City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/7/2007

September 7, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

• Freedom Walk on 9/11: The City will be assisting by hosting the Operation Homefront “Freedom Walk” at 5:15pm on September 11th. A one-mile walk through the Towne Center will be held to commemorate the tragic events of six years ago and pay tribute to our first responders. More info on registration is on the City’s website.

• Tillicum/American Lake Gardens Sewer Project: The City has received official confirmation that our Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF) loan application for $1,840,000 made the list that will be recommended to the State Legislature for funding approval. About $1,140,000 of these funds will be used for a financial aid program to provide assistance to property owners regarding their financing of their on-site side sewer connection costs, and the balance of $700,000 will make up for the early repayment of the prior preconstruction loan.

• Tourism Projects and Proposals: The City of Lakewood is soliciting project proposals that support and encourage tourism and cultural activities and tourism facilities. The source of monies from which projects will be funded is the City’s share of taxes collected on overnight stays within the City of Lakewood. The Lodging Tax 2008 Grant Application provides information regarding eligible uses of motel/hotel tax revenues and the process for proposal submission. Beginning September 6th, application forms will be available at the third floor reception counter at Lakewood City Hall, and the forms will also available on the City’s web site -- www.cityoflakewood.us. Applications must be completed, signed, and submitted to the City by September 27th. The applications will be reviewed by the City’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee in November, and recommendations for funding will be forwarded to the City Council for a final funding decision. For further information, the contact is Joe Hannan, Economic Development Administrator, at (253) 589-2489.

• Church Burglar Apprehended: Someone broke into the Central Presbyterian Church in Lakewood on August 29th, and stole a laptop, TV, pressure washer, and many other things. The suspect and his vehicle type were captured in the surveillance footage, and he was identified, caught, and booked, thanks to Officer Adam Leonard and the Property Crimes Section.

• Sewer Engineering RFQ: Public Works will be soliciting “Requests for Qualifications” from engineering consultants next week to assist the department in the management of construction phase of the ALGs/Tillicum Sewer and Storm Drainage project. The lead time from solicitation to executed consultant contact is about 3 months which coincides with our intent to have the consultant assist with our last review of the construction documents. After Pierce County approval has been given, we will then be in position to bid the project. Tentative bid date is the 1st quarter of 2008.

• Illegal Dumping Incidents: There were several incidents this week of illegal dumping of liquids into the City’s storm drainage system. While field inventorying the City’s storm drainage system, it was noticed that a small pond leading to Seeley Lake was filled with a blue liquid. The pond is at the outfall end of the City’s storm drainage system which services Lakewood Drive, Lakewood Industrial Park and a small portion of Lakeview Ave. The pond outlets into a short length of pipe which then flows into Seeley Lake. DOE also advised of us of another incident involving about a gallon of paint being dumped into the City’s storm drainage system in the vicinity of Lake Steilacoom; DOE will be responding to clean up that incident. Lastly a resident notified us of an incident involving a carpet cleaning company dumping liquids into the City’s storm drainage system. Fortunately, there were pictures of a van, license plate and driver taken and the matter is being investigated.

• Abatement and Code Enforcement Update on 3 pending cases: The Code Enforcement and Building divisions teamed up with Lakewood Police to inspect a group of houses that back onto 100th St. There was a group of people living and flopping in the illegally converted garage of one occupied house and others had evidently been occupying the other two houses and a shed. The houses were full of filth and drug paraphernalia, and an estimated 30 cubic yards of garbage was piled up behind one. Under orders from Code Enforcement, the owner had the vacant houses and shed securely boarded up by the end of the day, and an abatement order was issued. In another case, the abatement of a house near Fort Steilacoom Park, contaminated from methamphetamine production, has been completed. The cleanup was especially complicated and time-consuming, as the contamination extended into the attic and into the wood floors, and ended up requiring the removal of all the attic insulation and special treatment of the attic and removal of one of the floors. Code Enforcement staff worked with Health Department officials, and representatives of the owner, the mortgage company, and an insurance company throughout the duration of the abatement. Lastly, a contract was issued for the abatement of a property on Veterans Drive, and it is expected to be completed in 2-3 weeks. The property has been a long-standing nuisance to the neighborhood.

• Owner of Pet Sitting Business Sentenced: In August of 2006, Sergeant Alwine and the LPD Property Crimes Section began working jointly with PCSD, Steilacoom PD and TPD on the case of an owner of an unlicensed pet-sitting business would come to the homes of her clients and care for the animals while people were out of town. She was stealing high value items such as jewelry, china, and art, and would also steal items that were irreplaceable such as family heirlooms. She also started stealing firearms. She was arrested and booked into the Pierce County Jail last October, and has been in custody since. As of August 2007, she was being held on 35 felony charges as a result of this joint investigation. Judge Stoltz went outside of the recommended plea agreement and sentenced the owner to 159 months in prison, 13.25 years. Because of the exceptional sentence, she is not eligible for the standard 50% off of her time, so she will end up doing a large majority of the 13.25 years. Additionally, she will be ordered to pay restitution to all of her 20+ victims.