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


Nov. 17, 2017

Weekly Info Bulletin

To: Mayor and members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager


Lakewood’s legislative priorities

The Lakewood City Council sat down with members of our state Legislative delegation Nov. 16, 2017 to discuss the city’s priorities heading into the 2018 short Legislative session.

The meeting offered the council the chance to highlight projects the city is working on – including some projects that didn’t get funded last year – and thank our state leaders for their work.

Lakewood has a strong working relationship with our local delegation and looks forward to continuing that as we head into the new year.

Here are some of the priorities for 2018 :

Pass the 2017-19 Capital Budget: The city has two requests that depend on passage of the budget: transfer of ownership of Fort Steilacoom Park and a $476,000 grant request from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation grant program for Harry Todd Park waterfront improvements.

Military Benefit Zone: The city supports legislation aimed at helping economic development for communities near military installations.

Expedite funding for Lake City sidewalk project: The city is scheduled to receive $270,000 in 2025 and $1.73 million in 2027 for sidewalk construction in the Lake City Business District. The city is asking the money come earlier to line up with the construction cycle for another sidewalk project scheduled for 2020 to limit impacts on businesses and traffic.

Spur development on Pacific Highway South:  The city is asking for the state to partner in the development of 25 acres along Pacific Highway South where a WSDOT maintenance facility is located. This is prime real estate for development that would benefit the state, county and city.

Capital Funding Requests: The city requested capital funding for Fort Steilacoom Park to help pay for park infrastructure improvements, including repaving the entryway into the park and extending water, sewer and electric utilities to buildings in the park.

It also asked for money to help with the Lakewood Colonial Plaza, which includes redevelopment of the Colonial Center and the creation of a central gathering place along Motor Avenue.

See a complete list of local, state and federal priorities here .


Train signal testing starts Saturday

Starting Saturday (Nov. 18, 2017), WSDOT will conduct final tests on the Point Defiance Bypass  railroad tracks. This route runs from the Tacoma Dome Station, through South Tacoma, Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and DuPont. Those who cross these tracks should be prepared for minor delays that occasionally will occur as trains pass through intersections over the next several weeks.

Drivers and pedestrians should use extreme caution whenever near the railroad tracks, obeying all signals, pavement markings, and gates to ensure they are not in the path of an oncoming train.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 this train route will be permanently used by 14 daily passenger trains traveling up to 79 mph. Trains will travel in both directions and most will pass through this area between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. However, delays in schedules make it important to stay alert and expect trains at any time, day or night.

At times, Lakewood police officers will be stationed at intersections to promote safety. Drivers and pedestrians are urged to always follow good rail safety guidelines including:

  • Do not walk on or near the tracks
  • Do not stop your vehicle on the railroad tracks while waiting for traffic
  • Obey all signals at all times – both pedestrians and drivers
  • Wait for crossing arms to go up and/or lights to stop flashing before entering a crossing 



Kick off your holidays with us

We're counting down to Christmas with our 21st Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony,  Dec. 1, 2017 starting at 5 p.m.

Come early to grab the perfect sport along 59th Street in Lakewood Towne Center to catch candy and watch the holiday parade (5:45 p.m. start). Santa will make his grand entrance aboard the West Pierce Fire and Rescue fire truck at 6 p.m.

Join the celebration at City Hall where we'll have live entertainment inside and out. Clover Park students will sing carols and we'll have a special performance by the Tacoma TotemAires Barbershop Harmony Chorus.

Santa is ready to meet your child and take a photo.

New this year is Candy Cane Lane, where visitors can stroll through boutique vendors with unique items for sale -- a perfect chance to start your holiday shopping early.

Inside City Hall children's Winter Wonderland LEGO creations will be on display. Register your child for the contest .

Enjoy family-friendly activities with "minute-to-win-it" games and arts and crafts.

Starbucks will provide hot drinks and holiday treats. Food vendors, including Stacks Burgers, will have food for purchase.

Own a business? Get in the holiday spirit by entering our Holiday Storefront Decorating Contest. (Winners announced Dec. 5.)

Want to join the parade? Register by Nov. 22 .

We can't wait to celebrate with you!


Now open in Lakewood

New businesses are coming to Lakewood and the can’t get their doors open fast enough!

Family-friendly restaurant Hop Jack’s is preparing to open Nov. 20 in Lakewood Towne Center, mobile food truck Burger City recently found a home on 96th Street and we keep hearing great things about Smokin’ Zees BBQ and The Gyro Shack, which both recently opened.

We’re pleased to welcome these amazing new companies to our community, and can’t wait to share the news about other businesses looking to call Lakewood home.

For a complete list of who’s open and who’s next check out our updated Economic Development brochure online .


City hosts minimum wage forum

In 2016, Washington voters approved raising the state minimum wage and mandating companies of all sizes to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave to each employee. The rules have been finalized and are effective January 1, 2018.

On Nov. 16 Lakewood partnered with Pierce County and the Economic Development Board to host a forum on Initiative-1433. Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen welcomed over 100 businesses from all over Pierce County. Labor and Industries experts as well as representatives from CONNECTHR LLC, and Ledger Square Law provided detailed answers to attendee questions. Click here  for more information on I-1433.


Vote! We need your help

The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in Tacoma applied for a matching grant to help bring free, outdoor concerts to Fort Steilacoom Park in 2018.

We are a finalist for the $25,000 grant from the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national organization dedicated “strengthening the social fabric of America through free live music.”

Fifteen nonprofits across the country will be selected to receive the $25,000 matching award. We need as many votes as possible to get into the top 15.

Voting closes Nov. 20. Learn more here.


Fallen Officers Food Drive

The 8th annual Fallen Officer’s Food Drive will be Nov. 29 outside the Lakewood Police Department. New this year there will also be a blood drive.

This year’s event is significant for a number of reasons. It falls a day before the one-year anniversary of the death of Tacoma Police Department Officer Jake Gutierrez, who was killed in the line of duty. We also lost two of our own this year – Officer Arron Grant and retired Chief Bret Farrar.

The Fallen Officer’s Food Drive was created by Farrar and his wife in 2010 to honor our Fallen Four – Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Ronald Owens and Officer Greg Richards – who were killed in the line of duty in 2009. The drive collects food for the Emergency Food Network, based in Lakewood. While it was created to honor our officers its purpose is to remember all who serve.

We hope that you’ll visit the station Nov. 29 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and bring your non-perishable food donation to help us honor the fallen by feeding others.

The blood drive will be from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Donation bins will be at the station and Lakewood City Hall Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.


Help your neighbors

Looking to give back this holiday season? Here’s just a couple ways to help your neighbors:

Springbrook Connections: The annual Thanksgiving dinner is Nov. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. at CenterForce. All residents of Springbrook are invited to come to this communal dinner to celebrate the start of the holidays.

This year’s Christmas Giveaway is Dec. 16. This gives families the chance to “shop” for their children who otherwise wouldn’t have presents to open on Christmas.  

If you would like to help at the dinner or donate items to the giveaway contact Jesse Black, (253) 279-5637.

Caring for Kids: Volunteer with Caring for Kids at its Holiday Fair scheduled for Dec. 9 at Hudtloff Middle School. Volunteers are needed Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 7:30 a.m. at the school. This year 685 families will receive food and gifts for the holidays. If you would like to help with a monetary donation, send a check to Caring for Kids, 237 Eldorado Avenue, Fircrest, WA 98466. To sign up, or for more information email   or call (253) 279-9777.


Weekly transportation update

Gravelly Lake Drive (100th to Bridgeport): Contractor RW Scott has eight light poles left to stand, which should be done by today (Nov. 17). The illumination system should be wired and activated by the end of next week. Once light poles are up work will stop until after the rainy season.


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:

Community Services Advisory Board : Members advise the City Council on matters related to Human Services and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Ace (HOME) programs. One vacancy. Due Nov. 20. 

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. Five vacancies. Due Dec. 11.

Lakewood Arts Commission : Members assess needs, establish priorities and make recommendations for enrichment of the community and promotion of its cultural vitality through the arts. One vacancy. Due Dec. 18. 

Descriptions of each board and commission, meeting schedule and application form can be found online .


Stay up to date with MyLakewood 311

Did you know Lakewood has its own free mobile app?

All you need to know about the city is at your fingertips. Updates on road projects and detours around the city and other city announcements can be found under the “Public Announcements” header. Read this weekly bulletin by clicking “City Manager’s Weekly Info Bulletin”, or contact the city using the “submit a new request” button and select from the appropriate category.

Download it now in the iTunes App Store  or on Google Play .


Upcoming Council Meetings

All meetings are 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Meetings are held in council chambers at City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW, Lakewood. 

Nov. 20, 2017 Regular Meeting

  • Business showcase – Ed Selden Carpet One – Ms. Gayle Selden, Manager
  • Proclamation declaring November 25, 2017 as Small Business Saturday – Ms. Linda Smith, President, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce
  • Police Chief’s Commendation Award. - Mr. Eric Forsythe, Mr. James Turbyfill and Mr. Omar Rodriguez
  • Approve SHB Estates final plat
  • Approve Municipal Court Judge contract
  • Adopt 2018 property tax levy
  • Adopt 2017-2018 mid-biennium budget adjustments
  • Adopt 2018 fee schedule amendments
  • Adopt 2018 lodging tax funding allocations
  • Adopt 2018 human services funding allocations


Nov. 27, 2017 Study Session

  • Rental housing safety program update
  • Parks Capital Improvement Program update
  • Review of utility phone tax agreement
  • Review accounts receivable write-offs
  • Adult family homes/ESF update
  • Community clean-up recap

Nov. 20 Agenda