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Lakewood City Council Passes $20 Vehicle License Fee to Help Pay For Much-Needed Street Improvements

On September 15, 2014, the Lakewood City Council, acting as the Transportation Benefit District Board, voted to enact a $20 vehicle license fee that will help pay for millions of dollars in much-needed improvements to street and transportation improvements throughout the community

The City Council authorized the annual fee on a 6-1 vote. Beginning in March, the fee will apply to the following:

• Auto stage, six seats or less

• Commercial trailer

• For hire vehicle, six seats or less

• Mobile home (if registered)

• Motor home

• Motorcycle

• Passenger car

• Sport utility vehicle

• Tow truck

• Trailer, over 2000 pounds (but if private use single axel, it’s exempt)

• Travel trailer; and

• Each vehicle subject to grow weight license fees with a scale weight of six thousand pounds or less

The following vehicles are exempt from the $20 vehicle license fee:

• Campers, as defined in RCW 46.04.085

• Farm tractors or farm vehicles, as defined in RCW 46.04.180 and 46.04.181

• Mopeds, as defined in RCW 46.04.304

• Off-road and non-highway vehicles, as defined in RCW 46.04.365

• Private use single-axel trailer, as defined in RCW 46.04.422

• Snowmobiles, as defined in RCW 46.04.546; and

• Vehicles registered under chapter 46.87 RCW and the international registration plan.

The vehicle licensing fee is expected to generate $4.08 million between 2015 and 2020. The City will also pay $5.06 million out of its general fund that will be identified in the 2015-16 budget biennium, combining for a total of $9.14 million.

That revenue - along with revenue generated from sources such as the real estate excise tax, motor vehicle fuel tax and grants – will end up giving Lakewood residents nearly $15.6 million worth of much-needed improvements to City streets and roads between 2015 and 2020:

Project

Cost

Steilacoom Blvd – Lakewood Drive to west of South Tacoma Way

$800,000

Pacific Hwy – 108th Street to State Route 512

$595,000

100th Street – Lakeview Avenue to South Tacoma Way

$529,000

Chip Seal Program – Local Access Roads

$1,995,000

New LED Street Lights

$975,000

Signal Projects

$690,000

Minor Capital Projects

$300,000

Neighborhood Traffic Safety

$150,000

Personnel, Engineering, Professional Services

$2,913,000

Lakewood Drive – 100th Street to Steilacoom Blvd

$900,000

Lakewood Drive – Flett Creek to north City limits

$1,155,000

Main Street – Gravelly Lake Drive to 108th Street

$331,000

59th Avenue – Main Street to 100th Street

$496,000

59th Avenue – 100th Street to Bridgeport Way

$276,000

108th Street – Bridgeport Way to Pacific Highway

$661,000

108th Street – Main Street to Bridgeport Way

$743,000

Custer Road – Steilacoom Blvd to John Dower Road

$540,000

88th – Steilacoom Blvd to Custer Road

$300,000

100th Street – 59th to Lakeview Avenue

$1,320,000

Total

$15,669,000

The Lakewood City Council has examined ways to make the much-needed improvements to Lakewood streets – which were inherited from Pierce County after incorporation in 1996 – for nearly two years. It reduced costs in as many areas as possible, but as Mayor Don Anderson said, the vehicle licensing fee was unavoidable for the City to maintain and improve streets the way residents expect.

“Our City has worked the past two years to make sure we did everything we could to deliver residents a street improvement program that they want and would pay dividends in the future,” Anderson says. “Unfortunately, there was no way to do that without implementing this vehicle license fee … We know that it might be difficult for some, but we hope that residents, in general, view this as an investment in their community.”

Toxic Algae Bloom at American Lake

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department wants you to know there is a toxic algae bloom in American Lake. The lake is unsafe for people and pets in areas with algae.

  • Keep children and pets away from areas with algae
  • Do not swim, wade, water ski, or fish in areas with algae

You can easily identify a toxic algae bloom because of its unusual color or appearance in the water. Usually a bloom makes the lake surface look like pea soup or green paint, but sometimes the bloom may be a different color (bluish or brownish). Wind and rain can greatly change the amount and location of algae in the lake.

Swallowing lake water containing algae or prolonged skin contact with the algae may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. Anyone who swallows water containing large amounts of algae should seek immediate medical attention.

The risk to pets is much greater than the risk to people. Pets have smaller body sizes and are more likely to drink water containing a heavy concentration of algae. If a pet ingests a large amount of algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Runoff from fertilizers, animal and human waste reach our lakes and contribute to algae growth. Reducing the use of fertilizers, properly maintaining septic systems, and properly disposing of pet waste helps improve water quality in lakes, streams, groundwater, and Puget Sound.

For more information, please contact Ray Hanowell at (253) 798-2845 (rhanowell@tpchd.org ), or Lindsay Tuttle at (253) 798-3530 (ltuttle@tpchd.org ), or visit our website atwww.tpchd.org/toxicalgae .

-Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Police Arrest Woman, Searching For Man in Suspected Arson

On Sept. 5, 2014, at about 7 a.m., the Lakewood Police Department and West Pierce Fire and Rescue responded to an apartment fire at 5212 Chicago Ave. When the fire department arrived, four units were completely engulfed and a 60-year-old woman had been badly burned.

The woman escaped the fire by jumping off her second-floor balcony before being rescued by a neighbor. She is expected to survive after a lengthy recovery from were serious burn injuries.

Fire and police investigators determined the fire had been intentionally set and further investigation has determined that two subjects were responsible for the fire. Alicia Ann Stephens, 25, was arrested on Sept. 10 by Lakewood Patrol officers and booked for the arson. The main suspect, Roger A. Faleafine, is still outstanding. He is a 30-year-old Asian/Pacific Island male, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing about 230 pounds with black hair (see picture).

If the public has any information on this case or the whereabouts of Faleafine, please call the Lakewood Police Department at (253) 830-5000, or tips can be submitted via our website /government/departments/police/crime/tips or our tip line (253) 830-5064.

I-5 Lane, Ramp Closures in Lakewood

(From the Washington State Department of Transportation)

Numerous lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 through Lakewood and DuPont will take place this week as crews continue electrical, striping and paving work for two construction projects.

Additional lane and short duration ramp closured are also scheduled to occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and DuPont. Adjacent ramps will be closed consecutively, not concurrently. The work will be a moving operation, so numerous ramps will close each night for short durations.

Monday, Sept. 15

Both directions of I-5 will have single- and double-lane closures. In addition, the Bridgeport Way on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close.

Southbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane between Steilacoom-DuPont Road (Exit 119) and Mounts Road (Exit 116) in DuPont. Staggered ramp closures for southbound I-5 in DuPont will also take place:

  • Steilacoom-DuPont Road to southbound I-5
  • Southbound I-5 exit to Center Drive
  • Center Drive on-ramp to southbound I-5
  • Southbound I-5 to Mounts Road

Tuesday, Sept. 16

Southbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane from Center Drive (Exit 118) to Mounts Road (Exit 116). Staggered ramp closures will take place on the southbound I-5 Center Drive off- and on-ramps, and the southbound I-5 exit to Mounts Road.

The following ramps will close for short durations overnight:

  • Mounts Road to southbound I-5
  • Center Drive to southbound I-5
  • JBLM Main Gate to northbound I-5
  • JBLM Main Gate to southbound I-5
  • Gravelly Lake Drive to northbound I-5
  • Gravelly Lake Drive to southbound I-5
  • Eastbound State Route 512 to southbound I-5
  • Westbound SR 512 to southbound I-5

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Southbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane from Center Drive (Exit 118) to Mounts Road (Exit 116) in DuPont. Staggered ramp closures will take place on the southbound I-5 Center Drive off-and on-ramps, and the southbound I-5 exit to Mounts Road. Construction crews will grind and pave the southbound I-5 Center Drive off-and on-ramps.

The following ramps will close for short durations overnight:

  • DuPont-Steilacoom ramp to northbound I-5
  • Berkeley Street to southbound I-5
  • Bridgeport Way to northbound I-5

Thursday, Sept. 18

Southbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane again through DuPont from Center Drive to Mounts Road. The same staggered ramp closures are in place as previous nights.

The following ramps will close for short durations overnight:

  • DuPont-Steilacoom on-ramp to southbound I-5
  • Thorne Lane to southbound I-5
  • Westbound SR 512 to southbound I-5
  • Berkeley Street to northbound I-5

Friday, Sept. 19

Southbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane between Center Drive and Mounts Road in DuPont. The Center Drive on ramp to southbound I-5 and the southbound I-5 exit to Mounts Road will have staggered ramp closures.

West Pierce Fire & Rescue 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

At 7 a.m., today, in honor of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, West Pierce Fire & Rescue held a remembrance ceremony at Station 20 in Lakewood.

The ceremony paid tribute to the 2,977 victims killed in 2001. Of those victims, 343 were firefighters, 60 were police officers and 55 were military personnel.

The City of Lakewood remembers the fallen first responders, as well as the military personnel who dutifully and courageously served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan following Sept. 11. Their dedication and heroism will never be forgotten.

West Pierce is scheduled to hold another remembrance ceremony at 7 p.m., tonight, at Station 31 in University Place, 3631 Drexler Dr. W. Coffee and light refreshments will be served following both events. The public is encouraged to attend.