WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and members of the City Council
From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager
Fort Steilacoom Park to host 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships
Lakewood is excited to share its Fort Steilacoom Park has been selected as the site of the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships.
“The cyclocross championship is the most contested bid for bicycle racing in the U.S.,” said Dean Burke, executive director of the Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission.
“The last time the event was in the Puget Sound area – the 1990s – it was only a small fraction of the size it is now.”
Cyclocross is a mostly off-road bicycle race that includes obstacles, hills, curves and mud. Racing season runs September to January and is open to men, women and includes a junior age bracket for young cyclists.
Fort Steilacoom Park is an ideal location for the competition, said Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson.
“It offers beautiful varied terrain, ample space for concessions, and is spectator friendly. It also has enough space to offer parking, as was demonstrated when the park was used as the primary parking location for the 2015 U.S. Open,” Anderson said.
Thousands of participants, including more than 2,000 racers from 50 states, spectators, volunteers and media are expected to descend on the 350-acre park in December 2019 for the 46th annual championship event.
Preliminary estimates suggest the event will generate $1.5 million for the region in direct spending by visitors and people associated with the event.
“Alongside all of our state and regional cyclocross partners we have been preparing for this for a long time,” Burke said. “The city of Lakewood has been a star for openly embracing cyclocross the way they have. Fort Steilacoom Park is an iconic venue for the sport in the Pacific Northwest.”
Lakewood is ready to show off its beloved Fort Steilacoom Park, Anderson said.
“I can assure you USA Cycling will have Lakewood’s support, including that of our Parks and Recreation staff which has the expertise to support such an event. We will do everything we can to make the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships a great event.”
The Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission led the group bidding to bring the week-long event to the region. The nonprofit that develops amateur athletic events and promotes Pierce County as a destination for amateur sporting events was selected by USA Cycling over groups from major cities like the Utah Sports Commission, Oregon Sports Authority and San Diego Sports Commission.
Dangerous buildings, marijuana discussion planned for upcoming City Council study session
Monday’s study session includes two items that may be of interest to the public: Dangerous building abatements and a discussion around marijuana.
From dilapidated motels to foreclosed homes, the list of properties that need to be cleaned up continues to grow citywide.
The increase isn’t necessarily because there are more, but because after a decade of operating its Dangerous and Nuisance Property Abatement Program the city has become efficient at identifying problem properties and making sure they get cleaned up.
In 2016 the city completed 15 projects; of those 13 were classified as dangerous buildings. All but five of the problem properties were fixed by the property owner. When the owner didn’t step in, the city did the work.
Already in 2017 the city has completed three dangerous building abatements. Another 10 are under abatement complaint or order and city staff is monitoring 12 additional dangerous buildings.
Another item on the March 13 study session agenda of public interest is a planned discussion on marijuana businesses, which was added to the agenda at the council’s request.
Waughop Lake management plan approved
The Lakewood City Council took a step forward in the cleanup of Waughop Lake March 6 when it approved a lake management plan aimed at restoring the water quality of the 30-acre lake.
The plan outlines two options for addressing recurring toxic algae blooms in the lake: applying alum or dredging the lake bottom.
Adding alum treatments is a temporary solution that could last nearly a decade. If added to the lake it would stop the toxic blue-green algae that have plagued the lake for as long as anyone can remember.
Dredging the lake is a permanent solution, but comes with a multi-million dollar price tag.
The council did not commit to any form of dredging cleanup of the lake at its March 6 meeting. Instead council members said they were open to more studies to determine whether dredging is realistic given potential environmental limitations and fiscal restrictions.
Adopting the plan improves the city’s ability to pursue local, state, and federal grants to address the water quality issues and gives city staff the ability to add the proposed work to the 2018 stormwater management capital improvement plan and consider it as part of an upcoming stormwater rate analysis.
Lakewood’s approach to housing affordability and homelessness highlighted in recent publication
The the Municipal Research and Service Center’s recently published homelessness and housing toolkit for cities included a piece on Lakewood’s innovative collaboration with area nonprofits to tackle these issues in the community.
Lakewood has a multifaceted approach to how it tackles these issues.
One percent of the city’s general fund is allocated to support human and social services annually. That includes funding housing assistance and housing relocation programs.
The city also partners with Greater Lakes Mental Health to embed a mental health professional with a Lakewood police officer to serve as a resource for people battling substance abuse or who have been diagnosed with mental illness and need treatment instead of jail time.
In 2016 this team helped 200 people by directing them to available community resources.
Other partnerships include Living Access Support Alliance (LASA), Habitat for Humanity, Western State Hospital, and the Tacoma Methadone Clinic.
The city contributed nearly $1 million to LASA to support its shelter that opened in 2015. It also helped Habitat for Humanity fund the construction of new homes for low-income, first-time homebuyers. The program has built 21 homes in Tillicum with another 12 scheduled for construction.
Lakewood is also a partner with Continuum of Care, a consortium with Pierce County and the city of Tacoma that qualifies for federal money to support other programs that address homelessness countywide.
Volunteer with Lakewood
Do you like to give back to the community? Are you looking to get better connected to Lakewood? Have some free time you want to fill? Consider joining one of the city's community advisory boards . Board members often have experience or expertise they can lend, can meet on a monthly basis and can commit to serving a full term, or longer. Descriptions of boards with openings:
Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board. Members identify and actively encourage the conservation of historic resources by establishing and maintaining a register of historic landmarks, landmark sites, historic special review districts, and conservation districts, among other responsibilities. Two vacancies, term runs through 12/31/2019.
Community Services Advisory Board . Members conduct public hearings and make recommendations to the City Council on community service funding, among other responsibilities. One vacancy, term runs through 12/15/2020.
Arts Commission . Members promote visual, performing and literary arts and encourage creative contribution of local artists, among other responsibilities. One vacancy, term runs through 10/15/2017.
Lakewood's Promise Advisory Board . Members serve as advisory board to the City Council regarding the Lakewood's Promise mission and youth development, among other responsibilities. Three vacancies.
Descriptions of each board and commission, meeting schedule and application form can be found online .
Upcoming Council meetings:
All meetings start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Meetings are held in council chambers at City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood.
March 13, 2017 Study Session
- Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County update – Mr. Bruce Kendall, President & CEO
- Abatement program update
- Review of FY 2017 Consolidated Annual Action Plan & funding recommendations
- Review of 2017 SSMCP Work Plan
- Review of proposed LID for street improvements on 150th St SW, Spring Street and 146th ST SW
- Marijuana discussion
March 20, 2017 Regular Meeting
- Business showcase – CR Coachworks, Mr. Doug Graf and Ms. Julie Stacy and Aacres LLC, Mr. Mark Beagley, Regional Director
- Bid award Ft. Steilacoom Park docks
- Bid award for Lakeview Drive from Kendrick Street to Steilacoom Blvd.
- 2016 Year End Police Report
- Reports by the City Manager –Review of Subarea Plan process and RFP