The city of Buckley has an ambitious plan of action for 2020, from additional recreational offerings to basic infrastructure upgrades that might seem mundane but are essential.
But first, there’s one significant detail: namely, replacing the individual responsible for running the city on a day-to-day basis. Dave Schmidt, who came on board as city administrator in late 2001, will be heading into retirement mode in March.
Schmidt arrived in Buckley after leading the small, Snohomish County town of Gold Bar, where he served double duty as city administrator and public works director.
Buckley has had plenty of time to prepare for the transition, as Schmidt made his departure date known two years ago. The city has been advertising the coming vacancy and taking applications. Schmidt said a first round of reviews are coming shortly and it’s hoped a replacement will be on board by mid-February.
Schmidt’s final day is slated for March 5 but, he admits, circumstances could delay his departure. If a suitable candidate hasn’t been found, he has agreed to extend his employment.
Whatever the case, Schmidt will likely continue to wield some influence at Buckley City Hall. With years of institutional knowledge, he reached an agreement with the city for a one-year retainer. He’ll respond as needed to city requests.
What else is on the city agenda for the coming 12 months?
There’s plenty in the way of recreation. A highlight will be found on Buckley’s south side, where initial steps will be taken in the development of a new city park. The city owns the parcel that will become Miller Park and 2020 will bring a first phase, which will include street access off Ryan Road, parking and a trail linking the park to the growing Perkins Prairie housing development.
Also in the way of recreation, the city anticipates building a basketball court near the skate park and still-new climbing rocks. Another addition will be a third climbing rock.
The city has appropriated money for all three projects in this year’s budget. Included is $150,000 for the park, $85,000 for the basketball court and $27,000 for the third and final climbing rock.
The recreation aspect is just one part of Buckley’s capital improvement plan for this year, a list of projects that totals nearly $7 million. Here’s a look at some other significant expenditures.
■ When it comes to city streets, the biggest project will be the reconstruction of Cedar Street from Main to Jefferson. A state grant is funding the effort that carries a preliminary price tag of almost $427,000. Other significant street projects include an overlay of Naches Street ($255,000, also funded by a state grant) and upgrades to Spiketon Road south of Ryan Road ($250,000).
■ An extension of sewer services on McNeely Street is pegged at a half-million dollars, the replacement of sewer lines in the Ryan/Spiketon area is estimated at $384,000 and another Spiketon project (A Street to Ryan Road) comes in at $312,500.
■ One item included on the list – but certainly not assured of happening – is additional parking and construction of a formal trailhead for users of the Foothills Trail. It carries an estimated price tag of $400,000 and, according to Mayor Pat Johnson, will not be built unless some outside funding is secured.