City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/17/10

September 17, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City acquires property for redevelopment in Tillicum: The City has completed the acquisition of a former nuisance property in Tillicum for redevelopment under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. In a 2007 abatement, the City of Lakewood demolished two houses and two mobile homes on the property, all of which were heavily contaminated from methamphetamine activity. Pierce County foreclosed the property for unpaid property taxes in December 2009, declared it surplus, and sold it to the City. Purchase of the property will also return approximately $38,000 to the City's abatement fund. Additionally, the City expects to close on the purchase of a nearby property tomorrow. A dangerous building abatement is pending against this property. In partnership with the City, Habitat for Humanity will build at least three new housing units on each of the properties. Having been nuisances to the community for many years, these properties will contribute much-needed, quality, new low-income housing.
  • University Place Municipal Court Transition Update: City staff provided a briefing on September 16th to the UP Public Safety Commission regarding the timelines and progress on the transition to Lakewood's provision of court services to UP starting in 2011. The Lakewood representatives included Judge Heller and court administrator Deana Wright, as well as legal department staff Mike Savage and Rebecca Hendricks, and the subjects included citation forms, "legacy" or carry-over cases, defendant transport, evidence holding, enabling ordinances, judicial information system (JIS) integration. The transition plan is on schedule.
  • CSRT conducts Starlite Swap Meet Business Sweep: On Sunday, September 12th, the Community Safety & Resources Team (CSRT) coordinated a business sweep of the Starlite drive-in swap meet. The team consisted of 17 City employees as well as officials from the Liquor Control Board, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department and the Lakewood Fire Department. The purpose was to contact all vendors to confirm that they had valid business licenses and that the swap meet was in full compliance with City regulations. The teams documented information for evaluation this week. A meeting has been set up later this month with the owner of the Starlite to discuss results of the sweep.
  • Developers Briefing: The third in a series of briefings for developers and interested investors for the Pacific Highway area was conducted in City Hall on September 16th, with about 20 in attendance. The focus was on the City's EB-5 designation, a program of the federal gov't to provide incentives for foreign investment in targeted areas. Lakewood joins areas of Seattle and Tacoma with this designation.
  • City staff assists with multi-unit fire: Human Services staff responded to a multi-unit fire on September 3rd providing emergency relief assistance to three families immediately forced from their homes. Two families suffered total losses. Through emergency grant funds, the City was able to provide assistance to the Lakewood Fire Department ensuring the victims of these fires will be transitioned to permanent housing. Lakewood Area Shelter Association has partnered with the City to provide housing relocation assistance. In addition, Caring for Kids and the Clover Park School District have been providing critical assistance to the families. Additional resources have been provided through the City's CSRT.
  • Hudtloff Middle School reconstruction: The Clover Park School District is engaged in the planning process for the reconstruction of Hudtloff Middle School. City staff attended neighborhood meetings held by CPSD on September 8th and 15th to discuss the plans. Neighbors have indicated concerns about the proximity of the proposed new school buildings to properties to the north. The project plans include retention of existing trees and supplemental landscaping along the north property line intended to help buffer this visual impact. The new school has been designed so that it can be constructed while leaving the existing school buildings in place. The old school would be demolished after construction of the new building is complete so that school operations can continue during construction. New ball fields, vehicle and bus circulation routes, and parking areas would eventually be constructed in the area currently occupied by the existing school buildings. The school district is acting as the SEPA lead agency for the project, however final approval of a public facilities permit by the City will be required. The public facilities permit is a discretionary entitlement granted by the City's hearing examiner. City staff is working with the school district regarding the project design; however the public facilities permit application has not yet been submitted. CPSD hopes to get the public facilities permit issued by March 2011 and construct the building between June 2011 and June 2012.
  • CSRT provides CPR/AED Training to Police: On September 8th, CSRT member Gail Conelly provided CPR/AED training to members of the Police Department. Three classes were held, for a total of 49 students. This is the second in a series of trainings for department members. The next training will be held on October 6th.
  • CSRT attends Lakeview Hope Academy's Tunnel of Hope: On September 8th, CSRT members Gail Conelly and Dawn McGinnis attended the Lakeview Hope Academy's Tunnel of Hope, along with Lakewood Fire Department personnel, Clover Park School District staff and other mentors from the community. Attendees welcomed back students for their first day of school, offering them encouragement and support for a great school year.
  • CSRT inspection of Woodbrook neighborhood apartment: A complaint involving a small apartment complex in the Woodbrook neighborhood led to an inspection by a CSRT code enforcement officer in May of 2010. The false front was dilapidated and unsightly; there were discarded items on the property and overgrown vegetation as well as some minor building issues. As a result of the code enforcement officer working with the property owner throughout the summer, the trash was removed, the vegetation was brought under control, and the false front replaced and painted, making what was once an eyesore now a satisfactory part of the neighborhood.
  • Police Co-Host Virginia Tech Massacre Debriefing: On September 15th, the Lakewood Police Department co-hosted with the Bellevue Police Department a one-day training/debriefing on the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre. Lt Anthony Wilson with the Blacksburg Police Department, who attended the FBI National Academy with Assistant Chief Mike Zaro, was a first responder to the Virginia Tech shootings; on Wednesday he spoke to nearly 100 law enforcement officers from LPD, Bellevue PD, and other surrounding agencies about the shootings as well as the aftermath and where the department stands today in terms of healing and lessons learned. The opportunity to co-host this training afforded us the ability to send over 20 of our officers, at no cost, to an extremely valuable and educational training.