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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/5/2013

July 5, 2013

Weekly Info Bulletin

To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

Council Meetings

City Council's next study session is scheduled for Monday, July 8, 2013 beginning at 7:00 P.M. in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW. City Council agenda items will be: 1) Legislative Session Update; 2) Update on lodging tax; 3) Joint meeting with the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee; 4) Review of the Comprehensive Plan Public Participation Plan.

City Council's next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 15, 2013 beginning at 7:00 P.M. in City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW. City Council agenda items will be: 1) Review of the Comprehensive Plan Public Participation Plan; 2) Recognizing the Best of the South Sound winners; 3) Presentation of the West Pierce Fires District Levy by Fire Chief Jim Sharp; 4) Adopting the 2014-2019 Six Year Transportation Improvement Program.

Topics of Interest and Updates:

Lakewood Pays Tribute to Bill Harrison on his 80th Birthday: Mayor Emeritus Bill Harrison celebrated his 80th birthday this week at Lakewood's Tacoma Country & Golf Club. Many of his former Army colleagues recounted his influence in their careers and lives at Fort Ord, CA and Fort Lewis as he commanded the 7th Infantry Division and I Corps respectively. A number of councilmembers and staff – past and present -- joined scores of well-wishers to honor Lakewood's first mayor and recount his unparalleled legacy of leadership in the City. Councilmember Helen McGovern-Pilant and others remarked that Lakewood may not have voted to incorporate without the commitment and vision of Mayor Harrison.

Council Recognizes Outstanding Graduates: This week, the City Council recognized the top graduates from Lakewood’s three high schools: Keyre “Kadie” Figueroa (Clover Park HS), Elizabeth Badger (Lakes HS), and James-Victor Alvarez (Harrison Prep). In the photo with the Council, Kadie and James-Victor are joined by Kadie's mother, Marie Figueroa and Harrison Prep Principal Lisa Boyd.

Parks Update:

  • Swim Safe at American Lake: This new partnership with the Lakewood YMCA, West Pierce Fire District, the City of Lakewood and funded by Safe Kids Coalition to provide basic water safety lessons and a lifejacket check-out program began last weekend with nearly 60 children participating. The program coincided with the opening weekend of our lifeguards being on duty and one of the hottest days of the summer so far. The program is free to participants and will be offered on Fridays from noon until 4:30 p.m. through the end of August.

Economic Development Update:

  • Business interest in City of Lakewood Finance Programs on the increase: City staff, along with consultants from the National Development Council (NDC) met with four businesses this week. The purpose was to look at potential ways to finance their various projects. One company is a startup looking to expand rapidly over the next few years, including bringing manufacturing jobs to Lakewood and increasing sales staff nationally, another long time Lakewood business is looking to expand a showroom here, the third is a non-profit in the early stages of expansion looking to purchase a local building, hire more staff and fill a growing need for basic food assistance in the Pierce County area. The fourth is a 100 year old business looking to relocate to Lakewood and purchase an existing building, plus expand and build additional working space on site. With our existing Community Block Grant Fund and NDC’s help, the City of Lakewood has been able to access new funds including Section 108, the Grow America Fund, New Market Tax Credits, CERB, EB5 (Foreign Direct Investment), and priority lender SBA funds. Priority lender means less time to process and negotiable lower interest rates. Visit our website for information on some of the programs offered: /government/departments/economic-development/business-financial-assistance .

    Contact the Economic Development department for more information.

  • 5 Star Property Management Honored at Council This Week: As a Means to Thank Our Businesses for Being Here, Council Periodically Showcases a Business for Their Contribution and Commitment to Our Community. 5 Star Is a Growing, Positive and Service-Oriented Business With a Mindset for Excellence in Customer Service and Success. to View Their Story and to See Previous Stories, Visit Our Website: /business/business-Showcase .

Public Works Update:

  • Bridgeport Way Overlay – 112th to 59th: Construction for the Bridgeport Way Overlay Project (between 112th and 59th Avenue) will begin on Monday, July 15, 2013. Expect temporary lane closures during the day for completion of ADA ramp upgrades and pavement dig-out repairs. The major pavement overlay work will take place at night (7 PM to 5 AM) to minimize disruptions to adjacent businesses and the traveling public.
  • Lakewood Station Connection – Pedestrian Bridge Opening – Monday July 8, 2013: The pedestrian bridge over the tracks from Lakewood Station to Kendrick Street will be open on Monday, July 8, 2013. Staff will continue to work with Sound Transit to conduct public outreach and place temporary directional signage to advertise the opening of the bridge.
  • Building Permits/Business Licenses: New building permit valuation totals for January through June 30, 2013 are $53,891,048.51. Total number of active business licenses is 4,161.

Mark Your Calendars:

  • July 11th 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. - City Talk with the Mayor- by appointment only
  • July 12th- City of Lakewood night at the Tacoma Rainiers
  • July 13th & 14th- SummerFEST at Fort Steilacoom Park
  • July 16th 7:30 a.m. - Coffee with the Mayor – City Hall Council Chambers

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/28/2013

June 28, 2013
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

  • Council Priority: Sustain regional leadership and coordinate with military partners
    • Army Chief of Staff Visits Lakewood: The Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the US Army (AUSA) welcomed US Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno and Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler to Lakewood’s Tacoma Golf & Country Club on Tuesday, June 25. During the event, Mayor Don Anderson welcomed General Odierno on behalf of the City and the region and presented the general with a City coin (see photo below). General Odierno recalled his family’s rewarding assignment at Fort Lewis in the 1990s, including his son’s attendance at Lakes High School. Councilmembers Marie Barth and Mary Moss also attended.
    • Mayor Discusses Welcome Home Parade on “CityLine” TV: On Wednesday, Mayor Don Anderson appeared on Tacoma’s “CityLine TV” and discussed the City’s planning efforts to recognize the 4-2 Stryker Brigade after they return from Afghanistan. The initial portion of the interview focuses on the September 15 welcome home parade which will feature 2,000 troops marching through Lakewood: (note: the link requires streaming video capabilities to view) http://cityoftacoma.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=294 .
    • “Raider Brigade” to Deactivate: On the same day the Army Chief of Staff visited Lakewood, the City learned that the Army had selected its “community connector” to JBLM, the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, for deactivation. The City issued a news release, which highlighted the brigade’s recent and impressive history: /news/press-releases/1419-lakewood-s-community-connector-to-inactivate .
  • Council Priority: Maintain and enhance public safety
    • Lifeguards Reporting for Duty: Lifeguards will be on duty starting tomorrow, Saturday, June 29, just in time for the 80-degree weather forecasted. Lifeguards will be stationed at Harry Todd Park and American Lake Park from noon until 8:00pm daily unless weather conditions dictate otherwise. All lifeguards are there for the public’s safety and require everyone’s cooperation for a safe swimming environment. New this year is a partnership with the Lakewood YMCA, Safe Kids Coalition, West Pierce Fire, Tillicum & Woodbrook schools and the City to provide basic water safety skills at the American Lake North swim beach. The program will begin this weekend and will run every Friday through the remainder of the swim season from 12:00 – 3:00pm at no cost. YMCA staff and volunteers will help fit the lifejackets provided by the City. In addition to lifejacket fitting, staff/volunteers will be in the water teaching patrons how to float, tread water, kick on their front/back, basic swimming and hypothermia risks. The City reminds all park visitors that lifeguards are not a substitute for parental supervision.
  • Council Priority: Continue cooperative partnership with educational institutions in Lakewood
    • Council to Recognize Outstanding Graduates: At its regular meeting on July 1, the City will recognize the top graduates from Lakewood’s three high schools: Keyre “Kadie” Figueroa (Clover Park HS), Elizabeth Badger (Lakes HS), and James-Victor Alvarez (Harrison Prep). Faculty from their respective schools selected these students after considering a variety of factors (academic achievement, school activities, civic involvement, and so forth).
  • Other Announcements and Highlights:
    • New Ramp Connects St. Clare Hospital to Bridgeport Way Bus Stop:
    • On Wednesday, Lakewood City Mayor Don Anderson joined St. Clare administration and staff in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a new ramp connecting the hospital to the Sound Transit bus stop. The connection will make it easier for the public to receive medical services. The ramp is a partnership between Sound Transit and the City of Lakewood. Cornerstone Constructors were the contractors for the project.
    • Chaos at the Counter!: The 2nd floor permit counter has been under the gun over the past few weeks with both permit technicians unavoidably absent at the same time. Staff maintained customer service levels by redirecting management and borrowing trained staff from other departments. One of the regular permit technicians has now returned so counter operations are expected to return to the normal level of chaos next week.
    • Now That’s a Big Building!: On Tuesday the City’s Hearing Examiner approved a conditional use permit for a 442,000 sq. ft. industrial warehouse/distribution facility on a 22 acre site in Woodbrook. The site is located on the east side of Spring Street, across from Woodbrook Middle School. This is the second industrial project approved for this area since the City rezoned it “industrial” in 2001. The building was granted preliminary approval as a “shell building”, meaning that specific tenants have not yet been identified. The building will facilitate warehousing/distribution or manufacturing. The project will require the construction of a sound wall around operational areas of the site, and several off-site traffic mitigation projects to reduce the impact of truck and vehicle traffic to and from the site. The hearing examiner’s approval requires additional evaluation of noise and traffic issues once the owner identifies tenants in order to confirm the adequacy of required mitigation measures.
    • 2015 U.S. Open Championship Briefing: On June 27, the Pierce County Council conducted one of its regular meetings at the Environmental Services Building in University Place. On the agenda was a presentation regarding the 2015 U.S. Open Championship. Over 200 people attended. Former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, Deputy County Executive Kevin Phelps, and Danny Sink, United States Golf Association On-Site Championship Director, all presented. Mr. Sink projected that the USGA championship will attract 235,000 people over a one-week period or, on average, 35,000 people a day. He estimated the economic impact to Pierce County at $144 million. For more information, please visit www.chambersbaygolf.com and click “U.S. Open FAQ.”

Lakewood’s “Community Connector” to Inactivate

​Earlier today, Congressman Denny Heck relayed the news that the Army had selected the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) for inactivation. The City of Lakewood has enjoyed a very active “Community Connector” relationship with the “Raider Brigade” since 2006.

The Raider Brigade, under the command of Colonel Mike Getchell, is now completing its third deployment in the last seven years. In 2007, the brigade was part of the military’s historic “surge” to Iraq, which turned the tide against the insurgency. The brigade lost fifty-four soldiers during that deployment; their names are inscribed on a bronze plaque in the Lakewood Council Chambers. In 2009, the brigade returned to Iraq and received national recognition as the last combat brigade to leave Iraq when it departed the following summer. In the fall of 2012, the brigade deployed to Afghanistan to serve in the treacherous Kandahar region. The entire brigade will be home by July.

Over the years, City officials have attended memorial services for the brigade’s fallen soldiers, participated in homecoming events and change of command ceremonies, and hosted pre-deployment dinners for the brigade’s leadership. The City also supported the brigade’s “adopt-a-company” program, which connected units with local businesses and collected donations for single soldiers. Over the years, the brigade has been very generous in return by supporting such civic projects as “Make a Difference Day,” “Parks Appreciation Day,” and “Truck and Tractor Day.” The brigade has regularly participated in City Council meetings.

Mayor Don Anderson remarked, “The City was disappointed to hear the news that the 4-2 Stryker Brigade has been selected for inactivation. Lakewood has thoroughly enjoyed its friendship with the Raider Brigade over the years. They are well-led and consummate professionals. We look forward to reuniting with the brigade as they complete their mission in Afghanistan.”

The Lakewood Sub-Chapter of the Association of the US Army (AUSA – Meriwether Lewis Chapter) has also been a major advocate of the 4-2 SBCT. The City, with active support from the AUSA, will host a parade and homecoming event for the 4-2 SBCT on Sunday, September 15. Details are available at www.cityoflakewood.us.

Lifeguards on Duty at American Lake & Harry Todd Park

Lifeguards will be on duty beginning this Saturday, June 29th just in time for the predicted 80 degree weather. They will be on duty at Harry Todd Park and American Lake Park from noon until 8:00pm everyday unless weather conditions dictate otherwise.

All lifeguards are certified with both their lifeguard and water safety instructor certification. They are there for your safety and require your cooperation for a safe swimming environment. New this year is a partnership with the Lakewood YMCA, Safe Kids Coalition, West Pierce County Fire and Rescue, Tillicum & Woodbrook schools and the City of Lakewood to provide basic water safety skills at American Lake North swim beach. This free program will begin the weekend of June 29th and run every Friday from noon – 3pm through the remainder of the swim season. YMCA staff and volunteers will help fit the lifejackets provided by the City of Lakewood. In addition to lifejacket fitting, staff/volunteers will be in the water teaching patrons how to float, tread water, kick on their front/back, basic swimming and hypothermia risks.

We are looking forward to hot, fun and safe summer at our beaches. Please remember that lifeguards are not a substitute for parental supervision.

For more information please visit lakewoodparksandrec.com or call (253) 983-7887.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/21/2013

June 21, 2013
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

  • Announcements:
    • Lakewood Selects John Caulfield as new City Manager: City staff was excited to learn about the Lakewood Council’s unanimous vote last night to appoint Mr. John Caulfield as Lakewood’s next city manager, pending a contract agreement. This morning, Mr. Caulfield remarked he was “honored to have been chosen as Lakewood’s city manager and truly appreciates the support and confidence of the Lakewood City Council. This is a great opportunity and I look forward to working with citizens, businesses, employees, and the Council to achieve the City’s goals.” The City’s news release is online: /news/front-page/1417-lakewood-selects-john-caulfield-as-new-city-manager
    • Permit Counter to Close at Noon on Wednesdays: Due to an acute staff shortage, the second floor counter for the Planning, Building, and Public Works Departments will be closed on Wednesday afternoons. Staff expect this to be a temporary measure, but may last a few months. The closure will allow the limited staff to process those permit applications that have been submitted. The second floor front counter will be open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 8:30 to Noon on Wednesdays. The City appreciates the patience of our residents and businesses during this period.
  • Council Priority: Maintain and enhance public safety
    • Dower Elementary Safe Routes to School Project: Construction of sidewalks on John Dower Road from Custer Road to 78th Street West will begin Monday, June 24. Construction includes curb, gutter, sidewalk (on the school side), enhanced crosswalks with rapid-flashing beacons, and hot-mix asphalt overlay. We will complete construction in August and will require temporary lane closures during the day.
  • Council Priority: Sustain regional leadership and coordinate with military partners
    • Raider Brigade Update: This Sunday, 343 soldiers from the 4-2 Stryker Brigade (Lakewood’s adopted brigade) will return to JBLM from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. After this group arrives, half of the brigade will have returned home with the remainder coming home through July. City staff delivered donations from citizens and city employees this week to the brigade’s headquarters (see photo below). The brigade’s family support groups will distribute the donations to returning single soldiers living in JBLM barracks. The City and the brigade appreciate the generosity of those who contributed.

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