City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/19/10

March 19, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Answer the Census, please!: United States Census forms were delivered in this week's mail. The Census is important to Lakewood because accurate census data is crucial in deciding which communities' schools, hospitals, roads, and services like job training centers receive funding. Washington State's representation in the U.S. House of Representatives also depends on the population numbers. There is no more complicated "long form"; for the first time since 1940, the 2010 Census questionnaire is a short form only. There are only seven questions about everyone in the household: name, gender, race, ethnicity, and if that person sometimes lives somewhere else. The head of household answers how many people live in the residence; whether it is a house, apartment, or mobile home; and provides a telephone number for Census workers to follow up if any information is missing. It's simple, and postage is even prepaid. Everyone is encouraged to mail back the Census form promptly.
  • Weekend railroad crossing closures: Sound Transit's contactor (Railworks) will be working on four crossings in Lakewood which will require temporary weekend closures to facilitate quicker completion. Public Works surveyed business owners along all four streets adjacent to railroad crossing work, and the preference was for a weekend closure (per crossing) as opposed to longer term options. The proposed schedule of road closures, one weekend per month, starts with Steilacoom Blvd on March 19-20. Notice and signage will be coordinated with businesses to maximize awareness, and detour signs will be posted. The other closures will occur tentatively as follows: 100th Street - April 23-25; 108th Street - May 14-16; Bridgeport Way - June 25-27. Closures will start around 9:00 PM Friday - and re-open no later than Monday morning, 5 AM.
  • Pierce College building occupancy approved: The community development department issued a certificate of occupancy for the Rainier Science and Math Building at Pierce College, Fort Steilacoom Campus. A grand opening is planned for May 12th. For details, go to this link: http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/other/rainier/index.html
  • Lakewood United: The city manager was the featured speaker at the March 18th meeting of the Lakewood United group at Bur's restaurant. The subject was the state of the city and Lakewood of the future.
  • Third construction workshop for Korean community: This week, the community development department conducted its third building construction workshop with the Korean community. The workshop lasted two hours; the topic was permitting. The next workshop will review the inspection process, corrections notices and stop work orders. There has been some interest in expanding the construction workshop to include other ethnic groups.
  • Transit plans revealed: City staff took part in Pierce Transit's Spring Planners' Summit on March 15th, focusing on "PT Tomorrow" service planning that started last year. Funded largely by declining sales tax revenue, Pierce Transit is currently dipping into its reserves and expects that by 2012, it will no longer be able to provide the same level of service as today. Planners heard about bus routes and services that might be cut as a result, and at the same time additional options should a sales tax increase be approved by the voters. The Lakewood City Council received a parallel presentation at its last meeting. On March 23rd, Pierce Transit will hold a public meeting in Lakewood to present options and gather feedback. The meeting will be at the Pierce Transit Training Center, 3720 - 96th St. SW, from 6-7:30pm. This is the first of several public meetings around the county to let people know what the future might hold. For more information, see http://www.pttomorrow.org/ .
  • CSRT Launch: The newly launched Community, Safety and Resource Team (CSRT) hosted a community meeting on Tuesday, March 16th. The meeting was attended by Neighborhood Association Meeting leaders, CERT members, advisory board members and City staff. There were approximately 30 people in attendance. The CSRT team is comprised of a LPD Lieutenant, three Community Service Officers, three Code Enforcement Officers, an attorney and a paralegal. This meeting was designed to introduce the team and to enlist the help of community leaders to create a partnership to work together to focus on the City's needs and challenges. Community leaders were asked to spread the word about the new program and to encourage participation within their districts to share areas of concern.