Council eNewsletter
Councilmember John Koster  July 2008



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John Koster's eNewsletter
 John Koster
Snohomish County Council
3000 Rockefeller Ave., M/S 609
Everett, Washington 98201
8th floor, Robert J. Drewel Building
Phone: 425-388-3494
E-Mail: [email protected]

Barbara Chapman, Legislative Aide

Council Expands

Farmland Preservation

Snohomish County is committed to preserving and supporting our farms and farmers. The county council just made it easier to preserve farmland and generate income for farmers through a program called "Transfer of Development Rights" or TDR.

Using TDR, farmers sell the rights to build houses on their farms, permanently protecting the land for farming. Developers buy the rights and use them to build more houses in urban areas that have adequate services.

The county's program has been in place for a year but it hasn't seen much activity. Part of the challenge is that TDR has been limited to only a small area near Arlington.

Council's recent action adds flexibility to make more of the county eligible for TDR. With this new flexibility, the council hopes more areas enroll in the program so that more farmers can benefit from keeping their land in farming.

More work remains to be done, and the county is planning to expand other farm preservation programs in the next year.
Indian Law Information
The First Snohomish County Council District is home to over 130,000 people, including members of three sovereign Native American nations: the Tulalip Tribes, the Stillaguamish Tribe and the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe.
Our office receives many inquiries concerning Native American laws and regulations.  To increase understanding of the legal relationship between our communities, I have included a selection of articles addressing  the issues of state/county and tribal jurisdiction and governmental authority in our shared community.
               See Indian Law Information
Local Kids Shine in County Council Art Contest
 Natalie McDonald
In its second year, the County Council Art Contest was a tremendous success
. Over 700 entries were received from students in grades kindergarten through fifth from all across the county illustrating the theme 'Be Safe'.

With only one winner from each grade, it was a tough decision. Two of the winners came from schools in the first County Council district. Those winners are:

Natalie McDonald, First Grade, Cougar Creek Elementary School (pictured right). Natalie's title was "Never play with matches ... matches are dangerous."Jade art

Jade Steigerwald, Kindergarten, Lakewood Elementary School (artwork right). Jade's title was "My mom says I can ride to my friends home if my big sister leads me."
In addition to a framed award illustrating their artwork, each winner received a basket of prizes from the Snohomish County Parks Department.

County Accelerates Road Improvements

In 2006, Snohomish County launched the Enhanced Community Infrastructure Development Initiative (ECIDI), a three-year bond-funded program to accelerate the construction of important transportation, surface water, and parks projects.

Local road improvement projects planned for 2008 include:

A. 51st Ave. NE and 122nd Place NE Intersection Improvements
51st Avenue ProjectsConstruction to improve safety at the intersection of  122nd Place NE and on 51st Avenue NE will begin in the spring of 2008 and will require the closure of both roads. The 51st Avenue NE corridor serves as an important north-south travel alternative to State Avenue. 
The first closure will be on 122nd Place NE at 51st Avenue NE. It will begin on or soon after May 14 and continue until September. The culvert that carries Quilceda Creek under 122nd needs to be replaced.
From July 7 to August 29 a full road closure will be in effect on 51st Avenue. Work will begin to replace the second culvert that carries Quilceda Creek under 51st Avenue NE.
Once both culverts are replaced the intersection will be raised and the two hills on either side will be lowered to improve sight distance. Left-turn lanes and a traffic signal will also be added to improve safety and address the increased volume of traffic in the area. Both roads will be closed between July 7 and the end of August 2008.
Related 2009 Projects
B. 51st Ave NE & 100th St NE Intersection Improvements:
The intersection is on the west side of Cascade Elementary School. The project will realign the existing offset, add left-turn pockets to all four legs at the intersection and add a new traffic signal. Construction is planned for the summer of 2009.
C. 51st Ave NE & 136th St NE Intersection Improvements:
This intersection is on the west side of Shoultes Elementary School. Construction of a left-turn pocket/lane is planned for the north bound lane of 51st Ave NE, on the south side of 136th Street NE. A new traffic signal will also be added to this intersection.
 Overlay and Chip Seal Programs
Each summer, Snohomish County Public Works refurbishes a series of designated county roads through its Overlay and Chip Seal Programs. The 2008 program will use about 84,000 tons of asphalt to repair, resurface and preserve approximately 121 miles of county roads.
To provide advance notification to the impacted communities, the County places ads in newspapers and crews post signs prior to beginning work in an area. Paving, however, is weather dependent work, and the road list and planned work schedule may require adjustment.

        See complete 2008 Snohomish County Paving List

        See 2008 Paving Program Maps   
I hope you found this eNEWSLETTER to be informative and useful. You can make it even more valuable by suggesting topics and issues for future newsletters. Please contact me at 425-388-3494, or e-mail [email protected]. If you would like to share this newsletter, select the Forward email link below.

John Koster
Snohomish County Council