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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/28/06

April 28, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:    Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood Ford:  Titus Will Investments announced its new business location on Pacific Highway South across the street from the new Sounder Station for a new car dealership – Lakewood Ford.    The business has about 86 employees, and will build a 55,000 square foot dealership at the main site, which is about 6 acres.  They also purchased a 3.75 acre site on Pacific Highway at 108th and will open a used car location there. This significant new Lakewood business is scheduled to open in summer of 2007.
  • “Responding to BRAC”: The city manager and Councilmember Richardson have been invited to a Department of Defense military service community conference entitled “Responding to BRAC” on May 2-5 in Atlanta. The agenda items include base closure, realignment, federal assistance, and managing growth and redevelopment. The conference is hosted by DoD and participants attend at DoD expense.
  • Parks Appreciation Day: A very successful community response to last Saturday’s Parks Appreciation Day was assisted by good weather. About 325 citizens participated.
  • Underage Liquor and Cigarette Sales Compliance Checks: The Lakewood Police and the Washington Liquor Board held a Liquor and Cigarette Sales Compliance Detail on April 20th.  Thirteen of the stores performed well and made no sale to the decoy minor but one store, the 76 Station at 10712 Bridgeport, made a sale and the clerk was cited and released.
  • Gravel Shoulder Bids: The City received bids (low bid approx $21,000) to construct a 5-foot wide gravel shoulder along the Steilacoom Blvd frontage of the lot at NW  corner of the Steilacoom Blvd and Ardmore Dr/Custer Rd  intersection.  Presently the rock wall on the lot extends to the edge of travel lane on Steilacoom Blvd forcing pedestrians to walk in the travel lane to get by the property. The City has received citizen complaints about this being a potential safety hazard issue. Work will begin once the contract has been executed.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/21/06

April 21, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:    Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • RFP on Military Base Encroachment Proposal and Annexation: Councilmember Richardson, the city manager and government relations director met with Senator Cantwell’s office this week to discuss the proposed feasibility study related to the military bases. This meeting was the latest in a series of stakeholder contacts, which have included Senator Murray’s office, Congressmen Norm Dicks and Adam Smith, the County Executive, the members of the County Council, and the mayors of Tacoma, Steilacoom, Dupont, and Roy. The RFP calls for proposals due by the end of the month.
  • Fort Steilacoom Park Dedication Ceremony: In conjunction with Parks Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 22nd, the ceremony for dedicating the improvements at Ft Steilacoom Park will take place at 1:00pm tomorrow.
  • Cross Base Highway Access Hearing: On April 26th  at 6:00pm, WSDOTwill conduct an Access Hearing on the Cross-Base Highway Project at Woodbrook Middle School. This is a legal procedure followed by the State for allowing abutting property owners and others the opportunity to provide to property access rights or the lack thereof on to or from the road.
  • Cross-Base Highway Grant Application: Cross-Base Highway Connector (GLD to Thorne Ln) project grant application has received PCRC’s concurrence meaning that it is one of a total of six allowed grant applications from Pierce County that will now compete in a potential pool of about 34 grant application projects for a portion of the $53 million of federal grant money that is presently available within PSRC’s 4 county region.
  • City Hall Parking Lot: The Public Works Department received construction bids (low bid approx $38,000) for the expansion and resealing of the City Hall parking lot.  The expansion would add over 70 parking stalls along the southerly edge of the existing parking lot.  The resealing and re-striping of the existing lot would occur on a weekend. Work would begin once the contract documents are executed, subject also to weather conditions.
  • LPD Promotion/Commissioning/Award Ceremony: Please join us on April 27th at 2:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, as the Lakewood Police Department celebrates the promotion of Sgt. Heidi Hoffman to Lieutenant, commissioning CSO’s Courtney Nelson and Cassey Jankowiac, and presenting several awards.
  • Lakewood Police Officer receives Award from TPDOn April 27th, Lakewood Police Officer Vince Sivankeo will receive the Law Enforcement Award of Merit from the Tacoma Police Department, due to his attention to detail and follow up of a suspicious vehicle. His outstanding work resulted in recovering the vehicle stolen in a Tacoma burglary and several stolen guns contained in the car, as well as the apprehension of two suspects.
  • Springfest at Springbrook Park: The Pacific Neighborhood Association held the 3rd Annual Springfest Egg hunt on April 15th at Springbrook Park. Over 100 kids showed up with parents and hunted for plastic eggs and candy. The Easter Bunny was present and handed out many gifts.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/7/06

April 7, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:     Heidi Wachter, City Attorney

  • Housing Opportunities Panel: Community Development staff attended a Blue Ribbon Panel on Providing Housing Opportunities sponsored by the Washington Realtors Association as part of its spring conference.
  • Work Release: The Washington State Department of Corrections has issued a Request for Proposals for sites anywhere within Pierce County to accommodate the relocation of Progress House.  Proposals are due by May 19th.
  • Proposed 20-Lot Subdivision at Butte Avenue and 104th Street SW: The City Council has received input from neighbors in the vicinity of 104th Street SW and Butte Drive SW regarding a proposed 20-lot subdivision known as “Rivendale.”  The comments centered on traffic and circulation impacts.  In response to these comments, the project proponent submitted two different subdivision layouts; these have been submitted to parties of record for comment.
  • Permit Activity:
    Building Valuation Totals for March 2006

     Year-to- Date Statistics, January 1, 2006 through March 31, 2006 

    Permits issued same day as the application date
    Permits issued 1 – 10 days from the application date
    Permits issued 11 – 20 days from the application date
    Permits issued 21 – 30 days from the application date
    Permits issued 31 – 60 days from the application date
    Permits issued 60+ days from the application date

  • Hotel/Motel Enforcement Actions along South Tacoma Way: On March 31st, the Community Development staff, with the assistance of the Lakewood Police Department, closed the Vagabond Motel located at 10005 South Tacoma Way and has since issued a “Notice and Order to Abate a Public Nuisance & Dangerous Building” in addition to revoking the current business license.  The closure was in response to the motel being illegally operated and occupied after having been closed by the State Department of Health on March 14th.
  • Pacific Highway Improvements Phase 1 (Bridgeport Way to 108th): The contractor tentatively plans to start working on the project on April 17th.  He is proposing to start at Bridgeport Way and work his way towards 108th St. Reader boards advising drivers of the pending construction work should be on the project site and operational next week.
  • Fireworks in Lakewood: The Lakewood Police and Fire Departments have begun work with the community over persistent concerns related to fireworks.  LPD started an information campaign to identify the concerns and feasible options the City can undertake to modify the current fireworks ordinance. LPD will gauge citizen feedback through a series of surveys and public meetings. The survey is also available on the website.   The public meetings will be at City Hall on April 26th and May 16th at 6:00 PM to discuss options related to fireworks and enforcement.
  • LPD Detective Honored By Bank Executives:  Detective Les Bunton and PCSD Detective Glenda Nissen were recognized on April 6th by executives representing Columbia Bank, Washington Mutual, U.S. Bank, Rainier Pacific Credit Union, and Key Bank, for their outstanding work in bringing a major fraud suspect to justice.  This is the second time that Detective Bunton, who is now assigned to the Robbery-Homicide Unit, has been singled out by the local business community for his success in solving serial bank fraud cases.
  • Avian Flu Mock Exercise: The Lakewood Police Department participated with the Pierce County Health Department, Lakewood Fire Department, and several other government agencies in the Avian Flu Mock Exercise conducted on April 4-6, 2006.
  • Town Meeting on Preventing Underage Drinking: The March 28th meeting was well attended and a great success. In September, partners will attempt another regional emphasis with “Teach-Ins” in all middle and high schools.
  • Training: Officer Hamilton attended a 4-day course to be certified as a Simunitions (a training simulation) Safety Officer and Instructor.  This training was in Seattle and the cost was paid for out of the local seizure fund. Several department members attended the 3rd part of Basic Crime Scene Examination.  There was no cost to the city. Lt Guttu and Sgt Noel attended a 2-day course on Leadership in Tacoma. Officer Celis attended a 3-day course on Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.  This training was in Kirkland and there was no cost to the city.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/14/06

April 14, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:    Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Under-age Drinking Town Hall Meeting to be used as a model:  Lakewood received strong congratulations from the Dept of Social and Health Services on the success of our Town Hall Meeting to Prevent Underage Drinking. DSHS, the organizer of this nation-wide initiative, has indicated they intend to use our Town Meeting format as a state model to show how to set an effective meeting.
  • Personal Care Facilities and Home-Based Business Task Force:  The task force has met on two occasions, March 28th and April 11th, and they’ve elected officers, approved bylaws, reviewed background materials, and established prioritized tasks.  Mini-seminars have been conducted on the regulations pertaining to adult family homes.  On April 25th, the task force will be provided with information regarding child care facilities, and upcoming meetings will discuss home occupation businesses, fire safety standards, traffic impacts and best practices.
  • Lakes Advisory Council Spring Meeting: The Lakes Advisory Council, consisting of representatives from the Lake Improvements Clubs for American Lake, Gravelly Lake, Lake Steilacoom, and Lake Louise, as well as representatives from the Rowing Club, Power Boat Association, police, fire and Fort Lewis met on April 11th to review 2006 water safety objectives. Our goals are to continue the success we obtained on American Lake last year, while increasing Fort Lewis military police presence. We will additionally attempt to increase our presence on the others lakes, particularly Lake Steilacoom. Finally, we will initiate what will become annual water safety education presentations and a police/fire rescue drill on every lake.
  • Clover Park School District Grant: Clover Park School District got a $177,000 Federal grant from the Safe Routes to School Program to install sidewalks (one side only) on 86th St SW from Bridgeport to Lochburn Middle School.  The Grant also includes some school signage (flashing lights) on Steilacoom Blvd. Public Works developed the application for the school district and will act  as the lead for the District’s improvements construction.
  • Lakewood Commuter Rail Station Grant: The City received $2,700,000 for the Lakewood Commuter Rail Station project.  The scope of the grant included the 3 traffic signals at the Commuter Rail Station site as well as  Pac Hwy frontage improvements (bike lane, curb & gutter, sidewalks and street lights on both sides) from 108th St to the access Rd (104th St Ct) into Pierce Transit’s Park & Ride lot.  The match for this grant is the existing funding that Sound Transit has allocated for the Lakewood Station.
  • Amber and Zircon Bids: The City received bids for reshaping and re-landscaping the northeast corner of the intersection of Amber and Zircon, which upon completion eliminates the site distance issue associated with the mound at that corner. With this work and the prior signage and rumble strips installation, the site distance issues at this intersection will have been reasonably addressed.
  • Cross Base Highway Project Connector Road Grant Application: County/WSDOT with the County as the lead submitted a grant application for the construction of the connector Rd (GLD to Thorne Lane) associated with the Cross Base Highway project (a $12,970,000 project seeking a $6,000,000 grant).  Public Works supported the County’s application.  Presently there is approximately $53 million dollars in federal transportation grant money available in PSRC’s 4 county region.  Grant awards will be competitive-based.  Under the rules, six project grant applications can be submitted from all of Pierce County, and a total of six were received and will go to PCRC, who decides which projects will advance to PSRC.  The project only constructed the noise barrier and the one lane road.  The bicycle/pedestrian was deferred to a future improvement.
  • Update of Sage Terrace Apartments:  This property was subject to extensive enforcement action in 2005 by the fire district, community development and police departments.  A fire occurred at the complex this last week.  Because of the proactive approach on enforcement, there were no injuries and minimal property damage to the structure. The joint code enforcement action had, in part, required existing fire lanes be posted and maintained, and the installation of working smoke detectors in each unit.  The fire crews reported that upon their arrival, all the fire lanes were clear, allowing the firefighters unobstructed access to make a quick fire attack containing the fire to one unit.  Further, the smoke detectors were found to be in operating condition in the vicinity of the fire.
  • Multi-Agency Support for Woodbrook Evidence Search: The detailed search of the area where Adre’Anna Jackson’s remains were discovered has continued throughout this week, and concluded on Friday.  Each day (including weekends) an average of 80 people worked between 10 and 12 hours, clearing brush, sifting dirt, and cataloguing evidence.  Substantial personnel and equipment support was provided by Lakewood’s Parks and Recreation Department, IT/GIS section, and Municipal Court Work Crew Section, as well as the following outside departments and agencies:
    • Puyallup Police Department
    • Woodbrook Middle School staff
    • FBI
    • Pierce County Department of Emergency Management
    • Pierce County Cooperative Cities Crime Response Unit
    • Washington State Patrol
    • King County Small Cities Major Crimes Task Force
    • Tacoma PD
    • Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and Public Works
    • Federal Way Police Department
    • Lacey PD
    • Olympia PD
    • Tukwila PD
    • Kent PD
    • Lewis County Sheriff’s Office (Volunteer Crime Scene Team)
    • McChord AFB Security Forces
    • WA State Dept. of Ecology
    • WA State Dept. of Health
    • Lemay Inc.
    • Ft Lewis CID
    • King County Sheriff’s Office
    • Centralia PD
    • Seattle PD CSI
    • Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Explorers
    • Pierce County Medical Examiner
    • 1996th Barbecue Brigade Support Team

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/31/06

March 31, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:    Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Community Policing Partnership with 7-11: On March 23rd, the Lakewood Police Department ended the “squeaky wheel” project of 7-11 at 9117 South Tacoma Way.  Under LPD’s community policing strategy, when a business experiences high volume of police calls for service, the Neighborhood Patrol Officer (NPO) usually starts a project of “Hot Spot” or “Squeaky Wheel.”  When a business is determined as a “Hot Spot,” the entire community policing section will coordinate for law enforcement efforts and resources to bring the problems under control.  If the business is considered as a “Squeaky Wheel,” the district NPO will solely manage the project.  The 7-11 store on South Tacoma Way was named as a “Squeaky Wheel” and the partnership between the store owner, 7-11 Corporation and LPD began in July 2005.  LPD recommended the best practices to the business owner who agreed to follow the recommendations.  The owners and the Corporation were very active in making the business crime free, by installing chain link fence and digital surveillance cameras and also posting no trespass signs as recommended by the department.  The owner was also active in not allowing unwanted persons to loiter around the store, and called the police proactively rather than reactively.  During the partnership period, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) inspection was conducted and numerous local 7-11 employees were trained at the police station on robbery and shoplifter prevention, dealing with gangs and conflict resolution.  As a result of this partnership, police calls for service dropped dramatically at the store.  Between January 2005 and June 2005, LPD responded to the business 17.2 times a month on average.  In contrast, between July 2005 and December 2005, LPD responded to the business 5.8 times a month on average.  The current monthly average is 6 calls, and only 1-2 calls are non-proactive calls.
  • Public Works Trust Fund loan approved: The Governor on March 28th signed HB 2544 relating to the Public Works Trust Fund project list. Lakewood’s ALG/Tillicum sewer project is now approved and our $5,000,000 loan is assured. An additional plus is that with this new loan our existing $1,000,000 converts to a 20 year pay back period versus its present 5 year pay term.
  • Updating streets and development standards: Public Works has selected the firm of Berger/ABAM Engineers from the consultants who responded to our RFP to assist us in the updating of our Public Works streets and development standards (Title 12 and Chapter 17.46 of the Municipal Code).  These sections of the Code have for the most part remained unchanged since incorporation and are in need of updating.   The consultant agreement will be presented to Council in April.
  • Narcotic Drug Dog Program: The Lakewood Police Department is in the development stages of a Narcotic Drug Dog Program to enhance our drug investigations for our Swing Shift Patrol and Special Operations Unit. Numerous agencies within Washington utilize Narcotic Detection Dogs to enhance their enforcement capabilities in the War on Drugs. Through the use of the State Seizure Fund, the Department will not have to spend any city funds for this program. We are researching the use of dogs and officer training from the Washington State Patrol or the State Department of Corrections.
  • Underage Liquor Compliance Checks: On March 21st, a LPD officer and two explorers assisted in a Liquor Compliance detail with a special agent of the Washington Liquor Control Board. They conducted compliance checks on 11 different locations, listed below.  All of these locations adhered to the laws and did not serve alcohol to our minors.  There was one bar who poured the alcohol and placed it in front of our minor before asking for ID, which resulted in a stern warning from the WSLCB officer. The bars that passed the compliance checks were:
    • Maggie O’ Tooles
    • Longhorn
    • Oaktree
    • Jim Moore’s
    • Bowlero
    • Green Pup
    • My Place
    • Bourbon Street
    • Chips Casino
    • Applebee’s
    • Lake City Tavern
  • Volunteer Observation Patrol Training: LPD and Safe Streets sponsored the first new Citizen’s Patrol Training session on March 24th.  This was largely a “Train the Trainer” session, a mobile block-watch program, with citizens from the neighborhoods organizing into ‘patrol teams’ which will observe and report criminal or suspicious activity in their own neighborhoods. They will have extra training, equipment like radios, flashlights, safety vests, and clearly defined objectives and procedures to keep them effective and safe while ‘on duty’. There were about ten attendees.  The two co-captains will take the information and share it with other volunteers who were not able to attend. We are setting up monthly training meetings at this time, and intend to increase our volunteer attendance.