News from Councilmember Sam Low - District 5

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Snohomish County News

News from Sam Low

April 2021

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 

House Transportation Update

Last week I testified at the House Transportation Committee regarding funding for Highway 2, The Trestle, and #Finish 522.  The proposed House Transportation Budget did not include funding for the Paradise Lake Road overpass, or sufficient funding for US 2.  I thanked the representatives for including the widening of Highway 522 in their proposed budget and wanted to take the time to emphasize the importance of including funding to complete the entire project.  I also included in my testimony the need for funding for US 2 and the Trestle. I want to thank Mayor Gailey from Lake Stevens and Councilmember Jason Gamble from Monroe for also testifying in addition to County staff. Below are some of the comments I shared with the committee.

       "Good Morning, I am Snohomish County Councilmember Sam Low.  We desperately need full funding for our Snohomish County transportation highway projects including Highway 2, The Trestle, and #Finish 522.

      Twenty-nine years ago, my high school classmate and friend was tragically killed at The Intersection of Paradise Lake Road and #Finish 522. Half of the funding is included in this House funding proposal and the needed Paradise Lake road overpass is not funded. These are not new transportation projects but finally completing what was already started decades ago, hence the #Finish 522.

      Three years after my classmate’s death in 1995 Readers Digest came out with an article marking and highlighting our Nation’s Deadliest Highways. This area of #Finish522 was listed in that article. We have seen full funding for this transportation project in the past only to see it swept away by then Governor Gregoire for other projects.

      To this house committee, and for those in the Sky and Snoqualmie Valleys, my fellow County Council Members, and the City of Monroe, I humbly ask to include the Paradise Lake Road overpass to the funded widening in this package so we can finally change #Finish522 to #Thankyoufor522."

Broadband Access Week

March 29th through April 2nd was designated as Broadband Access Week in Snohomish County.  The goal of Broadband Access Week was to increase public awareness of broadband needs and to increase responses to the broadband access and speed survey in Snohomish County. The survey, hosted by the Washington State Broadband Office in the Department of Commerce, maps survey responses to identify areas of the county with broadband access at adequate, inadequate, or no service levels.  While this week was designated to bring awareness, the survey can be taken at any time and can be found here.

Broadband Access Week is part of a broader campaign by the Snohomish County Broadband Action Team (BAT) to expand broadband access to all residents and businesses in the county. The BAT has been spearheaded by myself, Executive Somers, and Councilmember Nehring in partnership with community leaders from business, education, healthcare, service providers, first responders, and local government. To learn more visit the BAT website.

Broadband Access Week poster showing mountain with spedometer

Index-Galena Road

Snohomish County will begin construction in April 2021 to rebuild and relocate sections of Index-Galena Road between miles 6 and 7. The project will restore a route that maintains essential travel and emergency services on Index-Galena Road and reintroduces recreational access to parts of the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. Construction in this area has seasonal and environmental limitations so work is expected to occur over a three-year period. The target opening date is fall 2023. Index-Galena Road near the project site remains closed through construction. To learn more about project plans and benefits, please read the 2021 Fact Sheet.

Index-Galena Project Map

Ben Howard / Mann Road Update

Over the last few months my office has received several questions on the Ben Howard/Mann Road area in between Monroe and Sultan.  Given the interest, our public works team put together a one pager to address the questions we have received.  That information can be found here.

Conservation Futures - Heybrook Ridge

For the past year I have been Chair of the Snohomish County Conservation Futures Board. Over the past six months, I have made it my goal to preserve 15 Acres at Heybrook Ridge near Index for a trail extension. I am happy to report that last week on a 4-0 vote the County Council voted to approve the Conservation Futures Board recommendation. A special thanks goes to Ann Darlington and Friends of Heybrook Ridge for their continued work and support of this great project.

At the March Conservation Futures Meeting, the 2021 leadership for the board changed over. Councilmember Wright moved from Vice-Chair to Chair and I moved from Chair to Vice-Chair for the year. 

Paine Field Airport Voted One of America's Best Small Airports

Information Courtesy of Propeller Airport

Paine Field Voted One of America's Best Small Airports in USA Today's "10Best" Readers Poll

SEATTLE — Propeller Airports is excited to announce that for the second year in a row it has been named a winner of USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Travel – 10 best small airports in the United States. The honor comes as Paine Field continues to offer full operations in the wake of the pandemic while providing the most innovative, convenient, clean and stress-free travel experiences anywhere in the United States.

"The global travel industry has had an extremely difficult year, but we're encouraged that as things resume and people return to flying that travelers still recognize the value, convenience and service level we provide at Paine Field," said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports. We're proud of this honor and look forward to continuing to provide the best-in-class airport experience we've become known for."

Nominees are selected by a panel of experts including travel editors from Expert Flyer and The Points Guy and then voted on over a four-week period. With the terminal ranking alongside small-airport heavyweights like Myrtle Beach and Bradley International, Paine Field was recognized for its convenience to downtown Seattle, and an enjoyable and comfortable experience for its passengers. With valet parking, lounge-style seating, and boutique food and beverage options not found in any other airline terminal in the country, Paine Field has set a new standard for airport amenities and services.

The public-private partnership model for airports is a common – and successful – model abroad but remains relatively novel in the United States. Propeller’s partnership with Snohomish County has resulted in tremendous economic success for the region, saving taxpayer dollars while offering a quality travel experience and stimulating an increase in interest for public-private collaboration. 

Despite a decline in travel during the pandemic, enhanced cleaning and screening, that can be better managed in a small terminal, has resulted in Paine Field seeing even more new passengers since the onset of COVID. Travelers appreciate Propeller’s focus on keeping the terminal as safe and clean as possible, including temperature checks for all passengers, electrostatic cleaning of all boarding gates between flights, use of hospital-grade HEPA filters within the facility air handling system, along with hand sanitizing dispensers placed throughout the terminal.  

About Propeller Airports

Based in Everett, WA, Propeller identifies untapped potential for commercial air travel by working with local communities and government to maximize airport assets. Propeller Airports is focused on opportunities to invest, develop and manage both general aviation and commercial service airports throughout the U.S. Propeller Airports, in partnership with Global Infrastructure Partners, is focused on bringing best in class practices to Paine Field for the benefit of travelers throughout the Puget Sound region. For more information please visit, and

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