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City Council to Discuss Prohibiting Tobacco, Requiring Alcohol Fee at Parks

  • WHAT: Lakewood City Council to discuss parks code and fee changes
  • WHEN: 7 p.m., Monday, January 13
  • WHERE: Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW

The Lakewood City Council will discuss a number of proposed changes to the City’s parks code during Monday night’s study session, including prohibiting tobacco use and establishing a new permit for alcohol use during special events.

Every few years, the City reviews its parks code and fee schedule, then recommends changes based on legislative requirements, citizen or staff requests, Council actions, planning policies and other factors. Members of the Lakewood Parks and Recreation Advisory Board reviewed the current code and recommended the changes.

In terms of tobacco use and smoking, Lakewood is recommending prohibiting both at City parks and facilities, including restrooms, picnic shelters, beaches, aquatic facilities, playgrounds, trails, athletic fields, natural areas and spectator/concession areas. Previously, the “Parks” section of the Municipal Code did not specifically prohibit tobacco.

“There is no safe level of second hand smoke,” wrote Mary Dodsworth, the City of Lakewood’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director, in her report to the City Council.

“Tobacco use in the proximity of children and adults engaging in or watching outdoor recreational activities is detrimental to their health and can be offensive to those using such facilities. Cigarettes or chewing tobacco, once consumed in public spaces, are often discarded on the ground, requiring additional maintenance expense and diminishing the beauty of the area (and can pose a risk to children who might ingest them.)”

In terms of alcohol use, the City is recommending introducing a new permit fee when alcohol is present in parks during special events (alcohol is regulated already by conditions of a special use permit). This new fee would be in addition to the City’s existing special use permit fee. The City is recommending a sliding scale based on the size of the event, ranging from $200 to $1,000 per event.

“Alcohol use permit fees vary from city to city,” Dodsworth wrote, “but most base the fee on the size of the event. The PRAB wanted to ensure the fee was substantial enough to denote the added value and impact that alcohol will add to a park-related event.”

To see a full list of the proposed changes, visit .

Potential Streetlight Replacement

Potential Streetlight Replacement Could Save Lakewood $250,000 Annually

  • WHAT: Lakewood City Council to discuss streetlight-replacement program
  • WHEN: 7 p.m., Monday, January 13
  • WHERE: Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW

The City of Lakewood is looking into a streetlight-replacement project that could potentially end up saving almost $250,000 in annual energy and maintenance costs.

At Monday night’s study session, the Lakewood City Council is scheduled to get an update on the work of its Public Works Department, the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services and Renton-based Ameresco. They have been examining the feasibility of replacing more than 3,000 of the City’s streetlights with energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) streetlights.

A Department of Enterprises Services program allows a municipality such as Lakewood to easily enter into what’s known as an Energy Savings Performance Contract with an energy services company. The City of Lakewood chose Amaresco, which has worked with Olympia and Renton on similar LED streetlight replacement projects.

Amaresco is currently performing an audit on the City’s streetlight system, including determining current energy and maintenance costs, developing cost estimates for LED replacement, calculating potential savings and identifying potential grants and rebates.

Public Works Director Don Wickstrom said replacing the streetlights with LED lights will likely save the City money over many years. A successful streetlight-replacement project, he said, is one in which the energy and maintenance savings over 12 years will be able to pay for the project costs.

On Monday, Amaresco will provide some preliminary project costs and phasing. Public Works might also ask the Lakewood City Council at its regular meeting January 21 to approve a resolution to apply for a Department of Commerce grant. That grant could cover up to $500,000, or 25 percent of a streetlight project’s costs.

New-Look Newsletter Hits Households

The City of Lakewood’s newsletter underwent an aesthetic and digital facelift for 2014.

This week, residents and online users are experiencing the improved Connections newsletter for the first time. The Winter 2014 issue is scheduled to begin arriving in Lakewood mailboxes Thursday.

In an age of decreased content, Connections readers will notice an increase of news stories and articles compared to previous issues. The Winter 2014 edition includes:

  • A cover story about what the City is doing to help fix Interstate 5’s traffic woes
  • A Q&A with newly elected City Councilmember John Simpson
  • A piece on Lakewood Police celebrating their 10th year
  • Articles on the opening of Hobby Lobby and the relocation of MultiCare

Readers will also find the latest edition of the City’s Recreation guide, which includes information on upcoming events such as the Fairy Garden Tea Party and the Soggy Doggy 5K, as well as registration information for classes and activities at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center.

Online users will also notice new and improved features for Connections. The newsletter is being published on a new digital platform that will allow users to easily navigate pages, view content and interact with the document. Bonus: The digital edition features a fun video from the City of Lakewood’s Annual Tree Lighting and Jingle Bell Rock 5K.

To view the online edition, scan the QR code on the newsletter or visit .

Coffee with the Mayor January 14, 2014

Please join me for Coffee with the Mayor on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 7:30 a.m.

We will meet at St. Clare Hospital, 4908 112th Street SW in the Resource Center.

Our guest speaker will be Brent Champaco, Communincations Manager who will present on City Communications: Telling Our Story.

If you have any questions, please contact Briana Schumacher at (253) 983-7705. I hope to see you there!

Mayor Don Anderson

No RSVP is needed.

Answers About Winter Air Quality

What’s New with Pierce County Air Quality?

As winter sets in it’s worth remembering that much of Pierce County continues to have an air quality problem during colder months. During the winter, fine particle pollution in much of Pierce County reaches unhealthy levels, causing lung and heart problems for children, seniors, and those with respiratory issues. Although these fine particles come from many sources, wood smoke from residential home heating is the biggest source of this pollution. These pollution levels continue to be high enough that they violate the Federal Clean Air Act. Since 2009, an area called a Smoke Reduction Zone was designated for a large portion of Pierce County, and specific pollution reduction programs have been implemented to improve air quality in our neck of the woods.

Here’s an important update to this program: Starting in September 2015 all old, uncertified wood burning devices will be illegal to use under state law. This means that these uncertified devices must be disposed of or rendered inoperable by September 30, 2015 in the Pierce County Smoke Reduction Zone, except those residences that have no other adequate ways to heat their home.

What’s Being Done Now?

Air quality Burn Bans are actively enforced in the Smoke Reduction Zone. These burn bans are different from summer outdoor burning bans and apply to both indoor wood burning and any outdoor burning. Burning wood during a ban may result in a fine of up to $1,000, so it’s wise to pay attention to burn bans to avoid fines.

Along with increased burn ban enforcement, funding will continue to be available to help people change to a cleaner source of heat. Approximately $2.5 million is now available to help residents scrap or replace their old, uncertified wood stoves with a cleaner source of heat and get paid to do it!

How You Can Help

Visit to learn how you can help:

  • Sign up for burn ban alerts via text or email. Sign up by texting “pierceburn” to 313131.

Receive email alerts by going to the website listed above

  • Apply for the Wood Stove Program – get $350 to scrap your stove or $1500 to replace it. Low income qualified households can get a free upgrade to a cleaner heating source.
  • Print information to share with your neighbors, friends and community organizations

Contact for more information:

Kit McGurn
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency