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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/13/2012

January 3, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Martin Luther King Celebration to be held January 14th: The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration has been set for Saturday, January 14th, at the Sharon McGavick Center at Clover Park Technical College. It will feature a diverse range of performances highlighted by the Total Experience Gospel Choir led by Patrinell Wright and a brief keynote speech by Kevin Henry. Static displays will showcase some of the more trying times in our country’s development both locally and nationally and will provide a framework for our theme this year of: “Freedom – Yesterday & Today”.
  • Public Works receives DOE grant: Public Works received a grant offer from the State Department of Ecology (DOE) for $50,000. This is a continuation of a prior year DOE grant with the purpose and intent to help cities achieve compliance with the terms and conditions of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit as granted by DOE and as mandated under the Federal Clean Water Act.
  • Gravelly Lake Drive / 112th – Safety Retrofit: Starting on Tuesday, January 17th, the large grassy area at the intersection of Gravelly Lake Drive and 112th Street will be retrofitted with a gravity rock wall to reduce the chance of errant southbound drivers going through the grassy area and into the private property beyond. The work will require temporary lane closures between 8 AM and 3:30 PM on northbound Gravelly Lake Drive, south of 112th Street. The project will take 4-5 business days to complete.
  • City staff responds to Oakbrook fire: The City’s human services coordinator responded on January 12th to a fire on Zircon Drive that resulted in six families being displaced. Human Services contacted the American Red Cross who deployed to the scene and, working together, all families were successfully relocated. The City applied for and received grant funds to ensure that families do not incur homelessness through no fault of their own during emergencies.

Massive Revitalization of Tillicum Continues

City of Lakewood Continues Massive Revitalization Project of Tillicum Neighborhood

Habitat for Humanity partners with city to build much-needed new housing

As a part of an expansive revitalization project of Lakewood’s Tillicum neighborhood, approximately 30 new homes will be built in the next four years replacing dilapidated buildings and vacant lots in order to provide home ownership opportunities for low-income families. The new homes are being built through a partnership between the City of Lakewood and the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.

“This exciting project is a vital part of the remarkable economic transformation that the Tillicum neighborhood is experiencing,” said Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz. “What was once a blighted and very undesirable area of the city is now being transformed to a welcoming residential area surrounded by a vibrant commercial district.”

In November and December 2011, a total of 13 derelict houses and structures that posed safety and health issues were razed, making room for eight new townhouses and seven detached single family homes. These 15 homes will be constructed on adjoining sites and approximately 15 additional units will be constructed on scattered sites throughout the neighborhood.

The new housing is a part of the Tillicum Neighborhood Plan that was adopted by the Lakewood City Council in June 2010. The plan included a massive $18 million sewer extension project in the Tillicum and Woodbrook neighborhoods, which was completed in October 2011. The system will improve overall water quality and public health, protect property values threatened by failing septic systems, and allow for new residential and commercial development. The 30 new homes will all be connected to the city sewer system.

The new housing is being paid for through both private and public funding. The nonprofit Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity is partnering with the City of Lakewood, which is contributing approximately $1.16 million made available through Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding. In addition, hundreds of volunteers will contribute their time and the future home owners will contribute 500 hours of sweat equity to their new homes.

“The response by Lakewood city officials and local community and civic organizations has been tremendous,” said Maureen Fife, executive director of the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity. “We selected Tillicum for this revitalization project because the neighborhood has endured economic challenges for years and the city is 100 percent committed to turning it around.”

Habitat for Humanity has previously built three homes in Lakewood. With the addition of these 30 new homes, Habitat and the City are looking to expand their partnership by eliminating blight and creating much needed homeownership opportunities for the residents of Tillicum.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/30/2011

December 30, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City Hall Scheduling: City Hall will be closed on January 2nd in recognition of the New Years holiday.
  • City launches email notification feature: The City of Lakewood has recently launched an email notification feature on the city website. With this feature citizens may sign up for weekly notifications of news articles published by the City, council meeting agendas and meeting schedules, quarterly Parks and Recreation brochures, and public notices such as public hearings, meeting cancellations and RFPs, RFQs and bids. Citizens may sign up for the notifications on the city’s website at: /i-want-to/sign-up-for/email-notifications .
  • Code Enforcement Officer passes Zoning Inspector Examination: Code Enforcement Officer Doug Price took and passed the Zoning Inspector examination for certification through the International Code Council and the American Association of Code Enforcement. CEO Price will continue to study and expects to take the Property Maintenance and Housing Inspector examination in February or March. Both certifications are required to become a Certified Code Enforcement Officer. The certifications are not required in Washington or the City of Lakewood, but CEO Price chose to pursue them to challenge himself and for personal and professional development.
  • Lakewood Officers' Charity 2nd Annual "Shop With An Officer" at Walmart: On December 19th, the Lakewood Officers' Charity partnered with Walmart to provide Christmas gifts for 20 families. Each child was partnered with a Lakewood Police Officer and provided $60 per family member to shop with. Walmart provided a grant for $3,000 and the Lakewood Officers' Charity matched that for a total of $6,000. The families were nominated by the Clover Park School District school counselors. All the presents were wrapped by Walmart and CPSD volunteers. Santa made a special appearance and the kids got their pictures taken with him. Walmart provided snacks and gift bags for the children.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/6/2012

January 6, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood Station Connection Project to be presented to Arts Commission: The project Architect, Hewitt, will be presenting the final pedestrian bridge design and entry plaza art options to the Lakewood Arts Commission at its January 9th 4:30 PM meeting at City Hall. This pedestrian bridge provides access to the Lakewood Station over the railroad tracks via Kendrick Street. The project also includes pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Kendrick Street and is scheduled for construction Spring/Summer 2012.
  • HR Director elected President Elect of IPMA-HR: Human Resources Director Debra Young has been elected to the position of President- elect for the Western WA chapter of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR). This is a non-profit organization that provides continuing education and training opportunities for HR professionals. The President-elect shall automatically succeed to the office of President after having served a one-year term.
  • City staffmember passes State Bar Examination: In June 2011, Paralegal Ann-Marie Evans completed the four year Rule 6 Law Clerk Program offered through the Washington State Bar Association. She has passed the State Bar Examination and will take the Oath of Attorney on January 27th at Pierce County Superior Court before Judge James Orlando.
  • Public Works Staff receive Professional Certifications: Two public works staffmembers successfully passed their respective 8-hour exams to receive professional certifications. Jon Howe received his Engineer-In-Training (E.I.T.) certification, and Paul Candler received his Professional Engineers (P.E.) license. Public Works now has a total of three Engineers-In-Training and nine Professional Engineers.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/23/2011

December 23, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City Hall Scheduling: City Hall will be closed on December 26th and January 2nd in recognition of the Christmas and New Years holidays.
  • Grant application submitted for JBLM Logistics Gate Access Improvements: The City of Lakewood submitted a Public Lands Highway Program Discretionary (PLHD) Grant application for $2.9 million for completing improvements to the North Thorne Lane interchange. The purpose of this grant is to provide improved access to federal public lands. The grant will provide for design and construction funds to (1) widen the existing North Thorne Lane bridge to accommodate one additional travel lane and a sidewalk on one side; (2) widen Murray Road to add a second east-bound travel lane; and (3) widen the south-bound I-5 off ramp to provide a second left turn lane. The improvements provided by this grant would tie into the current grant-funded projects to widen Murray Road and 150th Street and construct a roundabout at the 150th and Murray Road intersection. The improvements will greatly reduce the congestion at this interchange and provide better access to JBLM’s Logistics Gate, the Woodbrook neighborhood, and the Woodbrook business park.
  • Interlaaken Bridge Temporary Weight Restrictions: The Interlaaken Bridge has a four ton per axle weight restriction effective December 19th, which will mostly impact large trucks and busses. The last bridge inspection conducted by Pierce County revealed that one of the pile caps supporting the bridge over Steilacoom Lake is deteriorating, and the bridge engineer recommended the temporary weight restriction to prevent further damage to the bridge support system. Prior to posting the weight restriction, Public Works contacted parties with vehicles subject to the weight restrictions to provide them adequate time to adjust routes if needed --including Piece Transit, CPSD, West Pierce Fire, and solid waste and utility providers. Public Works must obtain a Hydraulic Project Approval from State Fish & Wildlife before making the repairs; the existence of certain fish habitat could delay completion of the repairs until fall of 2012. The weight restriction will be modified or removed once the pile cap is replaced.
  • CSRT and Building Department meet with King County: Staff from CSRT and the building department hosted an informational meeting for representatives from King County Sheriff’s Department and City of Shoreline Code Enforcement on December 20th. Shoreline is interested in the City of Lakewood’s motel abatement and licensing enforcement efforts. The City of Lakewood has been very progressive in its enforcement of nuisance motels since incorporation. Building and CSRT shared their enforcement strategies as well as lessons learned.
  • Public Works Food Drive: The Public Works Department collected over 1,200 cans of tuna, over 600 jars of peanut butter, and over $1,400 in cash between Thanksgiving and Christmas to assist the food bank at the Tillicum / Woodbrook Community Service Center. The service center estimates they will provide holiday food baskets for over 300 families.
  • Lakewood Officers’ Charity 2nd Annual Old Country Christmas: On December 22nd, the Lakewood Officers’ Charity partnered with Old Country Buffet and Saar’s Marketplace to provide meals for 165 individuals. 35 families were selected by The Clover Park School District to participate in the event. Each family received a meal at the Old Country Buffet and gifts provided by the charity and Toys for Tots. Santa Claus made a special appearance and kids were able to get their pictures taken with him. Also, hand knit stocking caps were handed out at the event.
  • Shop with an Officer Program: On December 19th, the Lakewood Police Depart sponsored a “shop with an officer” program in cooperation with Wal-Mart. Community Service Officer Dawn McGinnis served as coordinator for the event. Twenty Lakewood Police Officers participated in shopping with 20 children, who purchased gifts for 75 kids and 35 adults. The funds for the gifts were provided by the Lakewood Police Department Charity fund and Wal-Mart.
  • Drop & Shop - Free Activities at City Hall: The City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department hosted the first ever FREE Drop & Shop program at City Hall all of this week. Over 100 kids and their parents came to the Council Chambers and met Santa, watched movies and created fun and delicious crafts, like Gingerbread Houses. This event continues next week from December 27 through December 30 with more movies and New Year’s Crafts.
  • Cookies with Mrs. Claus: Saturday, December 17th, 18 children and their parents had the privilege of making cookies with Mrs. Claus herself. It was a fun-filled event where each child had the opportunity to decorate five cookies, drink some hot cocoa or apple cider, write a letter to Santa and visit with Mrs. Claus. Pictures of this event will be on the City of Lakewood’s Face book page.
  • Winter Recreation Brochure out Soon: The Winter 2012 Recreation brochure will be mailed out to the residents of Lakewood Monday, January 2nd. It contains all of the programs, special events and activities provided by the City of Lakewood’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services department. For those who wish to view it early or register for winter programs, they can get a head start by visiting