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City Council Adopts News Rules For Smoking in Parks

The Lakewood City Council adopted new rules Tuesday night that limit where users can smoke in City parks.

The City Council voted to ban smoking within 50 feet of specific areas where people gather, including:

  • Playgrounds
  • Restrooms
  • Picnic shelters
  • Swimming beaches
  • Athletic fields or spectator areas during events and concession areas

The City Council also opted not to change the code to allow alcohol in the parks during community events.

The amendments to the City’s parks code comes after public feedback and lengthy deliberations by the City Council.

The City of Lakewood owns or manages 12 parks, including the historic, 340-acre Fort Steilacoom Park, which plays host to regional sporting events and community festivals and offers a popular off-leash dog park.

Barn Material Is State's Decision

Over the past 24 hours, the City of Lakewood has received several inquiries about the future of the Fort Steilacoom Park barn that collapsed overnight during Wednesday’s wind storm.

Specifically, groups are asking about the barn’s wood and other material – now in a pile and cordoned off from park users.

Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director Mary Dodsworth, says that Lakewood has contacted the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, as well as the Office of Historic Preservation.

The state leases the 340-acre park to the City of Lakewood. It also owns the barn material and will make the initial decisions regarding how to reuse or salvage the material for historical purposes. Once the state determines its course, the City will decide how it could use, remove, sell, donate, surplus or take other action with the material.

“We’ll work to keep the community informed about our options and how it could possibly participate,” Dodsworth said. “Citizens should check out our website , Facebook page and Twitter feed for the latest updates. We will definitely keep them posted.”

The collapsed barn – located east of Waughop Lake – was the most fragile of the park’s historic barns and wasn’t being used for storage or any other purpose.

No one was hurt when it collapsed. The City erected temporary fencing around the fallen barn. We ask for park visitors to use care and caution around this partly demolished structure. According to Lakewood Municipal Code 08.76.450, it is illegal to damage or remove public property from the park.

Lakewood Can Benefit From U.S. Open Buildup

On the first day that people could sign up to volunteer for the 2015 U.S. Open on Monday, officials saw an "amazing" 3,000 people enlist.

Those volunteers will help organize an event that's expected to bring 235,000 peopole to the South Sound over the week of the championship, June 15-21.

It's numbers like those that make Lakewood and neighborhing communities to Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place poised to benefit from one of golf's biggest events, Director Danny Sink told the Lakewood City Council on Monday night.

One of the ways Lakewood - located only a few miles south of the Pierce County owned course - could be involved with the 2015 U.S. Open is transportation. Specifically, the USGA and Pierce County will likely try and work with Lakewood to allow overflow parking at Fort Steilacoom Park. Those deals are typically signed a year out of the tournament.

Lakewood, however, will only be a small piece of the event's overall transportation plan, which will involve shuttling event-goers from off-site locations to the golf course. On Monday, Sink said officials are considering a "train" option with Sound Transit that would bring visitors from Seattle to Chambers Bay.

In terms of traffic control, Sink estimated abouot 100 traffic "checkpoints" near the golf course that will be coordinated through Pierce County. Lakewood could be asked to help, for example, at the potential Fort Steilacoom Park parking site.

But the biggest benefit to Lakewood could come weeks before the first swing. Sink told the Lakewood City Council that there are opportunities to market the community to workers and volunteers via lodging, dining and other services that they'll need as they help prepare the tournament site.

"Don't focus on the week-of," he said.

To access the online application and read full committee descriptions, visit https://2015volunteers.usga.org . To request a mailed application, send an email to .

For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org .

Winds Knock Down Aging Barn at Fort Steilacoom Park

Overnight winds knocked down an unused, aging barn at Fort Steilacoom Park, one that has likely stood for more than a century.

The barn – located east of Waughop Lake – was the most fragile of the park’s historic barns and wasn’t being used for storage or any other purpose, according to Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director Mary Dodsworth.

It is also located on the edge of the park’s historic barn area and will not impact any current use or operation at the state-owned park, she said.

No one was hurt when the barn collapsed overnight. The City of Lakewood – which this month assumed control of the lease of the 340-acre Fort Steilacoom Park from the State of Washington – erected temporary fencing around the fallen barn and is planning to remove the barn material from the park.

The City is asking any park visitors to use care and caution near this area.

The City will work with Department of Social and Health Services to determine if any of the material should be retained for historical significance.

Dodsworth said the barn was built on a cement slab, which will be retained for future use.

Bridgeport/Custer Road Work Postponed

Weather has pushed back road work that was scheduled to begin this week at Bridgeport Way and Custer Road Southwest into next week.

Puget Sound Energy informed the City of Lakewood that the final restoration work - which was scheduled from 6 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., Tuesday through Thursday - is now scheduled between Tuesday, February 18 and Thursday, Feb. 20.

The work is part of PSE’s gas main replacement project.