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Time, Venue Change for Fort Steilacoom Park Project Meeting

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 to discuss a community project at Fort Steilacoom Park has been moved to a new location due to weather-related concerns.

The meeting will now be held at 6 p.m. at Lakewood City Hall in the Council Chambers, 6000 Main Street SW.

The meeting was originally scheduled for 5:30 p.m. under the large Rotary Shelter near the park’s playground.

The topic is the proposed development of a new outdoor performance area or gathering space somewhere at Fort Steilacoom Park.

The Lakewood Rotary, a longtime service group committed to improving the area, first asked the Lakewood City Council to consider this project. Last year, the Rotary Club explored the idea of building an amphitheater somewhere within the park’s 340 acres, but based on community feedback the Rotary Club went back to the drawing board to consider other options.

For more information regarding this meeting, please contact Mary Dodsworth at (253) 589-2489.

Amendment to Fort Steilacoom Park's Lease

At the Lakewood City Council meeting at 7 p.m., March 23, the City Council will discuss a proposed amendment to Lakewood’s lease of Fort Steilacoom Park.

The City Council will discuss extending the lease to 2040 and removing language that assigns financial responsibility to Pierce County if Lakewood somehow couldn’t meet the lease requirements.

Management of the now-340-acre park has changed hands over the years. Fort Steilacoom Park was leased by the state Department of Natural Resources to Pierce County in 1970. In 2006, the City of Lakewood and Pierce County signed an interlocal agreement that allowed Lakewood to manage and maintain the park. In 2014, the City formally assumed the lease of the park from the Department of Social and Health Services.

When the City applied for a state grant to develop the trail around Waughop Lake, the City learned Pierce County was still listed as the “Assigner” on the agreement and would remain liable for payment of rents and any other performance issues if the City were not able to comply. Neither the City nor Pierce County realized that the County was still obligated to step in if the City fails to meet the terms of the lease.

According to DSHS, this is standard language in lease assumption agreements, however, both the State and Pierce County determined that Lakewood is fit to assume full responsibility of the lease for the foreseeable future, and DSHS is willing to make adjustments. The State is allowing the City to extend the lease of Fort Steilacoom Park to 2040 and remove Pierce County’s “Assigner” responsibilities in 2025, when the original lease ends

Mary Dodsworth, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director with the City of Lakewood, says Lakewood ultimately wants to discuss transferring the entire site to the City to improve the ability to deal with future issues and conditions.

Toxic Algae Advisories for Lake Steilacoom, American Lake Lifted

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has lifted the Toxic Algae Caution Advisories for Lake Steilacoom and American Lake. The toxic algae bloom has decreased in size and no longer presents a public health concern.

Toxic algae are capable of producing toxins and, if present in large amounts, can pose a risk to pets and people. Swallowing or prolonged skin contact with algae may cause illness that might include, muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and/or nausea.

If you see signs of a new toxic algae bloom or for further information, please contact: Ray Hanowell at (253)798-2845 ( ), or Lindsay Tuttle at (253)798-3530 ( ), or visit the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department website at www.tpchd.org/toxicalgae .

Next Week at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center, 3/23/15

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, March 23

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Instructor Judi Floyd incorporates fun choreography with low impact aerobics and light weights.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • 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, Feb. 18-March 27
  • 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, Feb. 18-March 27
  • 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, March 9-April 13
  • 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, March 9-April 13
  • Members: $28 Non-members: $41 Drop-in: $6

Tuesday, March 24

  • 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, Feb. 17-March 26
  • 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, Feb. 17-March 26
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Drop-in Line Dancing, 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Every Tuesday
  • Free!

Wednesday, March 25

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Instructor Judi Floyd incorporates fun choreography with low impact aerobics and light weights.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • 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, Feb. 18-March 27
  • 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, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3  

Thursday, March 26

  • 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, Feb. 17-March 26
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Principles of Photography, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
  • This course is designed to give the experienced, as well as the beginner photographer additional insight into the art, science and craft of photography. Learn photographic basics including composition, light, color, electronic flash, filters and lenses.
  • Thursdays, March 26-May 28
  • Members: $34 Non-members: $37
  • 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, Feb. 17-March 26
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $5
  • Memory Social Hour: St. Patrick’s Day, 2 p.m.
  • It’s your lucky day! Join us for some luck and shamrock fun! Wear something green!
  • This is a support group for people with early stage memory loss and serves people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, their caregivers and families. It gives everyone an opportunity to be themselves in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental environment while enjoying activities and entertainment.

Friday, March 27

  • Fit Happens, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.
  • Instructor Judi Floyd incorporates fun choreography with low impact aerobics and light weights.
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Feb. 18-March 27
  • 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, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3
  • Woodcarving, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • This class will give the beginner carving enthusiast a solid foundation in the art. It will also help you develop the skills to add a personal and creative touch to your projects. Bring your projects, tools and enthusiasm.
  • Fridays, March 27-May 29
  • Members: $48 Non-members: $53
  • Open Computer Lab, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • This computer lab is open for use by older adults who would like to practice what they have learned in classes, work on special projects and get hands-on experiencing using the computer. Volunteers are available each month to share information and answer questions.
  • Fridays
  • Free!
  • 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, Feb. 18-March 27
  • Members: $32 Non-members: $37 Drop-in: $3  

Lakewood City Council Passes Tax Incentive Measures

The Lakewood City Council unanimously passed two measures related to tax-incentive programs near the Lakewood Station on 11424 Pacific Hwy SW at its March 16, 2015 meeting.

The first ordinance designated the area encompassing the Lakewood Station a tax incentive urban use center. The new designation establishes a multifamily tax exemption program in area. The exemption applies to the new housing improvement portion of the property taxes. Owners who make eligible housing improvements will be exempt from any tax increases related to those improvements for a period of 8 to 12 years. Owners will continue to pay the pre-improvement taxes on both the land and structure. Originally proposed on Jan. 26, 2015, a public hearing on March 2 cleared the Lakewood Station Area for meeting the necessary criteria.

Next, the City Council passed a related resolution to designate some the area within the tax incentive urban use center as a residential target area. The resolution adds a tax exemption for eligible multifamily housing around the Lakewood Station from all value added property taxation for the exemption period. This includes the City, State and other special district valuations. The tax exemption only applies to the improvement value of the residential portion of a property. Taxes would still be paid on the land and on the improvement value of any non-residential uses. Economic benefits from initiating new development, such as development contributions to infrastructure, sales tax, and business revenue are expected to help offset the reduction in revenue from the tax exemptions.

Designating a residential target area requires a number of criteria, including the prior existence of a tax incentive urban use center. The area around Lakewood Station was chosen in part because there has been little redevelopment in its residential sections since Lakewood was incorporated. Redevelopment opportunities have been stymied by the blighted conditions of some properties, the lack of infrastructure, and the downturn in the housing market. New housing under modern zoning requirements will improve the quality of life and remove substandard housing. The new designations could revitalize an older neighborhood.