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More I-5 Night Construction in Lakewood

Drivers using Interstate 5 in Pierce County will encounter numerous lane and ramp closures as crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation continue efforts related to two highway improvement projects.

Activities are subject to good weather conditions. Work plans could be rescheduled to a later date.

Northbound I-5

  • 10 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15, crews will reduced northbound I-5 near Mounts Road weigh station to one lane. All lanes will reopen at 4 a.m. each following day.
  • 11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, crews will reduce northbound I-5 to one lane near Bridgeport Way to one lane. All lanes will reopen at 4 a.m. the next day.

Southbound I-5

  • At 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 14-18, drivers will encounter single lane closures followed by a second lane closure at 10 p.m. on southbound I-5 from Lakewood to Mounts Road. All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. the following morning.
  • 12:01 a.m. Friday, Oct. 17, crews will reduce southbound I-5 to one lane near Bridgeport Way. All lanes will reopen at 4 a.m.
  • 11 p.m. Friday, Oct 17, drivers will see double lane closures of southbound I-5 near Bridgeport Way. All lanes reopen at 6 a.m. the following day.

In addition, drivers during night hours from Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 14-18 will encounter short-duration on-and off-ramp closures on southbound I-5 at the following locations:

  • Gravelly Lake Drive Southwest
  • Thorne Lane
  • Berkeley Street Southwest
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord Main Gate
  • Steilacoom-DuPont Road
  • Center Drive

-Washington State Department of Transportation

8 Reasons to Attend Truck and Tractor Day

On Oct. 18, the City of Lakewood will throw a hay-riding, tricked-trucking, pumpkin-picking party known as the 8th Annual Truck and Tractor Day .

The always-popular event runs from noon to 3 p.m., at Fort Steilacoom Park. As its name implies, there will be trucks. There will be tractors. There will also be plenty of other reasons Truck and Tractor Day will be a great experience for you and the family. Here are eight of our favorites:

Hit the hay

Enjoy free hayrides through Fort Steilacoom Park. This 340-acre gem is the largest in the City and a regional attraction. Enjoy a trip around Lake Waughop with the fall leaves crunching underneath those tractor tires.

Pumpkin picking

What is the best part of October? The pumpkins, of course. The City knows this, which is why kids who attend will take home their very own pumpkin while supplies last. Kids will also get free hard hat. Get there early!

Let me take a selfie

Attention all lovers of the selfie – Truck and Tractor Day will be the canvas to your selfie masterpieces. Instagram next to a big rig? Check. Tweetpic with a tractor? Check. #LookAtMeDrivingThisCementTruck? Oh yeah. Check. #IamLakewood

A smashing good time

In Lakewood, we have a favorite fall tradition: We like to smash things to bits. This year for only $2, you can take control of our pumpkin-chunkin’ launchers and blast those pumpkins across Fort Steilacoom Park, just like they used to do in the ol’ days. (Note: We have yet to confirm with the Lakewood Historical Society whether this actually happened in the ol’ days, but for convenience sake we’ll assume that it did).

Trucks, trucks, and more trucks

Clean trucks. Dirty trucks. Milk trucks. Box trucks. You name it, Truck and Tractor Day will likely have it. The rigs will be right there for you to climb, although we strongly advise against trying to take one home as a souvenir. (And no, we don’t care if Jay Buhner sent you or not)

Three-person (or six-legged, depending on your point of view) sack races

You’ve heard of sack races. Here in Lakewood, we make it a habit of taking things up a notch. That’s right: This year at Truck and Tractor Day, we’re holding three-person sack races. You read correctly. One giant bag. Three compartments. Six legs. Infinite YouTube possibilities.

Get lost … in Fort Steilacoom Park

The park is huge. Not only will your kids love climbing on tractors, going on hayrides, decorating pumpkins and wearing their hard hats, but they’ll also love the playground, the fresh air and the flat grass that looks like something out of the Sound of Music. With all that excitement, they’ll be asleep by dinner time. You’re welcome, parents.

“F” to the “R” to the double “E”

Did we mention that this whole event is free? It is. As in, no cost. Nada. Just come down to the park with your friends and family and enjoy. Truck and Tractor Day is one of the most popular community events of the year, so we hope to see you there. Remember, last one to the pumpkin patch is a rotten, um, pumpkin!

City Recognizes Pollution Prevention Calendar Artists

On Monday night, Oct. 6, the Lakewood City Council recognized the creators of 17 pieces of art that were included in the 2014-15 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Calendar.

The artists attend Lakeview Hope Academy and Oakbrook Elementary School in the Clover Park School District . Judges chose their pieces out of hundreds of entries.

Some 1,500 calendars were printed and handed out to schools, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and local businesses as part of the Lakewood Public Works Department's goal of reducing stormwater pollution.

Congratulations, everyone! #IamLakewood

Toxic Algae Bloom at Lake Steilacoom, Wapato Lake

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department wants you to know there are toxic algae blooms in both Wapato Lake and Lake Steilacoom. These lakes are 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 ( ), or Lindsay Tuttle at (253) 798-3530 ( ), or visit our website at www.tpchd.org/toxicalgae .

City Manager Presents Proposed Biennial Budget

On Monday evening, Lakewood City Manager John Caulfield presented the City’s 2015-16 Proposed Biennial Budget to the Mayor and City Council.

It is a balanced budget that results in residents getting an increase in services. One example: For the first time in a number of years, this budget increases resources to preserve and maintain the City’s road system, which is a key priority identified by the Lakewood City Council. This budget reflects the City’s commitment to providing quality services and amenities to residents while reestablishing Lakewood’s short- and long-term financial viability.

The budget also includes funding for several park improvement projects, including upgrades to the Waughop Lake Trail, expansion of Springbrook Park, replacement of playground equipment and new docks at Harry Todd Park, and trail improvements at the Chambers Creek Properties in partnership with the City of University Place and Pierce County.

An essential component of this budget is the City’s allocation of financial resources to establish a proper level of reserves. The 2015-16 budget gradually returns the City to sound financial footing by replenishing General Fund reserves to meet its 12% policy objective by the end of 2016. The reserves are intended to accommodate unexpected operational changes, legislative impacts and other economic events that affect the City's operations.

This balanced and strategic approach has resulted in a spending plan that adapts to the changing needs of our community without compromising our financial future.

In terms of numbers, the budget totals $81,067,487 in 2015 and $83,219,069 in 2016. General Fund operating revenues are projected to grow 3.0% in 2015 and another 1.2% in 2016, which is slightly better than historical trend between 2009 and 2014, when the average growth was closer to 1.2% per year. General Fund operating expenditures are projected to grow 0.4% in 2015 followed by 2.0% in 2016, reflecting the necessary changes to stop using one-time monies and reserves to balance the budget. Simply put, that practice is not sustainable.

The end result of this budget is that the General Fund will be balanced and operating expenditures will not exceed operating revenues, resulting in a positive operating margin in both 2015 and 2016.

The City is dedicated to meeting service demands and providing them to our citizens, both in the near- and long-term. This requires reevaluating the paradigms that have been governing the City for a number of years.

We will be looking to economic development, focusing primarily in our commercial areas, to generate additional property and sales taxes. Locally, we see nothing but opportunity in our key commercial areas such as the Towne Center, Springbrook, Tillicum, and the Pacific Highway South corridor, which is directly adjacent to I-5 with multiple prime properties ready for redevelopment and revitalization. Areas such as the International District and Woodbrook Industrial Business Park area stand ready and available for new investment to create jobs and opportunity for Lakewood and our region.

Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen stressed how important economic development will be in the City’s financial future Monday night. “We’re going to have to be the spearhead of economic development,” he said.

City Councilmember Marie Barth said she liked Caulfield’s philosophy that the City must “live within it means.”

“I think that is the premise of any business,” she said. “And this (operating the City) is a business.”