John Caulfield (253) 983-7703 • Fax (253)
City Manager


April 29, 2016


To: Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 

Topics of Interest and Updates

May 4 Meeting on Motor Avenue Project

  • WHAT: Meeting on Motor Avenue Project
  • WHEN: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 4
  • WHERE: City Council Chambers, Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW

The purpose of this meeting is to provide an update on the project.  All interested citizens are invited to attend and hear a presentation from the project design team.

Project Background: As a means of addressing the priority of urban design the City of Lakewood is embarking on an urban design project to develop a new street corridor plan for Motor Avenue SW between Whitman Avenue SW, and the intersection of Gravelly Lake Drive SW and Bridgeport Way SW.  The project includes the development of a "complete street" plan incorporating urban design concepts to create a vibrant and welcoming public space within the City's central business district.  

If you have any questions regarding the content of this notice or the Motor Avenue project, please contact Courtney Casady, (253) 983-7839 or  .

Names Foundation Awards $200,000 Grant To Improve Springbrook Park

The City of Lakewood is proud to announce an amazing contribution to our community.

The Names Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to support improvements at Springbrook Park. The funds will be used to update park infrastructure, build a new basketball court, enhance the community garden, provide tables and benches throughout the park and expand the all-abilities playground.

The Names Foundation's generous donation will produce a great benefit to the children and families in the Springbrook neighborhood area. It also supports the City’s mission of creating a vibrant and healthy community. For those who are unfamiliar, the Names Family Foundation was established in 1996 by Scott and Evelyn Names, who shared a passion for philanthropy and a deep interest in health and fitness.

City of Lakewood's 20th Anniversary Summer Event Poster

Check out the official poster for the City of Lakewood's 20th Anniversary Celebration, which takes place June 4, 2016 at Lakewood Towne Center, by clicking on the image on the right:

  • WHAT: City of Lakewood’s 20th Anniversary Summer Event “Celebrating Our Dynamic Future!"
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, June 4, 2016
  • WHERE: Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW

Enjoy a fun-filled day of FREE activities! Bring your family and friends as the City of Lakewood celebrates its first 20 years with a huge summer birthday bash:

  • Come hungry for a taste of local foods from mobile vendors and food trucks in Lakewood’s first Food Fest:
    • BBQ ribs
    • Pulled chicken
    • Mac & cheese, tacos
    • Fish & chips
    • Hot dogs
    • Lumpia, pancit, adobo and other ethnic foods
  • Listen to live music and dance to one of the Northwest’s most popular bands - the Afrodisiacs
  • Join in the fun with interactive trivia and win prizes
  • Lots of activities for youth:
    • Instagram scavenger hunt
    • Arts, crafts and activities
    • Hear entries from our local school competition winners about their future vision for Lakewood (See below)
    • Balloon artist
    • Tattoo artist
  • Much, much more

Did You Know? Lakewood's Bright Economic Development Future

Did You Know? Lakewood is experiencing increased activity and positive movement across the board, according to an update  from Economic Development Manager Becky Newton to the Lakewood City Council on Monday, April 11, 2016:

  • Retail sales tax increased by 5.3% in 2015
  • Retail vacancy rate decreased from 8.2% in 2013 to 5.8% in February 2016
  • The median home sales price rose from $199,000 in 2013 to $250,000 in 2015
  • Bank foreclosures and days on the market are half what they were in 2013
  • Average new home value is holding at roughly $350,000.
  • Lakewood gained 861 jobs, 2012-2014, and another 719 in 2015

New jobs are up in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, professional/scientific & technology, healthcare, and food services. Interestingly, retail trade jobs have remained relatively flat despite gains in retail sales tax.

Water District: No Lead, Copper Issues in Lakewood

(The following message is posted on the Lakewood Water District  website regarding concern over lead and copper levels in other communities)

Due to recent events in Flint Michigan and the growing public concern over the level of lead and copper content in potable water, Lakewood Water District has re-examined its historical data and methodology for complying with the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) to be sure it is taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of its customers.

The primary issue facing Flint and many east coast cities is the corrosiveness of water and the potential for leaching toxic metals, including lead and copper, into the water system. Corrosion will occur anywhere a galvanic cell or field can be established. To establish the field, all that is needed is two dissimilar metals that are connected directly or indirectly by an electrolyte such as water. The degree of corrosion in a potable water system is determined by the water’s chemical make-up. The basic rule of thumb is the lower the pH, the more corrosive or “aggressive” the water. Hardness (as measured by the amount of Calcium Carbonate CaCo3) and temperature are also possible indicators of the aggressive potential of water. Read the rest of the statement .

Meet Sherman Alexie Tonight at Clover Park Technical College

Lakewood will host the signature event of the Pierce County Reads 2016 program  on April 29 when the community welcomes Sherman Alexie - outspoken poet, novelist and screenwriter explores modern-day Native American issues.

The event, titled “Meet Sherman Alexie,” is schedule for 7 p.m., April 29 at the Sharon McGavick Conference Center, Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW.

The free event headlines this year’s program, which unlike years past will focus on five books written by the Northwest native, giving participants an extra month read and discuss the selections. The five books are:

  • “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” (1993)
  • “Reservation Blues” (1995)
  • “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian” (2007)
  • “Flight” (2007)
  • “War Dances” (2009)

Alexie, who was born and raised in the Northwest, connects readers around the world to the American Indian experience, making them laugh, cry and think through his semi-autobiographical writings, according the Pierce County Library System.

The New Yorker named Alexie one of the 20 top writers for the 21st century. He is “the world’s first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar,” according to Men’s Journal. Read the rest of the story .


3rd Annual Studio Fitness Healthy Start 5K

Attention runners, joggers, walkers and anyone else interested in fun activities while supporting a great cause.

The 3rd Annual Studio Fitness Healthy Start 5K returns Saturday, May 14. The event benefits the City of Lakewood's Healthy Start Program - an after-school program that provides kids with physical activity and nutritous snacks. In 2015, the event generated $8,000 for the program.

This year, the race will once again start and finish at Studio Fitness, 11112 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW in Lakewood. Registration is $40 a person, and the registration deadline to guarantee yoursel an official t-shirt in Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Register for the event

About the Healthy Start Program

The program starts when the school day ends, with a snack that includes uncommon fruits and vegetables. After the snack, children do a few minutes of journaling, followed by warm-up exercises, large group games and butrition lessons. Oakwood, Tyee Park and Tillicum Elementary Schools host the program. Funding for student transportation is necessary to keep the program running.


Youth Council Creates 'Rainworks' Art Outside City Hall

Speaking of how great Lakewood's youth truly are, the ‪Lakewood Youth Council installed this piece of Rainworks art outside Lakewood City Hall to remind visitors that this year marks the 20th Anniversary of incorporation, and we're throwing a big summer event June 4. Awesome job, everyone! #IamLakewood

U.S. News & World Report Names Lakes High One of the Best in WA

A nationally renowned publication has ranked our own Lakes High School as one of the best in the State of Washington when it comes to preparing them for the next stages of their lives.

In its annual list of “Best High Schools” that was published this week, U.S. News & World Report  evaluated data from 21,500 public high schools from across the country to determine which prepared them for college and beyond.

Lakes High School – located at 10320 Farwest Dr. SW – was the second-highest ranked Pierce County school on the list (1,928 nationally and 40th in Washington).

The rankings were based on a matrix of factors, including test scores, enrollment, diversity, free and reduced lunch and, for the first time, graduation rates.

The City of Lakewood would like to congratulate teachers and staff at Lakes High and the Clover Park School District.

Parks, Recreation and Community Services

Parks Appreciation Day Recap

The City of Lakewood enjoyed another successful Parks Appreciation Day of clean-up this past Saturday, April 23, 2016. More than 200 volunteers helped improve seven different sites: Here is a summary of what was accomplished:

American Lake Park
  • Spread 250 yards of play chips
  • Removed five tons of debris from the swimming area (West Pierce Fire and Rescue Dive Team)
Harry Todd Park
  • Spread 50 yards of top soil
  • Brush / storm debris clean up
Springbrook Park
  • Removed damaged chain link fence
  • Moved community garden beds and filled boxes with soil
  • Planted vegetables in the new garden beds
Fort Steilacoom Park
  • Raked rocks out of flower beds
  • Pulled scotch broom
  • Weeded flower beds
  • Placed over 42 grave markers with the help from Grave Concerns
  • Dedicated the FSP Dog Park Agility course (Eagle Scout Project)
Wards Lake Park
  • Spread 50 yards of play chips
  • Removed ivy from the trees on the walking trails
  • Weeded flower beds
  • Trail maintenance
Lakewood Community Garden
  • Filled the flower beds with new soil
  • Weeded between planters (will spread chips later this week)
  • Planted new vegetables
Primley Park
  • Planted a dogwood tree

City Council

The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, May 2, 2016, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

May 2, 2016 Regular Meeting

  • Youth Council Report
  • Proclamation Certificated Employee Appreciation week – Mr. Jim Schell, Clover Park Education Association President
  • Proclaiming May 15-21, 2016 as National Public Works Week
  • Proclaiming May 15-21, 2016 as National Police Week
  • Clover Park School District Report
  • Approve Walker Ridge Final Plat
  • Set June 6, 2016 as a public hearing date on the Six Year TIP
  • Public hearing on the 2015-2016 carry forward budget adjustments
  • Adopt of FY 2016 Consolidated Plan (CDBG & HOME) funding recommendations
  • Adopt 84th Street right-of-way street vacation
  • Adopt financial policies


The City Council will be holding a study session on Monday, May 9, 2016, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

May 9, 2016 Study Session

  • Emergency Preparedness/Cascadia Rising Earthquake Exercise update
  • West-Pierce Fire and Rescue update – Fire Chief Jim Sharp
  • Review of Six Year Transportation Improvement Program
  • Rental housing program update