Ride to Remember Oso on March 19

The communities of Arlington and Darrington are hosting a bicycle ride and community event on March 19 to commemorate the third anniversary of  the Oso slide.

Sign up for the bicycle ride to remember Oso on March 19, 2017.

The ride will “remember those who were lost and affected by the slide, recognize how far our communities have come, by celebrating our resilience and the completion of Arlington and Darrington’s America’s Best Communities projects,” said Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert and Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin.

The towns have been competing in the America’s Best Communities program. As quarter finalists, they received $50,000 to develop a community revitalization plan.

Twelve economic revitalization projects were borne out of that plan and as the communities advanced to the finals, they received $100,000 to begin implementing them. To date this has included, place making improvements, community wi-fi hot spots and development of a youth council.

On April 19, the towns will find out if they have been awarded the grand prize of up to $3 million for first place, $2 million for second, or $1 million for third.

Congratulations, Arlington and Darrington on your success with this grant program and on coming together to rebuild after the tragic events of March 22, 2014.

 

 

 

 

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Darrington mayor to be honored at White House

Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin will be honored at a special awards ceremony at the White House on May 8.

Mayor Dan Rankin last spring at a ribbon cutting for the Fir Street project.

Mayor Dan Rankin at a ribbon cutting for the Fir Street project in Darrington, completed in September 2014

Mayor Rankin will receive a 2015 Phoenix Award for his leadership following the March 2014 mudslide.

The Small Business Administration presents Phoenix Awards to community leaders who display “selflessness, ingenuity and tenacity in the aftermath of a disaster, while contributing to the rebuilding of their communities.”

Mayor Rankin told the Everett Herald that the award is “a reflection of my community and how we all reacted in the face of a disaster.”

“Being a small community, we rely on each other and trust each other, and in those initial days that trust we have for each other and that entrepreneurial spirit helped us make the most with the resources we had. Those resources had to be enough.”

In the face of the devastation caused by the major mudslide on March 22, 2014, Mayor Rankin coordinated the search and rescue mission and worked to ensure residents and businesses had access to emergency resources.

He pushed to quickly restore telephone and Internet connections, and worked to ensure that State Route 530—the main transportation link to Darrington—reopened as quickly as possible.

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Darrington completes key school project

Just after school broke for lunch yesterday the Town of Darrington cut the ribbon on a new street just out front.

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Whitehorse Mountain looms big over ribbon cutting for Darrington’s new Fir Street.

The town’s new Fir Street has sidewalks and drainage and will make for a much safer route to school.

The project wound up being completed on time even after the town was overwhelmed by the Oso landslide in March.

The state’s Transportation Improvement Board took emergency action to fully fund the project and keep it on track.

Mayor Dan Rankin said yesterday that recreational businesses hit pre-recession levels this past summer.

He credited a state funded ad campaign with keeping people coming through despite major reconstruction of Highway 530.

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Sidewalks, drainage, striping and parking make Fir Street a safer route to school.

The state expects to complete work on the main route to Darrington by next month.

Streets around town were rehabbed the summer – with part of $5 million in emergency funding from the PSRC.

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State helps Darrington get project to bid

The state’s Transportation Improvement Board took emergency action last Friday – and today it paid off for the Town of Darrington when it put its Fir Street project out for bid.

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Fir Street project in Darrington to bid thanks to Transportation Improvement Board

The town was able to keep the project moving forward just one week behind schedule, despite all the calamity caused by the Oso mudslide.

The project was in danger because the town’s strapped budget was hit hard by the slide.  This project will construct curb, gutter, and accessible sidewalks – a new storm drainage system will be added.

Last week in Yakima, the TIB waived a requirement for about $80,000 in matching funds, and agreed to pick up all the $584,000 in anticipated costs.

The swift move will dramatically reduce paperwork in addition to green-lighting bids.

The project was initially a target for $5 million in federal funds from the PSRC to assist with the economic recovery of the area.

Snohomish County is working with local leaders to quickly identify uses for those funds.

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PSRC approves $5 million for Darrington, Oso and Arlington area

The Puget Sound Regional Council’s Executive Board unanimously gave final approval of $5 million in federal transportation funds to support the economic recovery of the Stillaguamish valley communities impacted by the Oso landslide.

The Executive Board unanimously gave final approval of $5 million in federal transportation funds to support the economic recovery of the Stillaguamish valley communities impacted by the Oso landslide.

The Executive Board approved $5 million in federal transportation funds to support the economic recovery of the Stillaguamish valley communities impacted by the Oso landslide.

The PSRC funding will be made available to Snohomish County, which will work with local communities to make transportation investments which will best support local economic recovery.

“As we in Snohomish County have been responding to the tragic events of the Oso landslide disaster, it is apparent that the Town of Darrington will need ongoing support for its economic recovery in the months and years to come.  This funding award will be an important first step,” said Snohomish County Executive John Lovick.

“With this action, we have an opportunity to meet real needs in the Town of Darrington at this time and to set the stage for its economic recovery,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Dave Somers.

“This tragedy has impacted the entire Arlington, Oso and Darrington area and this assistance is important,” Snohomish Councilmember Ken Klein told the board.   “It helps toward building the economy of Darrington and surrounding communities.  We are very grateful.”

Read more about what happened at the Executive Board meeting here.


PSRC recommends $5 million for Darrington, Oso, Arlington area recovery

Responding to the landslide tragedy in the Oso area, the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Transportation Policy Board today unanimously recommended an emergency funding action to provide $5 million of PSRC’s federal transportation funds to Snohomish County.

PSRC's transportation board today unanimously recommended $5 million in emergency funding to help economic recovery of Darrington, Oso and Arlington areas.

PSRC’s transportation board unanimously recommended $5 million in emergency funding to help economic recovery in areas affected by the Oso landslide.

“As we in Snohomish County have been responding to the tragic events of the Oso landslide disaster, it is apparent that the Town of Darrington will need ongoing support for its economic recovery in the months and years to come.  This funding award will be an important first step,” said Snohomish County Executive John Lovick.

These funds will be awarded to Snohomish County’s North Road, SR 524 – 164th Street SW project for immediate use.  In turn, Snohomish County will use an equal amount of county funding for key transportation projects in the Town of Darrington and its vicinity to support the economic recovery of the valley.

Read the rest

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Regional leaders to consider $5 million for Darrington area economic recovery

The Oso Landslide has prompted an emergency request to the Puget Sound Regional Council for $5 million in federal transportation funds to be used to help with economic recovery within the Town of Darrington and vicinity.

Photo of National Guard at Oso landslide

Members of the National Guard assist with search and rescue. (Photo credit: Snohomish County)

A request  from County Executive John Lovick and County Council Chair Dave Somers will be considered by the transportation board tomorrow.

Final action on the request is expected by the PSRC’s Executive Board on April 24th.

Executive Lovick and Councilmembers Somers write:

“We have an opportunity to meet real needs in the Town of Darrington at this time and to set the stage for its economic recovery.”

The request would have no impact on other current projects within the region, and would help the region close an anticipated $15 million gap in overall project delivery.

“Our region has never experienced a tragedy quite like this,” said PSRC’s Executive Director Josh Brown.  “But in my experience, when our communities face challenges, our region comes together.”

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