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Clearing Drains of Leaves Helps Prevent Neighborhood Flooding

Pumpkins. Sweaters. Football. It must be fall.

But this time of year also means that leaves are falling to the ground. If not maintained properly, those leaves can cause neighborhood flooding and other problems.

The City of Lakewood asks that you help prevent flooding in your neighborhood by clearing leaves and other debris from the storm drains and ditches near your home. Our maintenance crews do their best to keep the city’s many drains clean, but it’s nearly impossible to clear off all of those fallen leaves before the rain starts.

You can help out by doing a little fall cleaning of your own. By using a shovel, rake or brush-broom to clear away the leaves and debris, you can quickly solve the problem. Bag your yard waste or put the yard waste in your yard waste container, as it is better for the environment and potentially less expensive for you. Voila! That’s it.

Also, the City ramps up its street-sweeping operations around this time each year. We have identified 10 areas throughout Lakewood as “High Organic Debris Areas.” Beginning this month and continuing through January, the streets in those areas are swept every other week. The goal of this emphasis is to clean up leaf litter and other debris before it enters and clogs the storm drainage system.

For the map illustrating the streets that are swept, including the ramped-up areas between October and January, click on the following link and, under “Related Documents,” click on “Street Sweeping Routes”: /government/departments/public-works/operations-and-maintenance-division

For more information, contact the city’s Public Works Department at (253) 983-7795.

Thanks for your help!

Municipal Court Now Serves Steilacoom

People cited for traffic infractions, misdemeanors and other non-felony violations in Steilacoom have been traveling to the next community over to handle their cases the past month.

On Oct. 1, Steilacoom officially entered into a contract with the Municipal Court of Lakewood and University Place. That means the enhanced services that come with the court – everything from a fully staffed, five-day-a-week front desk to prosecution and public defense to probation and electronic home monitoring – are now available to Washington’s oldest town. The contract includes everything but police and jail services.

“It’s a big benefit to Steilacoom residents,” Court Administrator Deana Wright said. “They get all of the services that come with our Municipal Court, which will create a cost savings for its residents. It’s also more convenient, seeing that we’re physically located just up the hill.”

Before, Steilacoom offered its own municipal court that took place only 1 ½ times per month. In 2012, the town had some 1,100 cases, 900 of which were related to traffic and parking violations.

In 2012, the Municipal Court of Lakewood and University Place handled more than 27,000 violations.

In Lakewood, almost 12,000 of those were photo-enforcement violations, while another 9,600 were issued for traffic infractions. Some 4,000 were misdemeanor cases.

In University Place, the court handled 649 traffic infractions and 735 misdemeanors.

The Municipal Court is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW. It can be reached at (253) 512-2258.

Celebrate Make a Difference Day Saturday in Lakewood

Help celebrate Make a Difference Day in the City of Lakewood by participating in this national day of community service this Saturday, Oct. 26.

The Kick-Off event will feature a food drive benefitting the Emergency Food Network (EFN), and all attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items. The Kick-Off event will take place at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW. Refreshments will be served beginning 8 a.m.

The program will begin at 8:30 a.m., with a welcome and an overview of the various projects by the Lakewood Youth Council. We will leave for the individual project sites by 8:50 a.m.

The event is hosted and coordinated by the Lakewood Youth Council and will feature community service projects at:

  • Fort Steilacoom Park with the Grave Concerns Association
  • The West Pierce Fire & Rescue Pumpkin Patch
  • The Lakewood Community Garden
  • A beautification project at Tyee Park Elementary

If you are a Clover Park School District student, these hours will count toward your community service hours as required by the International Baccalaureate Program. Help make a difference in our city by participating in this year’s event.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/25/2013

October 25, 2013
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager

Council Meetings

The City Council will be holding a regular study session on Monday, October 28, 2013, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW. Agenda items for the meeting include:

  • Joint meeting with the Lakewood’s Promise Advisory Board.
  • Sound Transit Long Range Plan update.
  • Review of the parks and streets survey results.
  • Review of proposed amendments to Chapter 5.02 of the Lakewood Municipal Code relative to general business licenses.
  • Point Defiance Bypass Rail update.
  • Legislative policy manual and 2013-2014 legislative biennial agenda update.
  • Review of the 2014 state government relations contract.

The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, November 4, 2013, beginning at 7:00 P.M. in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW. Agenda items for the meeting include:

  • Youth Council Report.
  • Clover Park School District Board Report.
  • Public Hearing on 2014 property tax levy.
  • Bid award on city-wide safety improvements.
  • Bid award on traffic signal upgrade at Custer Road and John Dower Road.
  • Approval of a grant agreement with the Washington State Department of Ecology, in the amount of $50,000, for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.
  • Adoption of the legislative policy manual and 2013-2014 legislative biennial agenda.
  • Adoption of a state government relations contract.
  • Approval of an interlocal agreement with the cities of Tacoma, Fife, Sumner, Bonney Lake, Puyallup and Pierce County Sheriff’s Department relative to the auto crime enforcement task force to respond and investigate auto thefts.

Topics of Interest and Updates

Celebrate Make a Difference Day Saturday in Lakewood

Help celebrate Make a Difference Day in the City of Lakewood by participating in this national day of community service Saturday, Oct. 26.

The Kick-Off event will feature a food drive benefitting the Emergency Food Network (EFN), and all attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items. The Kick-Off event will take place at Lakewood City Hall; 6000 Main Street SW. Refreshments will be served beginning 8 a.m.

The program will begin at 8:30 a.m., with a welcome and an overview of the various projects by the Lakewood Youth Council. We will leave for the individual project sites by 8:50 a.m.

The event is hosted and coordinated by the Lakewood Youth Council and will feature community service projects at:

  • Fort Steilacoom Park with the Grave Concerns Association
  • The West Pierce Fire & Rescue Pumpkin Patch
  • The Lakewood Community Garden
  • A beautification project at Tyee Park Elementary

If you are a Clover Park School District student, these hours will count toward your community service hours as required by the International Baccalaureate Program. Help make a difference in our city by participating in this year’s event.

For additional information, please contact

Dennis Higashiyama

Youth Council Advisor

(253) 983-7835

Let’s Walk to School

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

7:20-7:45 A.M.

Living Stone Church to Dower Elementary

The City of Lakewood and Clover Park School District invite you to a Walk to School event promoting October as the International Walk to School Month. Family and friends are encouraged to walk with students. Volunteers will be positioned along the route for safety and education. Sponsors will provide snacks, beverages, and free giveaways.

This event promotes walking for:

  • Physical activity
  • Teaching safe walking skills to students
  • Reducing traffic congestion, pollution, and speed near schools
  • Taking back neighborhoods for people on foot
  • Sharing time with community leaders, parents, and children

Legal Department Update

During the week of October 12-18, 2013, for the Cities of Lakewood and University Place, 20 cases were reviewed by the Prosecutor. Of these, 10 charges were filed in Court. This is in addition to the in-custody cases already filed for both cities.

Parks and Recreation Update

Truck and Tractor Day

Over 1800 people joined the City of Lakewood for the 8th annual Truck and Tractor Day where kids were able to enjoy large trucks and big rigs including a cement mixer, school bus, fire engine, SWAT vehicles and tractors provided by many Lakewood companies. After climbing on all the Trucks and Tractors, honking horns and making lights flash kids were able to enjoy the pumpkin patch where they received a FREE pumpkin that they could decorate on-site, a FREE hayride around Fort Steilacoom Park and just added this year, Pumpkin Chunkin’. It was a wonderful day at Fort Steilacoom Park, with the biggest crowd we have ever seen for the amazing community event. The weather was cold but dry, a perfect fall day, and families had a fabulous time!

Super Hero 5K

It’s a bird, it’s a plane. . .nope it’s the Super Hero 5K. Last weekend the City of Lakewood hosted the first ever Super Hero 5K with 25 participants racing through Fort Steilacoom Park. It was a great first time event with wonderful costumes and very enthusiastic participation!

Community Safety Resource Team Update

On October 18th, Community Service Officer Gail Conelly participated in St. Clare Hospital’s annual safety fair event. The event is geared towards employees, but was also open to the public. CSO Conelly handed out crime prevention information, as well as presented information regarding personal safety at home, work and play. The event was attended by approximately 60 employees and several members of the public.

Community Development Update

South Sound Military Communities Partnership (SSMCP) Project Manager Dan Penrose attended this month’s Pierce County Growth Management Coordination Committee (GMCC) meeting and made a presentation on the Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) Joint Land Use Study project. The GMCC is a technical review committee that provides recommendations to the Pierce County Regional Council; it members are planning officials representing the cities and towns in Pierce County.

Sound Transit is now in the process of preparing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to update its long range plan. The Supplemental EIS focuses on establishing new high capacity transit routes throughout the Puget Sound region for possible inclusion in future funding plans. A Scoping Information Folio is available that provides additional information. The Folio and other project information can be reviewed on the Sound Transit website at <http://www.soundtransit.org/LongRangePlan >.

On November 1st, the community development department closes down its “old” permitting software system and brings online its new permitting software. The changeover has been underway throughout the year and is almost done. This last week is going to be challenging. The department is in the process of converting active files received in the last several months into the new system. On top of that, training is underway and we are keeping the permit counter open while we perform the changeover. As best we try to have this process go smoothly, we are expecting to find some “bugs” in the system. Some customers may experience delays. The community development department is asking for the public’s patience.

Economic Development Update

Tacoma Chamber Annual Lunch

Economic Development Department representatives attended the Tacoma Chamber Annual Luncheon. Keynote speaker Mark Lautman, Economic Architect, noted that Tacoma and surrounding areas are actually in a good position for future growth. While growth is expected to remain slow, our many assets and the ability to attract talent is high. Transportation/warehousing, extractive industries, manufacturing, exporting and all things innovative will be crucial to a thriving community. A looming shortage of qualified workers began in 2007 and has placed the world on the path of a growing inverted labor supply. Of the many sectors not being addressed adequately, Lautman said home-based work, health care, and manufacturing are at the top. It’s no longer an option to “just hang on.” Those who adopt “The Gumption Cycle,” of believe-think-care-plan-invest-succeed will thrive. Workforce, education, and economic development must work together. Among attendees were Lakewood Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen, and U.S. Congressmen Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer.

Lakewood City Council Unanimously Opposes Proposition 1

The Lakewood City Council on Monday night unanimously approved a resolution opposing the City of Tacoma’s Proposition 1, a Nov. 5 ballot measure that would likely force some utility customers in Lakewood to pay for fixes to their neighboring city’s streets.

After residents voiced their opposition to the measure – which would levy a 2-percent earnings tax on electric, telephone and gas utilities that would likely result in customers in Lakewood and other neighboring communities paying more - Lakewood leaders agreed the proposal would not benefit their residents.

The City of Lakewood received almost 30 e-mails over the weekend from residents opposed to Proposition 1, and another 10 residents spoke at Monday night’s public hearing.

Their message was clear: Lakewood residents shouldn’t have to pay for street improvements in another city.

Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen said the solution that the City of Tacoma has come up with, “unfortunately has a regional impact beyond the roads that Tacoma intends to repair.”

“We need to take care of our own first,” he added.

If passed, the ballot measure would levy a 2-percent earnings tax on natural gas, electric and phone companies for the sole purpose of funding basic, Tacoma-wide neighborhood street improvements and safety upgrades.

Utility companies may choose to pass this cost increase on to their customers through their rates, though the Tacoma City Council would have to approve any Tacoma Power rate change.

The Lakewood City Council joined residents, neighboring communities, local business owners, as well as the Lakewood and Tacoma-Pierce County Chambers of Commerce, all of which say Proposition 1 is neither fair, nor is it good for local businesses.

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