City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 7/11/08

July 11, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Pacific Highway Phase 3 (108th to SR512): Construction has begun on Pacific Highway between 108th and SR512. This project is a continuation of the curb, gutter, sidewalks, and bicycle lane improvements. The Contractor will grind off the existing striping and re-stripe the roadway on July 14th. The re-striping will provide narrower lanes and in some cases, elimination of the two-way center turn lane in order to facilitate construction of the sidewalks and other improvements. Construction will take place through December 2008.
  • "City of Lakewood Award" to best platoons: The city manager presented two trophies at the Warrior Forge Regimental Graduation Ceremony at Fort Lewis on July 11th to recognize the best platoons in the 2008 Leader Development and Assessment Course. Family members from around the nation were also present as their sons and daughters were recognized as future leaders by the U.S. Army.
  • Building Activity Remains Above Average. From January through June, building permit valuation totaled $87,056,647.23. A significant amount of new construction activity has centered on public projects, namely a new police station, the Lakes High School remodel and construction of the new Pierce College Science & Technology Building. Also, during this same time period, the City has received 832 building and 155 land use permit applications, and of the total received thus far this year, 80% and 61% respectively have been issued.
  • Code Enforcement Backlog Handled: Community Development has finally closed out its backlog of 2007 code enforcement cases. Attention now has focused on keeping up with 2008 cases; the most recent report shows that 23 have been closed, 54 are active, and 102 are pending.
  • State Health Dept Closes Units At Biltmore Hotel: This week, the State Department of Health took action to close 12 units at the Biltmore Hotel located on Pacific Highway SW. This action was the result of an investigation in May. Copies of the state’s report were forwarded to the Community Development Department, and are currently under review. Depending upon the seriousness of the violations, the City may choose to take additional enforcement action.
  • Demolition of 12907 Naomilawn Dr SW: A burned-out house that had been posted for abatement has been purchased. The buyer worked with City staff before his purchase, to understand the City’s requirements and to have the required permits and approvals in place by the time the sale closed, and moved immediately upon completion of the purchase to begin demolition. He is moving quickly and the demolition and cleanup of the property should be completed within about a week. This builder has a good track-record and is looking to purchase and rebuild other problem properties in the City. Staff worked with the probate attorney and the realtor to accommodate the private sale and abatement, because the house was boarded-up and was a lower priority than some of the other more dangerous properties currently in the abatement process.
  • Police actions:
    • Vehicle Prowl Interrupted: At 0022 Hrs. Patrol responded to a vehicle prowl in progress one night this week at 12:22am where it had been interrupted by neighbors who had chased the suspect into thick brush next to the Seeley Lake Apts. Containment was quickly established, which pinned the suspect down. K-931 initiated his track and the suspect was located within minutes. The suspect was booked for Theft 2nd and Vehicle Prowl 2nd degree.
    • Assault response: A fight that started at American Lake North Park spilled over to the convenience store, with two groups squaring off. One of the groups pulled out a baseball bat, which was promptly taken away by the others and used to smash windows out of their car. They then fled in their windowless ride, but the other group then clashed with the store clerk and a customer. A customer, after being charged at by a guy with a baseball bat, pulled his legally concealed .380 and pointed it at them. A display in the store was shattered by the bat which was thrown. Three were in custody on various charges.
    • Felony Elude/DUI Arrest: An officer was traveling N/B on I-5 just passing the 84th St. Exit when a vehicle passed them at a high rate of speed and was swerving in and out of its lane of travel almost sideswiping other vehicles on the freeway. After a short 1-2 minutes of failing to yield, the vehicle finally pulled over at the 38th St. exit. The driver was taken into custody and he was adamant that he didn’t see or hear the patrol car behind him and that he was “distracted” by the fireworks. The driver was processed for DUI and the BAC results were .161 and .148. The suspect was booked into the Pierce County Jail.
    • Fireworks Recap: The weather cooperated to make for a manageable 4th of July this year. The following statistics provide a review of fireworks calls for service over the last several Independence Day celebrations.
    •   July 3-4-5 2004 July 3-4-5 2005 July 3-4-5 2006 July 3-4-5 2007 July 3-4-5 2008
      Total Calls 563 705 693 764 597
      Fireworks Calls 114 167 122 149 90
      Total CFS 4 July 158 272 276 244 184