues are not further eroded because of the ongoing tight state budget challenges.
We also have important grant requests for parks, public works and transportation, which help fund many of the city improvements we could not fund on our own. All our projects have received strong initial support. Several staff will spend many days in Olympia to assure our priorities are kept front and center. The session is expected to last at least into May as the legislature struggles to find needed education dollars for our schools.
At the federal level, we are pursuing funding for the Waterfront Access Project. We have received terrific initial support in Washington, D.C. It will, however, take time to assemble the $25 million to $30 million needed to fund the project.
Back here in Edmonds, staff is busy preparing bid requests for seasonal major public works and parks projects, and filling a few new staff positions. For the first time in years we are beginning serious maintenance on our city buildings, including painting the outside of the Anderson Center, our three fire stations, and the Public Safety Building. We have already completed re-carpeting City Hall. And believe it or not, we will be beginning our 2018 budget process shortly.
Our parks department is already preparing for our signature flower basket and corner beautification program, as well as readying our parks for the busy parks season. And there is the continued preparation and planning for our new acquisition, Civic Field.
Our Development Services Department will continue to be challenged to keep up with new home and commercial construction as the economy stays strong and Edmonds remains a popular place to live and work. With the completion of our Highway 99 sub-area plan, we are seeing renewed commercial interest in that important neighborhood.
All of this adds up to a very busy spring. Each year the staff looks forward to improving the community. Their commitment and energy helps Edmonds continue to move forward and be one of the truly desirable cities in the Puget Sound. Now, if we could just dry out…
— By Dave Earling, Edmonds Mayor