City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 10/30/09

October 30, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Pac Hwy (Ponders) Project Bids Opened: Public Works opened bids on October 27th for the construction of the Pacific Hwy Street improvement project Phase IV from Bridgeport Way to Gravelly Lake Drive (Ponders). 14 bids were received with the low bid 25% below the engineer's estimate. Award of the construction contract will be recommended for approval at the November 2nd Council meeting. Pubic Works plans to hold an "open house" project meeting on Thursday, November 12th, 4:30 PM to 6 PM at City Hall, for all the fronting property owners and businesses, to provide information and to answer questions about the project.
  • Public Works Applies For Energy Efficiency Grant: The State recently had a call for energy efficiency grant projects not to exceed $75,000. The grant projects were limited to planning-type efforts. Public Works applied for a $75,000 grant in association with implementing its traffic signal system controller and communication system upgrade project. If we're successful, this grant will increase what we originally anticipated could be accomplished under the federal grant received earlier for this project.
  • Sewer Project status report:
    • Tillicum - next week the Contractor will be starting down Berkeley Street (from Portland Avenue and continuing southeast). The south part of Portland Avenue from Portland Avenue to West Thorne Lane will get its base layer of asphalt in the next two weeks (weather dependent). Construction continues on the north part of Portland Avenue.
    • Woodbrook - work continues on 150th Street - with traffic being detoured onto 146th Street between Spring Street and Woodbrook Drive. Delay obtaining force main vaults will keep 146th Street gravel for at least 2-3 more weeks.
    • 150th Street - east of the City limits. (Note: this is unrelated to the sewer project). Fort Lewis will be closing down a portion of 150th Street east of the City limits for most of November for roadway repairs. Fort Lewis sent out a media release and has posted variable message signs on each end of the closure to inform drivers.
  • Lakewood's probation officer graduates top of the class: Lakewood Municipal Court Probation Counselor Darrell Knoedler graduated on October 16th from the State Misdemeanant Probation Counselor Academy. He obtained the highest overall score in his class.
  • Local Woman Pleads Guilty To Running Theft Ring In Lakewood: After a lengthy LPD investigation including audio and video recordings, Mary Coleman is pleading guilty to trafficking in stolen property and looking at a minimum of 14 months in prison. She had several boosters working for her in the Lakewood/Tacoma area that were stealing new release DVD's. She would pay from $5 to $7 for each DVD that was retailing for $20 to $35, and she would receive on average 125 to 150 DVD's a week and over 200 on a good week. She would then sell the DVD's at the Starlite Swap Meet for $12 to $15 each. We have also recovered over 2,000 DVD's during search warrants served on her residence and vehicles. The Target store, who provided all of the alleged stolen DVD's we sold to Coleman, has noted a 50% drop in DVD thefts in the area since the arrest and shutting down of this ring.
  • Make A Difference Day - October 24: This year's celebration of Make a Difference Day in the City of Lakewood was decidedly youth oriented. In spite of the deployment to Iraq of our Community Connector, the 4/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, we did have about a dozen soldiers and their family members participate this year. We also had a group of 20-25 ninth graders from the Puyallup School District as well as Cub Scout Pack 53 from the Little Church on the Prairie and students from the Clover Park Key Club. In all, there were 60-65 volunteers who attended the Kick-Off event with another 40-45 joining us at the project sites for a total of 125-150 volunteers including site coordinators and leaders. The projects this year included: a food drive at the Kick-Off event for the Emergency Food Network, brush clearing, clean-up of Scotch broom, and replacing cemetery markers at Fort Steilacoom Park, clothes-sorting for Caring for Kids, pumpkin-decorating at the Fire Department pumpkin patch, and spreading wood chips at the Blueberry Farm. Our partners this year included the Emergency Food Network, The Friends of Fort Steilacoom Park & Nature, Grave Concerns Association, Caring for Kids, and Lakewood Fire with strong support from our Parks Maintenance division.
  • "Code enforcement helped cleanup" in Puget Sound Business Journal: Ass't city manager Dave Bugher's article on code enforcement was published in the October 16-22 issue of the Puget Sound Business Examiner as part of a regional overview of economic redevelopment efforts. An update was provided on Lakewood's abatement efforts and the cooperative work between Community Development and Police to "sweep our front porch" on Pacific Highway.
  • City staff assists in Piece Transit Planner Summit: Desiree Winkler, Deborah Johnson, and Dan Penrose from the Public Works and Community Development departments participated in the Pierce Transit "Planner Summit" on October 29th. Part of the "PT Tomorrow" planning process, the workshop involved planners and public works staff from many jurisdictions throughout Pierce Transit's service area. A community design workshop was held earlier in Lakewood on October 6 to gain public input. Information gathered at these and other workshops will be used to create a plan for future services. The draft plan is scheduled for release in early 2010, and additional workshops will be held at that time to get feedback. For more information, see www.pttomorrow.org.
  • LPD participates in Lakewood Fire's Annual Pumpkin Patch: CSO Gail Conelly and NPO Jeremy Vahle participated in Lakewood Fire Department's annual Pumpkin Patch on Saturday October 24th. There was record attendance this year with over 1,000 children and several hundred parents present. The children were able to climb in the fire rigs, a SWAT vehicle, and a city bus, as well as jumping in a bouncy house before coming inside to participate in the festivities. The Pierce County Child Passenger Safety Team was also present and checked car seats for correct installation and technicians were able to educate many parents regarding the child passenger safety laws now in place.