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


June 26, 2015


To: Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager

Topics of Interest and Updates

Fireworks in Lakewood

As the country celebrates its independence this Fourth of July, the City of Lakewood recognizes that residents will purchase and use fireworks. But there are restrictions, and violation of these restrictions could result in a fine and even jail time. Not a good way to celebrate the Red, White and Blue, to say the least. To help residents determine what and what not to do, the City is providing this Q&A regarding fireworks  in the City of Lakewood. West Pierce Fire & Rescue also offers these tips:

  • Store fireworks out of children’s reach
  • Always keep water handy
  • Only use fireworks outdoors
  • Do not throw fireworks or hold in your hand
  • Light one firework at a time and move away quickly
  • Never relight a “dud” - Soak used fireworks in water
  • Be considerate and clean up used fireworks
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children

Heat Wave: Do Not Leave Pets in Cars

Temperatures are rising, and the weather folks are predicting a heat wave will hit Western Washington  starting this weekend and hang around for a week or two. Given the forecast, the Lakewood Police Department reminds drivers to never leave their dog or cat in a parked car during the hot summer days - not even for a short trip to the store. The build-up of heat inside your car can kill pets. On an average summer day, the temperature inside your car can reach an unbearable 160 degrees in the sun. Even if with windows cracked a little, a dog or cat can die of heat prostration within a short time. Even if a pet survives the hot car, it could suffer unseen brain damage. Dogs and cats don’t sweat the same way people sweat. An animal’s lungs are its main cooling system. When a pet has only overheated air to breath, it can’t live very long. Remember, shaded parking areas, open windows and air-conditioned cars with motors off won’t work (illegal to leave your car running).

Basically, if you love your pet, leave it home. 

Lakewood SummerFEST 2015 on July 11!

What? You thought the summer of huge events in Lakewood was over? Not by a long putt, er, shot. On Saturday, July 11 – yes, less than three weeks away – the City of Lakewood will hold its biggest event of the year with SummerFEST 2015,  beginning at 11 a.m., at Fort Steilacoom Park. Lakewood’s annual summer celebration gets bigger and better each time. This year’s party promises to be no different. A few reasons why:

  • Lakewood SummerFEST Triathlon: This annual event, presented by St. Clare Hospital, is a test of will and draws some of the fiercest competitors to the community. The competition requires competitors to swim, bike and run. It begins with a swim at American Lake Park and ends with a run at Fort Steilacoom Park. Competitors are expected to begin crossing the finish line around 10 a.m., for SummerFEST-goers who want to arrive early and cheer them on.
  • Vendors, Vendors and More Vendors: Beginning at 11 a.m., more than 75 public market vendors and 20 food vendors will offer an array of goods to buy, browse and/or eat. There will also be a beer garden.
  •  Free Entertainment: These days, every penny counts. The City of Lakewood knows this, and that’s why it works every SummerFEST to provide family fun and entertainment free of charge. This year, SummerFEST will feature two stages of great live music (check out the lineup for our Main Stage  ) and a soccer tournament, as well as free displays of Police, Fire and other vehicles.
  • Safety First: West Pierce Fire and Rescue will be on site to provide safety information as well as sell life vests and bike helmets.
  • KidsZone: For a small fee, children can bounce, climb, race and enjoy a petting zoo in the KidZone.
  • Classic Car Show: Come see hot rods, convertibles and other classic cars displayed at thePartners for Parks car show
  • Movie in the Park: Everything is awesome at this year’s SummerFEST! Why? Our feature outdoor film, which starts at dusk, is none other than the LEGO Movie  . How cool is that?

Mark your calendars for this great family event.

City Releases First Quarter 2015 Financial Report

The City of Lakewood has released its financial report for first quarter 2015. Overall, the report indicates that Lakewood, despite working under a tight bottom line, continues to operate efficiently and deliver high-quality services to residents. Some highlights of the report, which is posted online:

  • Operating revenues are exceeding expenditures by $1.35 million. However, this operating income temporary as there are timing differences in both revenues and expenditures
  • Revenues that are up from 2014 due to timing differences include property tax and police contracts. Fines and forfeitures revenue increase may potentially be due to the amnesty program. Gambling tax and franchise fees are experiencing an overall increase.
  • Revenues that are down from 2014 include licenses & permits and utility tax.
  • By year-end, revenues are projected to come in on target. Revenues that are showing increases will help offset the anticipated decreases in utility tax revenue.
  • On the expenditure side, the primary reason for the increases/decreases compared to YTD 2014 is due to a change in accounting. The internal service functions (risk management and information technology) were previously accounted for under the Administrative Services department but are now being charged directly to user departments. Property Management is also now being accounted for as an internal service fund and charged directly to user department. Contributions to the fleet and equipment fund previously reported as a separate line items is now charged directly to the user department.
  • Expenditure budget is very tight and does not have much flexibility. However, the City continues to monitor and be conscientious on spending.
  • Expenditure savings and revenue increases above and beyond estimates will be used to replenish the Fleet & Equipment fund. (The City Council approved a transfer of $233,000 from the Fleet and Equipment Fund to the Information Technology Fund to providing resources for much needed technology services/programs).
  • Updated projections for the 6-year financial forecast are currently in progress and will be presented to the City Council in the near future. The 6-year financial forecast will be prepared in a manner consistent with the City Council’s adopted financial policies.

To view the complete report: /documents/finance/financial_reports/2015Qtr1FinancialReport.pdf  .

JBLM Commander Col. Chuck Hodges Wins Defense Communities Award

WASHINGTON D.C. - Joint Base Lewis-McChord Commander Col. Chuck Hodges got national recognition Wednesday for his work and partnerships with surrounding communities, particularly the base's host community of Lakewood. Hodges won the Military Leadership Award at the Association of Defense Communities ' 2015 National Summit. The award recognizes an individual from any branch of the military whose outstanding leadership has been essential in building and sustaining partnerships with defense communities that are home to active, realigning or closing installations. Throughout his tenure as commander at JBLM, Hodges has demonstrated a commitment to working and collaborating with all of the base's neighboring communities. Wednesday's summit included Mayor Don Anderson, as well as Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Derek Kilmer and Rep. Adam Smith. The City of Lakewood would like to congratulate Col. Hodges on the award and thank him for his time and dedication to the community.

Road Projects

The Public Works Department reports that work on a number of summer road projects began this week:

  • Steilacoom Boulevard– Fort Steilacoom Park:  A portion of the outside lane on Steilacoom Boulevard in front of Fort Steilacoom Park (west of 87th Avenue) was closed for two days this week to replace curb and gutter that was removed for a temporary driveway.
  • Main Street Overlay – Gravelly Lake Drive to 108th Street (pavement overlay):  Construction started this week on the pavement overlay project and will continue for two to three weeks. Temporary day-time partial lane closures will be required to upgrade pedestrian ramps and complete minor storm drainage repairs. Pavement grinding and overlay will occur in the evening and early morning hours prior to Lakewood Towne Center opening. 
  • 59th Avenue – 100th Street to Bridgeport Way (reconstruction):  Construction began this week on the pavement reconstruction project and will continue for two to three weeks. There will be a temporary road closure with detours during a portion of this time to allow for the roadway to be completely removed and reconstructed.  “Local Access” only will be allowed. The City has coordinated with bus service and adjacent property owners to modify and maintain access. Specific dates of road closure to be announced.

West Pierce Fire & Rescue Online Survey

Help our friends at West Pierce Fire & Rescue streamline their services and response processes by taking Community Expectation Survey online .

Summer School: Drive Carefully

Summer school in the Clover Park School District began this week, and the Lakewood Police Department is asking motorists to drive carefully. The schedule is as follows:

  • June 22 - July 23: John Dower, Oakwood, Tillicum, Tyee Park and Park Lodge Elementary Schools; Lochburn and Woodbrook Middle School; Lakes High School (Additional "Lancer Days" Aug. 17-21); Clover Park High School (Additional "Warrior Days" Aug.19-20)

U.S. Open

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy issued this statement regarding the success of the 115th U.S. Open and its benefit to Pierce County, calling the golf course "worthy of the toughest test in golf.":

This was one of the most extraordinary weeks in our region's history. Our communities hosted thousands of visitors, and tens of millions of people saw spectacular views of our beautiful home. On behalf of Pierce County, I offer our thanks and appreciation to the local, state and federal partners who helped make this a huge success, as well as the championship volunteers and residents who provided such a warm welcome to all of our visitors.

The City of Lakewood also congratulates 115th U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth, who made the first major golf championshiop in the Pacific Northwest a memorable one.

Economic Development

Lakewood Industrial Park

Lakewood Industrial Park has demolished two older buildings to make way for a new, 268,300-square-foot building, available for leasing late 2015. This is the second of two new buildings at the park. A 136,000-square-foot building was completed this year.

Did You Know? Lakewood Industrial Park is the fourth-largest, for-profit employer in Pierce County with 65 businesses, providing employment for 1300-plus individuals. 

Curbside Auto

What’s that new construction at 100th and South Tacoma Way? Replacing two older motels, Curbside Auto is relocating and expanding in Lakewood. This is not your average car lot, either. Complete with attractive landscaping, look for a new and appealing entrance to the City.

Jersey Mike's Subs, Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

Hungry for new food options? Jersey Mike's Subs is coming to Lakewood Towne Center, and Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches will locate on Steilacoom Boulevard across from Haggen Northwest Fresh. Stay tuned as more restaurants are announced in the coming months!

Centerforce Expansion

Centerforce celebrated the completion of its conference center this week. Check out their Hometown Dogs  food truck around town and at events around the sound. Centerforce is a 45-year-old, non-profit organization, serving more than 200 disabled persons with training and employment.

City Council

The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, July 6, 2015, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

  • Clover Park School District Report
  • Presentation of West-Pierce Fire District Levy – Fire Chief Jim Sharp
  • Bid award for Madigan Access Phase II
  • Public Hearing on Six Year TIP
  • Adopt Investment Policy Resolution & Creation of the Investment Control Fund
  • Adopt 2015-2020 Region 5 All Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Approve the sale process for the Lakeland surplus property

The City Council will be holding a study session on Monday, July 13, 2015, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

  • Joint Lodging Tax Advisory Committee meeting
  • Review model aircraft code in parks
  • Review of ILA for Fire Marshal services