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Nisqually Tribe Grants $55,000 to City Programs

The City of Lakewood is again the recipient of the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s generosity.

On Thursday, Feb. 5, the Nisqually Tribe held its annual giving banquet, in which it grants money to agencies and organizations that benefit the region. That includes the City of Lakewood, which received a total of $55,000 that will benefit the following City programs:

  • Ray Evans Memorial Fishing Event ($5,000)
  • Bridgeport Gateway Sign ($10,000)
  • Low-Income Home Repairs ($10,000)
  • Police Explore Program ($5,000)
  • Police Mental Health Counselor ($25,000)

Following Thursday’s banquet, Mary Dodsworth, the City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director, talked about how appreciative she was for the funding that will help bring vital programs to the Lakewood community.

“We are very thankful for the generosity and support of the Tribe,” she said.

Next Week at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center, 2/9/15

The Lakewood Senior Activity Center, located at 9112 Lakewood Drive SW, keeps a busy schedule. After all, the LSAC exists to promote healthy minds and bodies by providing recreation and social opportunities for older adults. Courses for fitness, art, writing and even computer literacy run for weeks. Day to day, there are plenty of other events freely open to the public, or with only a couple days’ advance.

Call the mainline at (253) 798-4090 to RSVP for events.

 Monday, Feb. 9

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Instructor Judi Floyd incorporates fun choreography with low impact aerobics and light weights.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Jan. 5-Feb. 13
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • Fitness & Fun 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Enjoy this total body conditioning class that will help strengthen both your cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Jan. 5-Feb. 13
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • SAIL Class(Stay Active and Independent for Life), 10:35 a.m.-11:35 a.m.
  • Join us for a fun hour of exercise that includes light aerobics and strength training, while focusing on balance, coordination and falls-prevention.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Jan. 5-Feb.13
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3  
  • Beginner and Intermediate Ballroom Dance, 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Learn basic and advanced steps, techniques and choreography.
  • Mondays, Jan. 12-March 2
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $7
  • Yoga Stretch Concepts, 5:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.
  • Traditional yoga poses with a mix of Tai Chi and Pilates, with alternatives to accommodate mobility issues.
  • Mondays, Jan. 12-March 2
  • Members: $28 Non-members: $41 Drop-in: $6

Tuesday, Feb. 10

  • Men’s Coffee Hour
  • Enjoy conversation and a great cup of coffee. This is a fellowship time for men.
  • Second and third Tuesday of the month
  • Zumba Gold, 9 a.m.-10:55 a.m.
  • A combination of Latin dance and low impact aerobic exercise for older adults with a little cha cha cha! Try it!
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 6-Feb. 12
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Stretch and Strengthen, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
  • Improve your core strength, balance and posture. Class includes warm up, muscle-specific and abdominal exercises, and stretching.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 6-Feb. 12
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5

Wednesday, Feb. 11

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Instructor Judi Floyd incorporates fun choreography with low impact aerobics and light weights.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Jan. 5-Feb. 13
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • Fitness & Fun 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Enjoy this total body conditioning class that will help strengthen both your cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Jan. 5-Feb. 13
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • SAIL Class(Stay Active and Independent for Life), 10:35 a.m.-11:35 a.m.
  • Join us for a fun hour of exercise that includes light aerobics and strength training, while focusing on balance, coordination and falls-prevention.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Jan. 5-Feb.13
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3  
  • Dessert of the Month, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • A delicious treat provided by narrows Glen.
  • Welcome Wednesday , 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • A guided tour of the LSAC, so you can learn about all it has to offer!
  • Second Wednesday of every month

Thursday, Feb. 12

  • Zumba Gold, 9 a.m.-10:55 a.m.
  • A combination of Latin dance and low impact aerobic exercise for older adults with a little cha cha cha! Try it!
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 6-Feb. 12
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Stretch and Strengthen, 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
  • Improve your core strength, balance and posture. Class includes warm up, muscle-specific and abdominal exercises, and stretching.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 6-Feb. 12
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Valentine Friendship Luncheon, 1 p.m.
  • Grab your friends and join us for lunch and an afternoon of heart-warming fun.
  • Member: Free Non-member: $3.28

Friday, Feb. 13

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Instructor Judi Floyd incorporates fun choreography with low impact aerobics and light weights.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Jan. 5-Feb. 13
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • Fitness & Fun 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  • Enjoy this total body conditioning class that will help strengthen both your cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Jan. 5-Feb. 13
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • SAIL Class(Stay Active and Independent for Life), 10:35 a.m.-11:35 a.m.
  • Join us for a fun hour of exercise that includes light aerobics and strength training, while focusing on balance, coordination and falls-prevention.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Jan. 5-Feb.13
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3  
  • Collage with Asian Papers, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
  • Explore the world of collage. We will play with Asian papers, treasures from the recycling bin and more.
  • Lessons continue Fridays, Feb. 13-March 20
  • Member: $50 Non-member: $55 Additional material fee: $8

Permit Counter Hours Have Been Modified

Permit counter hours have been modified, effective Feb. 6.  The permit counter will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Clients are also strongly encouraged to call in and make appointments.

6-Year Transportation Improvement Program Amendment

The City of Lakewood is proposing to amend its 6-Year Transportation Improvement Program(2015-2020) to include two recently-awarded Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Grants. A summary of the changes are as follows:

  1. Add Project 2.81Roadway Safety Improvements at 40th Ave. SW and 96th St. SW per grant award. Federal grant: $823,000; City match: $20,000. Scope: Add guardrail, shared lane use markings, curb, gutter, sidewalk and street lighting. Upgrade street signs. Pave the road.
  2. Add 0Project 3.20 Military Rd. and 112th Safety Improvement per grant award/ Federal grant: $788,000; City Match: $17,000. Scope: Replace existing traffic signal to improve visibility and ooperations (including implementing flashing-yellow arrow operation); upgrade curb ramps to current American with Disabilities Act (ADA standards; upgrade street lighting; pave the intersection.
  3. Modify project budget for 2.55 High Accident Location Safety Improvements. Reduce city fundign by the amounts of city matching funds for the above added projects. Reallocate anticipated grant funds to the specific above added projects. Scope: Various safety improvements at high accident locations. Place holder project for safety grant program.

Lakewood's City Council will hold a public hearing regarding these amendments at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2015 at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW. If unable to attend the public hearing, please forward any comments you have to: Desiree Winkler at dwinkler@cityoflakewood.us by no later than Feb. 16, 2015.

You can check out the drafts of each amendment here .

State Auditor's Office Recognizes Lakewood's Steps to Improve Finances

Six months ago, the City of Lakewood was one of 57 local governments that the Washington State Auditor’s Office determined were showing signs of declining financial condition.

What a difference good leadership and a commitment to prudent fiscal management can make.

This week, the Auditor’s Office published a case study that focuses on the City of Lakewood’s immediate and positive steps to improve its financial standing titled “Becoming fiscally fit – The City of Lakewood makes a bold commitment.”

The case study outlines how, starting in September 2014, the Lakewood City Council “demonstrated a strong commitment to prudent fiscal management by adopting a set of comprehensive financial policies that provides an essential foundation and framework for the City’s recovery to a more sustainable financial future.”

It’s a far cry from how the State Auditor’s Office identified Lakewood in August, when Lakewood was one of three Pierce County cities included in the report. The City showed declining or negative fund balances in 2011 and 2012, and it had been drawing down its reserve fund balances to maintain its operating expenses.

After the audit was released, the Lakewood City Council adopted policies in the following areas: operating budget, fund balance, revenue, expenditures, inter-fund loans, debt management, capital improvement, cash management and investments and financial reporting.

The case study released this week offered several examples of how Lakewood made a commitment to adhere to a set of rigorous financial policies. These recommended polices began with the City’s Finance Division, which is under the leadership of Assistant City Manager of Administrative Services Tho Kraus. They included:

  • Long-range forecast: With each budget, the City will update spending and revenue projections for the next six years. Projections will include estimated operating costs for capital improvements that are in the capital budget. Data will come to the City Council in a form that can facilitate budget decisions, based on a multi-year perspective.
  • Excess cash balances: Cash balances in excess of the amount required to maintain General and Street Operations & Maintenance Fund reserves may be used to fund one-time or non-recurring costs.
  • Quarterly financial reports:  The budget will be produced so that it can be directly compared to the actual results of the fiscal year and presented in a timely quarterly report. All budget amendments, both revenues and expenditures, will be noted in the quarterly financial report.
  • Enterprise fund balance:  The City will maintain a minimum cash balance in its enterprise funds equal to two months operating expenses, to ensure adequate maintenance reserves and cash flow. Higher balances may be used for capital projects.
  • Use of one-time/unpredictable revenues: The City will not use one-time revenues such as proceeds from the sale of land or surplus equipment, legal settlements, or revenue windfalls for recurring operating expenditures.
  • Inter-fund loans:  The City will not use inter-fund loans to solve ongoing structural budget problems

City Manager John Caulfield praised the news of the Auditor’s Office’s case study, as well as the work of all City of Lakewood departments to address its collective financial issues.

“We’re righting the ship,” he said. “The State Auditor’s Office thinks so highly of the steps we have taken that it’s using them as a model for what other local governments can do. As the City Manager, I’m extremely pleased with the work of our Finance Division and the leadership from our City Council and Executive Leadership Team.”

“Obviously, we still have some ways to go before we’re where we’d like to be," he added. "However, I have no doubt that we will get there. Our citizens should know that their City is heading down the right path financially.”