The Snohomish County Council has approved a program to help preserve farmland by allowing farmers to sell the development rights to their property. The long-discussed transfer-of-development-rights program...

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County Council OKs program to save farmland

The Snohomish County Council has approved a program to help preserve farmland by allowing farmers to sell the development rights to their property.

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The long-discussed transfer-of-development-rights program will at first be available only in the Stillaguamish River valley.

Farmers there will be able to sell the development rights to their property so they can make money but keep farming the land. Whoever buys the rights will be able to build more-dense housing in an urban area elsewhere in the county.

The council approved the program last week.

A second program will make it possible for the county to buy development rights from farmers to get the program started.


Jail guards quit Teamsters to join independent guild

Snohomish County Jail officers have voted to cut ties with the Teamsters and join an independent union.

In the vote, 108 of the jail’s 187 guards voted in favor of representation by the Snohomish County Corrections Guild. The results were certified Dec. 10.

About 65 support-staff employees in the jail opted to stay with Teamsters Local 763, which has represented jail employees for more than 25 years.

Officers said they were dissatisfied with the Teamsters’ representation. Edwin Howard, the interim president of the new guild, said the Teamsters had taken too long to deal with grievances.


Auditor’s hotline, Web site to take animal complaints

The Snohomish County Auditor’s Office will set up a phone hotline and an online service to make it easier for residents to complain about animals.

Starting next month, licensing staff members will help callers during business hours. Callers also will be able to leave messages.

Organizers hope the new line will cut down on animal-related calls to 911. People with life-threatening emergencies, including dog bites, should still call 911.

In February, the Auditor’s Office will add the online complaint service to the auditor’s Web site so people can report loose and/or vicious dogs, animal neglect and abuse, unlicensed pets and livestock at large.

The Web site will also include statistics about the types of complaints the county receives. The county Animal Control unit responds to more than 7,500 animal-related complaints yearly.

The new hotline number, which is to start working Jan. 3, is 425-388-3440.


Applicants sought for council seat

Sultan is accepting applications from residents to replace City Councilman Jeff Everett, who has announced his resignation.

The replacement will serve the remainder of Everett’s term, which runs through 2005.

Everett said his new work schedule at Boeing will not allow him to attend council meetings.

Council members make up to $150 a month based on the number of meetings they attend. Application information: 360-568-3115.


Bills appear to be from wrong city

Monroe residents may have received recent utility invoices on Mountlake Terrace letterhead.

The information on the bill is correct, but the vendor printed the invoices on the other city’s paper stock.

Monroe is mailing out new bills, but residents are being told to disregard them if they have already paid.


Grants target streets, sidewalks

Snohomish is looking for residents to participate in the Pavement-Sidewalk Partnership program.

The city has set aside $20,000 to help neighborhoods repair sidewalks and pave streets next year.

Under the program, residents provide the materials, and the city pays for labor and engineering services. This usually works out to each party contributing half of a project’s costs.

Residents are asked to sign up on a first-come, first-served basis by Jan. 14.

Information: 360-568-3115.

JAN. 4:

The Snohomish City Council will meet at 7 p.m. in the George Gilbertson boardroom, 1601 Ave. D, Snohomish. Information: 360-568-3115.


Applicants sought to fill court vacancy

There’s a vacancy on Marysville’s Municipal Court, and the city is taking applications for the opening through the end of this month.

Judge Larry Trivett has resigned from the position he held for 12 years in order to spend more time with his family and on his private law practice.

The functions of the city’s Municipal Court changed dramatically during Trivett’s tenure on the bench. Case filings increased from about 2,500 when he began to 10,000 in 2003, noted Mayor Dennis Kendall, who commended Trivett for his service.

In 2001, the court also began providing administrative court services for Arlington and Lake Stevens, and hearing cases from those cities, partly because of Trivett’s leadership. In 2003, the court added a full-time probation officer.

Court hours also have been expanded, going from sessions only on Wednesday nights when Trivett took office to sessions on Monday and Tuesday mornings, Wednesday nights and twice a month on Fridays, along with bail hearings as required.

Trivett’s resignation was effective Dec. 1.

Information about the judicial opening is available from the Mayor’s Office at City Hall, 1049 State Ave. The opening is a contract position, and the judge is appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council.


Teen recognized for role in foiled attack

A 14-year-old Marysville boy was to be honored this week by the State Patrol for his actions in helping catch suspects in a home-invasion robbery and kidnapping.

During the July attack, Kyle Rutledge shielded his brother and mother from harm, said Trooper Lance Ramsay, a State Patrol spokesman. Because Rutledge tried to stop the intruders, one of them struck him in the head and knocked him down.

The suspects were caught after Trooper Greg Heider saw a vehicle with only one headlight and tried to stop it. The vehicle crashed after a chase, and two of the suspects fled, leaving behind Rutledge’s father, who had been kidnapped. The suspects were eventually captured.

Heider also was to be honored.


“Favorite places” on 2005 calendar

Some spiffy new calendars are available in Everett, but there are only 200 of them.

The 2005 calendars are being produced by Historic Everett and show “favorite places” in the city.

The calendar sales support fund raising for next year’s activities by the nonprofit group.

The wall calendar may be ordered for $15 at or purchased at Pilchuck Books, 2821 Wetmore Ave., Everett.

The calendar is the first by the group and shows postcard images of historic buildings such as the Monte Cristo Hotel, the Everett Theatre, Everett High School and the Mission Building on the county-courthouse campus.


Shipyard to upgrade ferry Walla Walla

Everett Shipyard, 1016 14th St., has received an $8 million contract to renovate the state ferry Walla Walla.

The work will include overhauling the vessel’s propulsion-control and steering systems, adding an elevator and upgrading the passenger cabin.

The work will be done at Pier 3, where Everett Shipyard is finishing a $12.2 million overhaul of the ferry Chelan.

The shipyard also is finishing the refurbishment of two Navy barges and recently did $1.4 million worth of work at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton on the Constellation, a decommissioned aircraft carrier.


Longer moratorium on adult businesses?

A moratorium adopted in July prevents the establishment of adult businesses in Everett and says no applications for such businesses will be processed.

Now the City Council is considering whether to extend the moratorium for six months; the present law expires Jan. 21.

Because of additional time needed by the Planning Commission to complete a study related to adult businesses and make a recommendation to the City Council, an extension of the moratorium to July 21 has been proposed in a council ordinance.

The council will consider the proposal at its meeting at 8:30 a.m. today at 3002 Wetmore Ave.

Compiled by the Seattle Times Snohomish County bureau.