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


Dec. 1, 2017

Weekly Info Bulletin

To: Mayor and members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager

Amtrak service begins Dec. 18

Passenger trains traveling up to 79 miles per hour will begin to use the railroad tracks through Lakewood on Monday, Dec. 18.

A total of 14 trains will run through the city daily as they travel between Seattle and Portland, Oregon. The city has eight railroad crossings where cars and people will be in close proximity to the trains as they speed by. 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.

Because these tracks previously were used by slower freight trains, residents should be prepared for the more frequent and faster trains. 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 as pedestrians and when in vehicles
  • Wait for crossing arms to go up and/or lights to stop flashing before entering a crossing.


Keeping Lakewood neighborhoods safe

Public safety and keeping our neighborhoods safe is a top priority in Lakewood. That’s why the City Council is pursuing legislation to make sure adult family homes in our community operate in the way they were originally intended.

The state’s recent attempt to release a violent offender into an adult family home unequipped to handle his care into our Oakbrook neighborhood is one example of how adult family home use as evolved beyond what the program was originally intended.

The city wants to work proactively with the state and adult family home providers to make sure those who need help have the proper resources available to them, while also ensuring our residents – including those living in existing adult family homes – are safe.

The council recently reviewed draft legislation addressing adult family homes as follows:

  • Density/dispersal requirements
  • Community outreach
  • Improved transparency
  • City business license requirements
  • Wage requirements for adult family home healthcare service workers
  • Assurances from the state that only those persons who are supposed to be in an adult family home, as defined under the Federal Fair Housing Act, are, in fact, placed in such a facility. 

The draft legislation also prohibits the location of Enhanced Service Facilities (ESFs) in single family residential zones. The council will continue its discussion around adult family homes in early 2018.


Economic Development updates

  • Hop Jack’s Lakewood location opened Nov. 20 in Lakewood Towne Center. Additional economic development highlights can be found in the November 2017 Economic Development brochure
  • Three open houses were held at the end of November for the public to weigh in on its vision for a future central commercial gathering place in Lakewood. The outreach included an online survey that saw nearly 400 participants. The results of the survey and concept plans for a “Downtown Lakewood” will be presented at the City Council’s Dec. 11 study session. Review of the existing conditions report and scoping will begin that week by the Council and the city’s planning commission.


Road project updates

Traffic Alert: Tacoma Power is scheduled to do work in the area of Gravelly Lake Drive and School Street Sunday/Monday (Dec. 3-4). The traffic signal at Gravelly Lake Drive and School Street will be dark from approximately 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Police will be on site to offer traffic control. Single lane closures may occur.

Roadway Safety Improvement Project at 40th & 96th streets: We are accepting bids until Dec. 19. The City Council is tentatively set to award the bid at its Jan. 2, 2018 regular meeting.

Dekoven Drive: The City Council awarded the contract for the Dekoven Drive traffic calming project to Iversen and Sons, Inc. Work will begin as early as Jan. 2, 2018. Once complete a compact roundabout, curb and gutter will be added to the intersections of Dekoven Drive/Meadow Road and Dekoven Drive/100th Street. This project will also improve roadway striping and signage. The goal of this project is to reduce speeding on Dekoven Drive in the vicinity of the project boundaries.

Gravelly Lake Drive (100th to Bridgeport): This project was suspended Nov. 20 for the winter. When better weather returns work will resume. Right turns from Mount Tacoma Drive to Gravelly Drive are allowed for all vehicles, except large trucks.

Woodbrook/Tillicum sewer completion: The state Public Works Board officially declared the city’s sewer extension project to the Tillicum and Woodbrook neighborhoods complete. The projects extended sewers to these neighborhoods, allowing residents to connect to sewers and stop using failing septic systems – which ultimately cleans the runoff into American Lake and the water feeding the underground aquifers. The project was funded with a $500,000 public works assistance account.


Fallen Officers Food Drive: Thank you

Thank you to everyone who came out to our 8th annual Fallen Officer’s Food Drive Nov. 29.

At the event 7,285 pounds of food were collected, enough for 5,800 meals.

The Fallen Officer’s Food Drive was created by retired Lakewood Police Chief Bret 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.


Help your neighbors this holiday season

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

  • Springbrook Connections: 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 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.
  • Lakewood Historical Society: Celebrate the holidays by helping the Lakewood Historical Society preserve and celebrate our local history. The society is putting on “A Christmas Carol” fundraiser, Dec. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center BLVD SW. Tickets: $20. Available for purchase from the Historical Society Museum, 6211 Mt. Tacoma Dr. SW or by calling (253) 682-3480.


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. 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. 

December 4, 2017 Regular Meeting

  • Youth Council Report
  • Proclamation recognizing Harold LeMay Enterprises, Inc. – Mr. Larry Meany, District General Manager
  • Clover Park School District Report
  • AMTRAK and Point Defiance Rail Bypass update. – Mr. David Smelser, Rail Capital Program Manager and Janet Matkin, Communications Manager, WSDOT
  • Appoint member to serve on Community Services Advisory Board
  • Awarding a bid for citywide electric repairs project
  • Approve Hearings Examiner contract
  • Approve contract for prosecution services
  • Approve 2017 accounts receivable write-offs
  • Approve telephone utility tax audit agreement
  • Approve Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County contract for animal sheltering
  • Reports by the City Manager - Neighborhood Traffic Control Program update, 2017 Prosecution services report and Ft. Steilacoom Park Pavilion update


December 11, 2017 Study Session

  • Tacoma Public Utilities Power and Water Meter Upgrade/AMI update
  • 3rd Quarter Financial Report.
  • Downtown Central Business District Subarea Plan update

Dec. 4 Agenda