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City Offices Closed for Thanksgiving

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Lakewood City Hall and the Lakewood Police Station will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 27-28.

If you have an after-hours, Public Works-related emergency, please contact (253) 267-1628. If you have an after-hours, Police-related matter, contact (253) 830-5000 or 911 if it’s an emergency.

West Pierce Fire & Rescue: Celebrate the Holidays Safely

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and West Pierce Fire & Rescue would like to remind residents to be safe this holiday.  Cooking fires are one of the leading causes of residential fires, so please remember these tips while in the kitchen.

  • Do not leave the kitchen while food is cooking on the stove.  Stovetop fires are very common and can quickly get out of hand.  If you need to leave the kitchen for any reason, take a spatula or wooden spoon with you to remind yourself that something is on the stove.
  • Be sure to wear fitted clothing while cooking.  Loose sleeves can quickly catch fire when reaching over the stove and burners.
  • Use a timer when cooking.  To avoid burnt food or forgetting something is in the oven, a timer is a great tool to use.  This also greatly reduces the risk of a kitchen fire.

Turkey fryers have become increasingly popular this holiday.  While delicious, turkey fryers cause many home fires.  Besides fires, devastating burns and other injuries can be sustained by using these types of equipment.  The National Fire Protection Association offers the following information about the dangers of turkey fryers.

  • Hot oil may splash or spill during cooking.  Contact between hot oil and skin could result in serious injury.
  • In deep frying, oil is heated to temperatures of 350° Fahrenheit or more. Cooking oil is combustible. If it is heated above its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite.
  • Propane-fired turkey fryers must be used outdoors.  Many parts of the country may have rain or snow at this time of year. If rain or snow hits the hot cooking oil, the oil may splatter or turn to steam, leading to burns.
  • Turkeys must be completely thawed before placing in the fryer, because a partially thawed turkey will cause the oil to splatter causing serious burns.
  • The fryers use a lot of oil, about five gallons. Considering the size and weight of the turkey, extreme caution must be taken when placing and removing the turkey from the fryer to be sure its is not dropped back into the fryer, splattering the oil on the chef.

West Pierce Fire & Rescue wishes all residents a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. 

City Council Adopts 2015-16 Biennial Budget

On Monday, Nov. 17, the Lakewood City Council unanimously adopted its 2015-2016 Biennial Budget.

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 new 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, General Fund operating revenues are projected to grow 2.7% 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 1.5% per year. General Fund operating expenditures are projected to grow 0.4% in 2015 followed by 2.2% 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.

Jingle Bell Rock Your Ugly Sweater 5K

Hey Lakewood residents! Have you been so busy crafting your ugly, er, holiday sweater that you’ve forgotten to register for the City of Lakewood’s 3rd Annual Jingle Bell Rock Your Ugly Sweater 5K on Dec. 6?

Well, worry not because this weekend, registration for the Jingle Bell Rock 5K is only $20. That's right, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21-23, you can save $5 off your registration!

Each registration includes a timing chip, an awesome t-shirt and no less than one million (we've counted) selfie opportunities for you, your friends and your ugly sweaters! Register by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at (253) 983-7887 or checking us out online at: .

So sign-up and get together with your friends to put the finishing touches on that holiday fashion disaster, uh, masterpiece. Or, dig out that old sweater that you haven’t donned since the Christmas your grandparents gave it to you, and wear it on the day of the 5K.

The City's annual holiday run (you can walk or jog too) is a partnership with the community and a way to bring the residents of Lakewood together. As in years past, St. Clare Hospital is a presenting sponsor of the Jingle Bell Rock 5K. This year, the Lakewood hospital is joined by sponsor Drangsholt Orthodontics. Last year’s attendees might remember Drangsholt Orthodontics’ water stop, where runners could grab some refreshments and a free jingle bell.

"It’s about everyone out there having fun in their Christmas sweaters,” said Arielle Carney, Lakewood Parks and Recreation Coordinator.

This Week at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center

The Lakewood Senior Activity Center, located at 9112 Lakewood Drive SW, keeps a busy schedule. After all, the SAC 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. Registration for the Winter 2015 courses opens January 2. However, an oil painting class and a number of short exercise courses open in December, and you can sign up at any time.

In the meantime, checkout what the center has running this week!

Monday, Nov. 17

  • Movie Monday, 5 p.m.
    • Flight: An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.
    • Popcorn will be served.

Tuesday Nov. 18

  • Men’s Coffee, 10 a.m.
    • A fellowship time for men, to enjoy conversation and a great cup of coffee.
    • Free
  • Mah Jongg, 1:30 p.m.
    • Open to everyone.
    • Free
  • Drop-in Line Dancing, 3 p.m.
    • Grab your friends and exercise your body and mind by dancing to lively, upbeat music.
    • Free

Wednesday, Nov. 19

  • Workshop Wednesday—Coaster Set, 1p.m.
    • Unfortunately, registration is closed. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Workshop Wednesday after Thanksgiving!

Thursday, Nov. 20

  • Memory Social Hour: Gratitude Gathering, 2 p.m.
    • A support group for people with early stages of memory loss. People with Alzheimer’s or dementia, their caregivers and families, are welcome. It provides an opportunity for everyone to be themselves in a safe and supportive environment while enjoying activities and entertainment.
    • For more information or to RSVP please call Elizabeth Scheid at (253) 798-4090.
    • Co-sponsored by Narrows Glen.

Friday, Nov. 21

  • Open Computer Lab, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
    • Anyone over 50 is free to drop in and use the computers