City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/7/11

January 7, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Martin Luther King Celebration to be held January 15th: The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration has been set for Saturday, January 15, 2011. The multi-ethnic celebration will be held at the McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College from 10 am to noon. The public is welcome.
  • Upcoming Coffee with the Mayor: Mayor Doug Richardson will host the next "Coffee with the Mayor" on Friday, January 14th at 7:30 a.m. in the Resource Center at St. Clare Hospital, 4908 112th Street SW, in Lakewood. The guest speakers will be Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) High Speed Rail Program Manager Ron Pate and Project Delivery Manager David Smelser who will give a presentation of the Point Defiance Bypass. Their presentation will be followed by Lakewood Fire Chief Ken Sharp, who will provide an update on the proposed merger of the University Place and Lakewood Fire Departments.
  • WSDOT provides Amtrak update in Tillicum: The City was well represented during a WSDOT presentation at Tillicum Elementary School on January 6th. Approximately 100 citizens showed up to hear WSDOT officials explain the Environmental Assessment (EA) process they are now drafting for the Point Defiance Bypass Project. WSDOT indicated they expect to issue the EA during the summer of 2012 for public comment. It will be forwarded to the Federal Rail Administration for a NEPA (environmental) decision during the summer of 2013. WSDOT indicated that they currently have no grade-separation projects planned at any of the Lakewood rail crossings. State officials explained that high expense of the project will not be a factor in the state budget because the federal government will fund the project.
  • Lakewood United Presentation by CSRT: Lt. Mauer and CSRT member Randy Richards attended a breakfast meeting of the Lakewood United organization at Burr's restaurant on January 6th. They spoke on the topic of Code Enforcement and what it can do for citizens. In addition, Lt. Mauer gave an overview of the recent multi-agency inspection conducted at Lakewood Gardens II/Willow Village apartment complexes. The city manager also attended.
  • Steilacoom/Farwest Traffic Signal: On Monday, January 3rd, the new traffic signal at the intersection of Steilacoom Blvd and Farwest Drive will be turned on. This work requires the signal to be in and out of flash in the afternoon and temporary lane closures to allow for removal of the old signal. The new signal will introduce a new signal operation to the City of Lakewood called a "yellow flashing arrow." The yellow flashing arrow allows for left turns after yielding to opposing through traffic. This signal is being replaced as part of the Steilacoom Blvd - Farwest to 87th Safety Improvement Project where the City received a $1.0 Million Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) grant.
  • City applies for Woodbrook grant funding: Public Works applied to Pierce County for a $500,000 grant to assist in the financing of the Woodbrook 146th Street Sewer Extension Project (Spring Ave to Woodbrook Drive). The County recently established a grant program to help jurisdictions within their sewer service area to fund projects that address septic system failures, economic development and impaired water bodies. If the City is successful in receiving grant money, any grant monies received will free-up prior committed Public Works Trust Fund loan monies thus adding to the availability of loan money for our property owner side sewer connection financial aide program. If the City receives the $500,000 grant, we would have approximately $1,000,000 available to loan out under our side sewer connection financial aid program.
  • Mayor presents to Lakewood Chamber: Mayor Doug Richardson provided an annual City update to the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce general membership on Thursday, January 6. The presentation covered a variety of topics including updates on public works projects, business recruitment, public safety, and the biennial budget.
  • CSRT assisted with Wal-Mart Christmas Event: On December 18th, CSRT members partnered with the Lakewood Wal-Mart to provide pictures with Santa and treats for the kids. CSRT staffed a booth with information on community involvement, safety issues and seasonal topics.
  • Lakewood Officers' Charity hosts first annual Old Country Christmas: On December 22, 2010, the Lakewood Officers' Charity hosted its first annual Old Country Christmas at the Old Country Buffet in the Lakewood Towne Center. Thirty families were recommended by local school counselors to participate. Families were able to come in and enjoy a holiday meal. The Charity purchased the turkeys and hams for the event and the Old Country Buffet cooked the entire meal. Santa arrived and all of the families were given a large bag of gifts for all of the children. Each family received a VTech learning laptop and each child received a gift selected and wrapped for them. In all, close to 175 people attended the event and over 100 kids received gifts. For many of the children, these will be the only gifts they received.