City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 5/4/07

May 4, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • City of Lakewood Receives Well City Award: The City of Lakewood received its fourth consecutive Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Well City Award for its worksite wellness program. Lakewood’s wellness coordinator Dawn Avcular and her wellness committee received recognition at the Association’s 22nd annual AWC Employee Health Academy. The Well City Award recognizes cities and towns that achieve a standard of excellence in employee health promotion. The AWC Well City award will be presented to Lakewood’s delegates at the AWC’s annual June conference in Tacoma.
  • 8th Annual International Festival: Lakewood’s Sister Cities 8th Annual International Festival will be this Saturday, May 5th, from 11:00a.m.-6:00 p.m. at Pierce College in Lakewood. This is a free one-day multi-cultural family-oriented community event which provides fun along with educational opportunities to learn about the many cultures and heritages that make up our community
  • Parks Appreciation Day: Over 300 volunteers participated in Parks Appreciation Day on April 28th. We had beautiful weather and accomplished all of the tasks scheduled for the morning. Our statistics for the day include:
    • Fort Steilacoom Park – Four 40 yard dumpsters filled with vegetation and one 40 yard dumpster filled with garbage - 200 volunteers
    • Harry Todd Park – Removed 400 square feet of sod and filled one 30 yard dumpster with garbage - 25 volunteers
    • Wards Lake – spread 15 yards of bark and weeded flowerbeds -14 volunteers
    • Blueberry Fields – One 40 yard dumpster filled with vegetation - 41 volunteers
    • Primley Park – installed play equipment and spread 47 yards of wood chips, planted native plants and trees - 25 volunteers
    • Forty flats of petunias and 15 flats of marigolds were planted throughout the City’s parks system.
  • Legislative Session Wrap-up: The City of Lakewood was successful on several major legislative initiatives this session, including capital funding of $550,000 for the removal of the Hill Ward Building site as well as $250,000 for improvements to the barns and other historic building at Fort Steilacoom Park and around the campus, and also $535,000 for the new community policing team for Western State Hospital.
  • Traffic Signal Control System Upgrade Project: The Request for Information (RFI) is out for our signal controller and central signal control system upgrade project. Proposals will be reviewed by Public Works and Pierce County signal maintenance. The top 3 vendors selected for further evaluation including bench testing of the actual systems with “real” City of Lakewood intersection signal timing and coordination. Once the new system is selected, the City will be procuring a new central signal control system and eventually upgrading all of our traffic signal controllers over the next several years. The City will be able to replace the antiquated signal controllers and provide enhanced and more reliable signal timing and coordination for our traveling public.
  • Tree Debris in Street Right of Way: The City sent out 81 notices in March to property owners affecting 61 properties advising them that they had until April 16th to remove all the stock piled tree debris from their fronting street right of way. The City did offer a site where they could bring the debris and dispose of it. Our subsequent survey of the sites revealed that we were successful in that there now only 13 sites that need additional follow up enforcement action.
  • American Lake Garden/Tillicum Sewer Project: Regarding the ALGs/Tillicum sewer project the Public Works Department recently submitted a loan application to the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF) for $1,840,000. About $1,150,000 of the funding is for a no/low interest loan program for qualified property owner to assist with their financing of their sewer connection costs. $500,000 of the balance is to recover the funding we have to give back from our earlier granted $1,000,000 PWTF loan as it can only be used for preconstruction expenses and they were significantly less than originally estimated. The balance of $190,000 brings the total loan amount ($6,190,000) to the level of debt service supportable by the revenue provided from the existing sewer service surcharge.
  • Gimhae, South Korea Annual Festival: A delegation of seven Lakewood Sister Cities Association members is traveling to Gimhae, South Korea to spend two days visiting and attending an annual Gimhae Festival. The Association is continuing to move forward on a Sister City relationship between our two cities, and the delegation to our current Friendship City has paid their own traveling expenses. A delegation from the City of Gimhae hopes to visit Lakewood this July to strengthen the bonds between the cities.
  • Mayor’s Visit to China: Mayor Claudia Thomas was the honored guest of Mayor Guo Quanmao, Danzhou City China for four days last week. Danzhou is located on Hainan Island, People’s Republic of China. Danzhou City paid for all of the mayor’s expenses while in country. She was invited to the Hainan Sister Cities summit which was held with the world-wide Boao Asian Economic Forum. She joined Steilacoom Mayor Ron Lucas and Lakewood businessman, Ron Chow, who was Washington Secretary of State’s official representative. There were official delegates from Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Romania, Austria, Japan, Finland, Germany, and Tanzania, Poland and Australia. The Summit discussed exchanges and cooperation in trade, cultural resources and economic and social development. Mayor Thomas also attended the Asian Economic forum with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Governor Gary Locke.
  • Street Law Mock Trial: City Attorney Heidi Ann Wachter, and Ann-Marie Dvorak, Victim Advocate represented the City of Lakewood on April 23rd in a Street Law Mock Trial sponsored by Seattle University School of Law. The Mock Trial was a competition for local high school students. The students are given the opportunity to put their legal skills into practice in a courtroom atmosphere as prosecuting and defense attorneys. The students are given a case to argue and are scored as to how well they represented their role. Heidi was the judge presiding over the trial and Ann-Marie participated, along with students from the participating schools’ media programs, as part of the jury.
  • Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys Conference: City Attorney Heidi Ann Wachter and Associate City Attorney Sean Parrent attended the annual Spring Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys (WSAMA) Conference in Vancouver WA. Topics of interest to criminal prosecution included a presentation on effective cross-examination and DUI trial strategy. Heidi serves on the WSAMA Board and was elected 2nd Vice President for 2007-2008.
  • Lakewold Gardens: Lakewold will be featured on Gardening with Ciscoe tomorrow morning on Channel 5 (King TV) at 10am. They are hosting their 18th Anniversary Open House this coming Sunday from 1:30pm until 3pm.