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


Sept. 18, 2015


To: Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 

Topics of Interest and Updates

Lower Clover Creek Dam Removal Project

The City of Lakewood completed construction on a project this week that will allow Clover Creek to flow smoother and improve fish passage.

City crews removed a small, man-made “dam” this week, bridging the Clover Creek over a small falls (See “Before” and “After” pictures).

A $40,000 grant from the Nisqually Indian Tribe paid for the project, which was a cooperative effort between Lakewood and Pierce County Public Works. The County prepared the project design, submitted initial permits and provided a biologist for construction. The City handled construction.

Lakewood actually tabled the job for a year because the creek was flowing so fast in 2014, and it would have overtaken the bypass pipe that allows crews to work.

This year was a different case because the creek, according to Surface Water Division Manager Greg Vigoren, has “been completely dry off and on for the past couple of weeks, which made for favorable construction conditions.”

“All in all, it was a successful project,” he added.

Now all Clover Creek needs to flow freely again is, well, water. That will most likely increase in the fall, winter and spring months.

Six-Year Financial Forecast

The City of Lakewood is developing its six-year financial forecast.

The outlook: Lakewood is projected to meet its financial goals through the end of 2016, and it’s identifying ways to ensure this continues for the foreseeable future.

Why the projection six years out? The City of Lakewood’s financial policy requires preparation of a financial forecast for six years starting with the current budget period. The projections help the City determine if current services are sustainable and identify any future financial gaps. This glimpse into the future allows the City to proactively plan and implement corrective measures over time to avoid drastic changes in service levels.

The City developed the preliminary six-year financial forecast in October 2014 for the 2015-16 Biennial Budget. Since then, it has updated the forecast and will continue to do so as more information becomes available and economic conditions improve.

During this process, it’s important to not only look at operating revenues and expenditures, but also its reserves. The City’s policy requires operating expenditures to be covered by operating revenues; the City can’t spend more than it collects. Ultimately, the City must maintain 12 percent of its operating revenue in reserves.

With that in mind, here is a summary of the City of Lakewood’s six-year financial forecast .

Public Hearing on Tacoma's Proposition 3

On Monday, Sept. 21, Lakewood residents will get the opportunity to voice their opinions on the City of Tacoma's Proposition 3.

Scheduled to go to the Nov. 3 General Election, the measure, if passed, would pay for Tacoma street improvements via a utility tax, including Tacoma Power customers. Tacoma Power serves parts of the City of Lakewood. Below is the official notice for the public hearing, which is scheduled during the Lakewood City Council meeting, 7 p.m., Sept. 21, at Lakewood City Hall:

Notice is hereby given that on Monday, September 21, 2015, at 7:00 p.m., or soon thereafter, the City Council will hear public testimony on the City of Tacoma's Proposition No. 3 General Election ballot measure to be held on November 3, 2015, to levy an additional1.5% Utility Company Earning Tax for Tacoma street improvements. The effect will be an increase to Tacoma's utility tax on the earnings of natural gas, electric and phone companies, including the City of Tacoma-owned Tacoma Power, which provides utility service to customers in Lakewood. Utility companies may choose to pass this cost on to their customers through their rates, though the Tacoma City Council could, by separate action, have to approve any Tacoma Power rate change to its customers.

If you have comments about this matter and want them to be known and considered, they must be presented at the hearing, or written comments can be submitted to the Lakewood City Council, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood, WA 98499, or via email at prior to the hearing.

The public hearing will take place at City of Lakewood, Council Chambers, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood, Washington.

Council to Discuss Historic Fort Steilacoom Designation

Also on Monday, the Lakewood City Council is scheduled to discuss a proposed resolution to designate Historic Fort Steilacoom as a Community Landmark.

The four residential structures of Historic Fort Steilacoom have been nominated (together with their immediate surroundings and the Fort Steilacoom Settler cemetery on the interior of the Western State Hospital campus) as a Community Landmark. These structures are some of the oldest buildings in the region and the state, originally constructed in 1857 as part of the establishment of Fort Steilacoom. The Fort buildings are currently on the Federal and State Registers of historic places. Read more

Turn in Unused Drugs on Sept. 26

The Lakewood Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across the country that will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday Sept. 26.

Locally, the event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Lakewood Police Department,  9401 Lakewood Drive SW.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means for residents to dispose prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

This is a vital public safety and public health issue, according to the DEA. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

The more responsible adults can empty their cupboards and medicine cabinets of unused prescription drugs, the safer it will ultimately be for their families.

For more information, visit the DEA's website .

TVW Visits Waughop Lake

This week, crews with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and the TVW -- Washington Public Affairs Network show, "The Impact," were at Waughop Lake to discuss the algae blooms and other conditions that make the lake unsafe to drink from, swim in, etc.

The segment - which aired on television and was posted online Wednesday - covered the prevalence of toxic algae blooms on the Washington coast and inland lakes, including the Fort Steilacoom Park lake. Weather and other conditions are contributing to this phenomenon.

The City of Lakewood, with the help of a Department of Ecology grant, currently is studying the lake to determine exactly why Waughop Lake often is a site for algae blooms and other potential health-related issues. The study, which will also examine possible solutions, is scheduled to wrap up this fall.

As TPCHD's Lindsay Tuttle told TVW, a good rule of thumb is if there's any discoloration or scum in the water, stay out.

West Pierce Captain Named To Bates Technical College Board

Congratulations to West Pierce Fire & Rescue Captain and Lakewood resident Layne Bladow, who Governor Jay Inslee​ appointed to the Bates Technical College​ Board of Trustees. Read more on Bates Technical College's blog .

Bark For Life on Sept. 26

  • WHAT: Bark For Life of South Puget Sound , benefitting the American Cancer Society
  • WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26
  • WHERE: Fort Steilacoom Park
  • REGISTRATION: $10. Participants can register at the event or online

The American Cancer Society's Bark For Life event is a non-competitive walk for pets and their owners to raise funds and awareness in the fight against cancer. Prior to the start of the walk, organizers will hold fun contests such as "Best Costume," "Most Talented Dog" and "Dancing With The Dogs." The walk route starts at the Fort Steilacoom Park dog park, goes around Lake Waughop and returns.

After the walk, organizers encourage everyone to stick around as they will hand out prizes and raffles, as well as a special treat for the furry guests of honor. All registration money goes straight to the fight against cancer and participates are encouraged, but not required, to raise money.

National Preparedness Month: Earthquakes

September is National Preparedness Month,  and in the Northwest, all residents should be prepared for an earthquake.

Here are some tips about what to do during and after an earthquake from Emergency Management Division  of the Washington State Department of Health:

Drop, cover and hold
  • When you feel an earthquake, DROP and COVER under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from windows and objects like bookcases that could fall. HOLD on to the desk or table. If it moves, move with it. Do not run—stay where you are. “Drop, Cover and Hold.” Read more

Major Road Work Update, 9/18/15

The following is a list of major road work scheduled for the week beginning Friday, Sept. 18 in the City of Lakewood:

  • Steilacoom Blvd – Lakewood Drive to South Tacoma Way – Overlay
    • Weeks of Sept. 21, Sept. 28, Days: Utility lids will be adjusted to grade. Temporary lane closures will be required. 
    • Weeks of Sept 28, Oct, 5, Nights (weather dependent):  Striping and pavement markings. Half of the roadway will be closed at a time, with one lane of traffic operating in each direction.
  • Bridgeport Way – Pacific Highway to 112th - Overlay
    • Sept. 18-19, Night: Asphalt Pavement Overlay.  Half of the roadway will be closed at a time, with one lane of traffic operating in each direction.
    • Weeks of Sept. 21, Sept. 28, Days: Utility lids will be adjusted to grade. Temporary lane closures will be required.
    • Weeks of Oct. 5, Oct. 12, Nights (weather dependent): Striping and pavement markings.  Half of the roadway will be closed at a time, with one lane of traffic operating in each direction.
  • 100th Street – Lakewood Industrial Park – Frontage Improvements
    • Week of Sept. 21, Days: On 100th Street, west of Lakeview Avenue, Lakewood Industrial Park will be completing curb, gutter, and sidewalk along the frontage of their new buildings.  This work will occur during day time work hours and require temporary lane closures to accomplish this work.
    • Week of Sept. 28, Days: On 100th Street, west of Lakeview Avenue, Lakewood Industrial Park will be grinding and paving along the frontage of their new buildings.  This work will occur during day time work hours and require temporary lane closures to accomplish this work.
  • Veterans Drive (area) Phase 4 – Water Main Replacement (Lakewood Water District Project)
  • Railroad Crossing Utility Relocation Work – Communication Casing Installation at Berkeley Street and North Thorne Lane RR Crossing
    • Late September – October: Communication contractors will be closing Berkeley Street over one to two days on a weekend in order to install a casing across Berkeley Street at the railroad crossing.  Vehicles will be detoured to North Thorne Lane.  On a separate weekend, the same work will take place at North Thorne Lane RR Crossing. 
  • Woodbrook Sewer Extension
    • The City’s contractor is scheduled to begin construction of sewer main in the Woodbrook Neighborhood along Woodbrook Drive and 150th Street at the beginning of September.  During construction, these roads will be closed (allowing local access only) with detours to 146th Street.  More information to come.

'Connections Magazine' Getting Rave Reviews

In the words of the great Robert De Niro: "I heard some things."

More specifically, we've been hearing a lot of good things about our new Connections Magazine. Readers are loving the new look, and we love that they love the new look. A few responses from residents:

  • "Congratulations on an amazing look to the new Lakewood Connections magazine. It is first class."
  • "Love the New Upgrade."
  • "The new magazine looks amazing!"

Have you gotten a chance to glance through it? What do you think?  If you haven't checked it out, click on the magazine cover to the right.

Lakewood on Pandora Radio

Hey Pandora    listeners - have you heard the ad talking about how great of a place Lakewood is to visit? It's airing throughout September.

Paid for with Lodging Tax Advisory Committee    grant funds, the commercial speaks to outdoor recreation, cultural cuisine, beautiful parks and other amenities our community has to offer. Although locals have known for years how great Lakewood is, it's time to share the same message with folks from out of town.

Have you heard it? ‪#‎IamLakewood‬ ‪#‎Adventureineverydirection‬

What is Pandora?

Pandora is free personalized internet radio. Simply enter a favorite artist, track, comedian or genre, and Pandora will create a personalized station that plays their music and more like it. Rate songs by giving thumbs-up and thumbs-down feedback and add variety to further refine your stations, discover new music and help Pandora play only music you love. Pandora is powered by the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken, the Music Genome Project: a project started over ten years ago to capture the complex musical DNA of songs using a large team of highly-trained musicians.

City Council

The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, September 21, 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:

September 21, 2015 Regular Meeting

  • Recognition of Tillicum McDonalds
  • Proclamation declaring September 2015 as National Preparedness Month
  • Presentation on gathering places at Ft. Steilacoom park
  • Appoint Greater Tacoma Public Facilities District Board representative for a four-year term
  • Approve Motor Avenue Design contract
  • Public Hearing on the City of Tacoma’s Proposition 3 utility tax levy
  • Approve Code amendments relative to the Lakewood’s Promise Advisory Board
  • Designating Fort Steilacoom buildings as a community landmark
  • Procedures for notifying public of preliminary agendas and special meetings of City Council
  • Approve Conservation Futures Grant relative to Springbrook Park
  • ILA relative to the Lakewood’s Promise program (continued from 8/3/15)
  • Approve an MOA relative to the Lakewood’s Promise program.
  • Approve Puget Sound Energy agreement regarding LED streetlighting project
  • Approve copiers contract
  • Approve public defender contract
  • Approve backup public defender contract
  • Approve amendments to the Lodging Tax Funding Guidelines
  • Reports by the City Manager –Report on Title 5 Business license implementation


The City Council will be holding a study session on Monday, September 28, 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:

September 28, 2015 Study Session

  • Joint Community Services Advisory Board meeting
  • Review of FY 2016 CDBG & HOME funding policies
  • Review of human services 2015-2016 allocations and funding strategy
  • Review cottage housing code
  • Review of 2016 property tax levy
  • Review of 2nd Quarter Financial Report


The City Council will be holding a special meeting on Saturday, October 3, 2015, beginning at 8:30 a.m., in City Hall, Executive Conference Room 3A, located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

October 3, 2015 (Saturday) Retreat, 8:30 AM

  • Community Visioning
  • State Legislative Agenda, Legislative Policy Manual and Federal Priorities