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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 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

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/9/2011

December 9, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • 2nd Annual Fallen Officers Food Drive Update: Lakewood Police Department kicked off its 2nd Annual Fallen Officers Food Drive to benefit the Emergency Food Network (EFN) on November 29th. There was an outpouring of support from the community, with the drive collecting generous donations of $39,252 and 38,999 pounds of food during the one-week event.
  • Neighborhood Association leadership meeting: CSRT manager Steve Mauer and communications director Mike Savage convened a meeting with about 17 neighborhood association leaders from all districts on December 6th at the Police Station. The session provided important feedback on the CSRT operation and set the stage for an “all-community” meeting to be planned for 2012.
  • Lakewood’s 16th Christmas Tree Lighting Festival: Parks, Recreation & Community Services hosted the 16th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on December 2nd, with over 300 kids and their families. It included a Kids parade, crafts, Santa, and performances from local groups including Charisma School of Dance, Lakewood YMCA Fly Dancers and the Tacoma Youth Choir, -- as well as the Lakes and Clover Park High School choirs and the CPHS marching band
  • Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking in Tillicum: The City of Lakewood and Habitat for Humanity broke ground in Tillicum and demolished several dilapidated buildings to kick off the construction of over 30 new homes for low income families. This is another step in the economic transformation of Tillicum. Program Manager Jeff Gumm played a key role in guiding the project.
  • Police Chief and Ass’t Chief are speakers at Alaska Executive Law Enforcement Conference: Chief Bret Farrar and Assistant Chief Mike Zaro were invited to Anchorage to present at the Alaska Executive Law Enforcement Conference on December 7th. Approximately 80 law enforcement personnel were in attendance to hear their presentation on “Review and Lessons Learned from the Murder of Our Four Officers”, which was very well received.
  • New City Hall Art Display: Local artist Marjorie Mankin has been selected by the Lakewood Arts Commission to display her artwork on the first floor of City Hall. The paintings feature a variety of watercolors including depictions of flowers, gardens and other outdoor scenes. She currently has an exhibit showing at the Lakewood Historical Museum as well.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/16/2011

December 16, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Officer Sievers to perform for Fallen Officer Food Drive: On Saturday, December 17th, Officer Gene Sievers will be performing at the DuPont Forza from 7pm to 9:30pm, and he will be accepting food donations during his performance for the Fallen Officer Food Drive. This is the last event connected to the Fallen Officer Food Drive and will effectively close the donation period for this year’s drive. We will be able to give updated totals before the holiday. As of right now we stand at: 41,919 pounds and $40,175.
  • Meeting in Governor’s office regarding Interstate 5 JBLM congestion: Representative Connie Ladenburg of the 29th district arranged a meeting with Governor Gregoire on December 13th to discuss the critical importance of funding IJR’s (Interchange Justification Reports) for the JBLM-related freeway interchanges between Lakewood and Lacey. Dan Penrose, project administrator for the JBLM Growth Coordination Plan process, provided information from the Defense Department-funded traffic analyses, and represented the newly-established South Sound Military & Communities Partnership.
  • Police and CSRT lead effort to clean up an abandoned property: LPD advised CSRT in early December that there was a house abandoned due to foreclosure on 92nd Street South. CSRT investigated neighbor complaints of trespassers, vagrants, squatters and trash at the house. CSRT discovered the house was unlocked; full of trash, and that it was evident that squatters were breaking into the house. CSRT contacted the bank that owned the property and worked with them to clean and secure the property in only twelve days. This is an example of LPD and CSRT working with the private sector to help clean up the community.
  • Waughop Lake Reduced to Caution Status: The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department reported that the amount of toxic algae in Waughop Lake has declined significantly and they reduced the toxic algae advisory from a warning to a caution status last week. Waughop Lake, located in Fort Steilacoom Park, is a small kettle lake, fed by storm water runoff and precipitation with no outfall. Less daylight and cooler temperatures are likely contributors to the reduced levels. If the amount of toxic algae continues to decline as predicted, the TPCHD may be able to lift the caution advisory and, for the first time in several years, NOT have a toxic algae advisory for Waughop Lake.
  • Candy Cane Lane at the Senior Activity Center: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center held its “Candy Cane Lane” event on December 8th, with more than 55 older adults enjoying food and fellowship and caroling. A repertoire of festive musical entertainment was provided throughout the event by Tom and Rene Brooks, a great way to kick off the holiday season.
  • LPD distributes meals to families in need: The Lakewood Police Department distributed Holiday Meals at John Dower Elementary School on December 15th. 150 meals were passed out to needy families throughout Lakewood. The families were all part of the Head Start Program which is coordinated through the Clover Park School District (CPSD). The families were also fed pizza, cookies and juice compliments of CPSD.
  • Youth Council assists Caring for Kids with Holiday Fair: The Lakewood Youth Council assisted Diane Formoso and Caring for Kids with the Holiday Fair which was held on Saturday, December 10th. The Fair provides gifts and presents to families that cannot afford to purchase their own. 650 families attended the Fair this year. The Youth Council along with many of their peers helped with the setup of the event the night before and then returned the following day to help distribute gifts.

Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking in Tillicum

City of Lakewood and Habitat for Humanity Break Ground for Over 30 New Homes

The City of Lakewood and Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity broke ground in Tillicum to make way for over 30 new homes.  The homes will replace dilapidated buildings and vacant lots to provide home ownership opportunities for families making  30-50% of area median income ($21,150--$35,850 for a family of four).

The groundbreaking featured the actual demolition of buildings by City Officials, as one entire dilapidated structure was razed during the ceremony. City Manager Andrew Neiditz said the groundbreaking was “symbolic of the economic transformation that the Tillicum neighborhood is experiencing.”

The project was forged by a close relationship between the City and Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable homeownership opportunities to very low-income households throughout Pierce County. Habitat for Humanity has built over 180 units of affordable housing in Pierce County with only one foreclosure in its 26 year history. 

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.