News from Councilmember Sam Low - District 5

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Snohomish County News

News from Sam Low

January 2021 - New Year Update from Councilmember Low

Sam Low's eNewsletter


Snohomish County Council
3000 Rockefeller Ave., M/S 609
Everett, Washington 98201
8th floor, Robert J. Drewel Building 
Phone: 425-388-3494


Darcy Cheesman, Legislative Aide 

Snohomish County Provides Third Round of Small Business Relief Grants

Information provided courtesy of Executive Somers Office

Today Snohomish County re-opened the Small Business Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency (R3) Grant Program. This grant program is a key part of the relief and recovery action Snohomish County is taking to help businesses impacted by the pandemic. This grant program is part of the package of COVID-19 responses funded by CARES Act resources. Businesses that previously applied to the R3 program in 2020 but have not yet received an award will automatically be considered in this round and do not need to reapply.

Small business owners who have not previously applied for the R3 grant program may visit for details and application materials. Applicants can also request a direct link to the application and instructions by sending an email to It is anticipated that it will take most businesses less than 30 minutes to apply.  It is also anticipated awards will made within two weeks of application close. Grants in amounts up to $25,000 will be awarded to qualifying businesses.

Businesses applying for grants under this program must:

  • Be licensed to do business in the State of Washington.
  • Be a business physically located in Snohomish County.
  • Have 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (including the business owner/worker).
  • Be in operation for one or more years.
  • Certify at least a 25% reduction in revenue attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Be able to demonstrate that the business was a going concern before March 23, 2020.
  • Not be facing any pending litigation or legal action.
  • Not be suspended or debarred from the use of federal funds.
  • Not be a chain (unless the majority of locations are located in Snohomish County).
  • Not be a franchise, unless that franchise is not a subsidiary of a larger corporation and is able to document that it is not a subsidiary.
  • Not be restricted to patrons over the age of 18.
  • Not have received a prior CARES funded grant, from any organization or jurisdiction, consistent with federal regulations.

Economic and unemployment data for Snohomish County provides insight about our hardest hit businesses. The focus of this grant program is on small businesses that are critical to supporting our community’s broad-based recovery. Priority will be given to dining, retail, hospitality, arts and entertainment, and service sector establishments. Minority, women and veteran owned businesses are encouraged to apply.

Funding is intended to support business sustainability through the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds received must be used to cover expenses that have not been previously accounted for and are incurred between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Businesses that previously applied to the R3 program in 2020 but have not yet received an award will automatically be considered in this round and do not need to reapply.

Application materials for the grant program are available at Applicants can also request a direct link to the application and instructions by sending an email to

Questions about the application should be directed to Workforce Snohomish at

For more general information, please go to, the County’s comprehensive page for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Monroe Equity Council Presentation by MIC

On January 6th I attended the Monroe Equity Council meeting where the Monroe Inclusion Collective (MIC) provided a presentation to the council. The MIC is an initiative formed by concerned youth of the Monroe community. To quote from their Facebook page “We exist to build our community to be the best that we know it can be for every one of its people.”  I applaud Kelsey, Nathan and Zoe for their leadership and for their enthusiastic commitment to making their community a better place for all who live there.

To find out more about this group you can go to their Facebook page.

Flooding Update on Ben Howard Rd - January 12, 2021

Ben Howard Rd, west of 260th Ave SE, has experienced increased flooding (see map below). Following last week's flooding, we received landowner permission to access the adjacent property. Crews discovered a plugged culvert on private property that appeared to be caused by beavers. After unsuccessfully attempting to clear the culvert manually, crews returned on January 11th and were able to clear some of the blockage with a vactor truck. The culvert has been temporarily caged to keep beavers from blocking it again. We will continue to monitor the site for flooding.

Map of Ben Howard Rd effected by flooding

To report road flooding, contact Snohomish County Road Maintenance at 425-388-7500 or

2021 Committee Assignments

As most of you know, transportation is one of my main priorities and given that, I am pleased to announce this year I will continue to chair the Public Works Committee.  I will also continue to serve on the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) and on the PSRC Transportation Committee as the alternate.  Along with that role at PSRC, I will be the County Council representative on the Executive Board and the Operations Committee.

Floodplains by Design Program

This month I wanted to highlight a great conservation program happening in my district, the Community Floodplains Solutions (CFS) – Sky Valley.  CFS aims to restore the natural functions of the river and floodplains in the Sultan Reach of the Skykomish River. The project aims to reduce flood risks to the community, restore salmon habitat, and improve agricultural viability. This will be done with floodplain assessments, acquisitions, community engagement, and capital actions to accelerate future projects.

The project is a partnership between Snohomish County and the Sustainable Lands Strategy (SLS), a stakeholder group convened by the county, farmers, tribes, environmental groups and other partners. It is focus is to advance the interest of “farms, fish and floods” in a concerted manner rather than in opposition. The project was ranked sixth, out of 18 projects statewide, on the Department of Ecology’s Floodplains by Design grant program list.

Phase One of CFS saw a $4.8 million award and leverages $1.93 million of local funding. The goals of the project are:

  • Improve emergency access and reduce flood-related road closures for 238 homes;
  • Correct four fish passage barriers, improving access to 3.1 miles of forested stream habitat for salmonids;
  • Restore up to 30 acres of riparian area;
  • Protect up to 200 acres of floodplain land for future restoration of natural river processes and long-term agricultural uses;
  • Model, assess and map river conditions to provide technical basis for future multi-benefit projects;
  • Complete design for an integrated floodway project and three agriculture-resiliency projects;
  • Educate residents about living in a dynamic floodplain, channel migration risks and consideration of how river processes may shift in the future.

Snohomish County and its’ partners recently reached out to local electeds in the Legislature to solicit support for the funding for Phase Two of this project. CFS Phase Two furthers the integrated floodplain management approach funded in 2019 and expands its scope to include multiple reaches of the Skykomish and Snohomish Rivers in the Snohomish Watershed. The Phase Two project actions include property easements and acquisitions, farmland conservation, implementation of agricultural viability and floodway improvements, and the final design of a large‐scale integrated floodplain.

CFS Phase Two is organized around two project areas within the Snohomish Basin – Snohomish Estuary/Snohomish River and the Lower Skykomish River. Here are some of the project highlights:

  • Protection and enhancement of 554 acres of agricultural land
  • Installing 26 engineered log jams (ELJs)
  • Plans to create approximately 25,000 cubic yards of additional sediment storage
  • Implementation of more than 400 acres of farmland best management practices (BMPs) project.

For additional information you can go to the CFS website.

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