By Dawn Masko, City Administrator, City of DuPont
1. Holiday City Hall Closures - City Hall offices are closed on Tuesday, December 25th and Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
2. Happy Holidays!!
On behalf of City staff, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season, a Merry Christmas, and a safe, Happy New Year! We look forward to the opportunity to serve our community and citizens in the coming year.
3. DuPont Shoreline Master Program Update
On December 13, 2012 the Department of Ecology (Ecology) approved, with changes, the City of DuPont’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP) comprehensive update. The comprehensive update revises the existing SMP, including the goals, policies, regulations, shoreline environment designations, and administrative process and definitions.
During the formal review process, Ecology conducted a public comment period and determined that some changes are required for the SMP to be consistent with the Shoreline Management Act (RCW 90.58) and the SMP Guidelines (WAC 173-26).
To review Ecology’s documents related to the DuPont SMP, please check Ecology’s website at:http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/shorelines/smp/mycomments/DuPont.html
On Ecology’s website you will find the following documents:
- Director of Ecology’s conditional approval letter
- Attachment A: Findings and Conclusions
- Attachment B: Required Changes
The City has prepared a letter to send to Ecology agreeing to the changes, and will revise the DuPont SMP as required. The revised SMP update will be forwarded to the DuPont City Council in early 2013 for adoption. The effective date of the SMP will be 14 days after the date of Ecology’s final action.
4. Museum Gift Shop Offers Unique Holiday Gifts
Looking for unique heritage holiday gifts? Shop at the DuPont Museum gift shop! New items will be featured during the holiday season. Find great gifts under $10 and $20 for teachers, kids stocking stuffers, and those difficult to buy for! The DuPont Museum, located in the Historic Village at 207 Barksdale Ave., is open from 1:00 – 4:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Please contact Doris Stewart at (253) 964-2399 for holiday shopping assistance.
5. Upcoming Meetings – Week of December 24th – 28th
- There are no meetings scheduled for the week of December 24th.
6. Community Development Update
- Sign Code Update –The proposed Sign Code ordinance will be discussed at a Council work session on January 15th . Materials are posted on the City’s website.
7. Parks & Recreation
Please call (253) 912-5245 or go to the City’s website at www.ci.dupont.wa.us for registration information, questions on Parks & Recreation activities, or for volunteer opportunities. Want to know more? Like us on Facebook at “City of DuPont Events, Recreation & Tourism”.
- · Youth Basketball – The youth basketball program will follow Steilacoom School District’s holiday closure schedule. No games or practices will be scheduled during the holiday break. Current youth basketball schedules can be found at www.teamsideline.com.
- · Youth Acting Classes – DuPont Parks & Recreation is pleased to offer Youth Acting classes beginning on February 2nd. The classes, taught by Youth Studio 101, will be held on Saturday’s from 10:00 – 11:00 AM at the Community Center (303 Barksdale Ave.) through April 6th. A showcase will be held on April 11th. Youth Studio 101 offers a small, personalized environment for young students to explore the craft of acting. Learn core concepts and techniques of acting through a wide variety of improv games and exercises, then implement them through in-class scenework and monologues. The cost is $100 and the class is limited to 14 participants (ages 9-14). Try a FREE class on January 12th at 10:30 AM. To get additional information, sign-up online or RSVP for the free class visitwww.youthactingstudio.wordpress.com or contact DuPont Parks & Recreation.
- · Winter Yoga – This winter’s yoga classes will feature Hatha Vinyasa Flow – an active, flowing style of yoga for all levels. Classes will focus on improving strength, overall cardiovascular health, flexibility and balance coupled with a focus on breathing to decrease stress. Participants will synchronize movement with breath allowing the body to rejuvenate from the inside out, and hold poses while breathing deeply. Classes are held at the Community Center on Mondays from 9:30 – 10:30 AM (January 14th – February 25th) or Wednesdays from 10:00 – 11:00 AM (January 16th – February 20th). Sign up forms are available online.
- Visit our website for information on other programs and events including Karate, Yoga, Track, Kidz Love Soccer, Dance4Life, and more!
8. Christmas Tree Sales
The Boy Scouts of America Troop 71 (DuPont/Steilacoom) have opened their Christmas Tree lot located at 1631 Lafayette Street in Steilacoom (next to the Barber Shop). Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 4:00 – 7:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, and Sunday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM. This annual fundraiser runs until all the trees are sold out around December 19th. Trees are 4’ thru 8’ Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Noble Fir, Nordman Fir, and Evergreen wreaths starting at $22. All proceeds support the Scouting program. Delivery’s can be made to DuPont and Steilacoom upon request. Come on by, pick out your tree, and support local Scout adventures this year!
9. 2nd Annual Blanket Drive
The DuPont Fire Department and DuPont Lions Club are hosting the 2nd annual Blanket Drive during the month of January. Please bring your new or gently used blankets to the Fire Station at 1780 Civic Drive anytime during January. This blanket drive will benefit the Tacoma Rescue Mission and their ongoing work serving the homeless of Pierce County. Thank you for your contribution!
10. ROA Office Holiday Closure
The ROA Office will be closed for Winter Break from December 22nd – January 1st, 2013. If you have accounting questions during the closure, please call Craig Novinski at CDC at (800) 544-4912. Emergency concerns may also be directed to that number, and CDC will contact the on-call ROA staff for Northwest Landing.
11. Winter Power Outage Tips
The City of DuPont encourages everybody to be safe and prepared during the winter season. The following tips to prepare for potential power outages are being provided to help citizens in that endeavor.
- Check flashlights and battery-powered portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries. A radio is an important source of weather and emergency information during a storm.
- Have sufficient heating fuel, as regular sources may be cut off. Have emergency heating equipment and fuel (a gas fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace) so you can keep at least one room livable. Be sure the room is well ventilated.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows to keep cold air out.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide insulation.
- To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers, covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
- Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.
- Know how to shut off water valves.
- If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to the cold. A hand-held hair dryer, used with caution, also works well.
- Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings if you suspect the power may go out (remember to set them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).
- If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.
- Review the process for manually operating an electric garage door.
12. IRS Tax Tips for Year-End Giving
Individuals and businesses making contributions to charity should keep in mind some key tax provisions that have taken effect in recent years, especially those affecting donations of clothing and household items and monetary donations.
- · Rules for Clothing and Household Items. To be deductible, clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or better. A clothing or household item for which a taxpayer claims a deduction of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if the taxpayer includes a qualified appraisal of the item with the return. Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens.
- · Guidelines for Monetary Donations. To deduct any charitable donation of money, regardless of amount, a taxpayer must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks, bank or credit union statements, and credit card statements. Bank or credit union statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the amount paid. Credit card statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the transaction posting date.
Donations of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. For payroll deductions, the taxpayer should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document furnished by the employer showing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.
These requirements for the deduction of monetary donations do not change the long-standing requirement that a taxpayer obtain an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. However, one statement containing all of the required information may meet both requirements.
- Reminders. To help taxpayers plan their holiday-season and year-end giving, the IRS offers the following additional reminders:
o Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2012 count for 2012. This is true even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2013. Also, checks count for 2012 as long as they are mailed in 2012.
o Check that the organization is qualified. Only donations to qualified organizations are tax-deductible. Exempt Organization Select Check, a searchable online database available on IRS.gov, lists most organizations that are qualified to receive deductible contributions. In addition, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies are eligible to receive deductible donations, even if they are not listed in the database.
o For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A can claim deductions for charitable contributions. This deduction is not available to individuals who choose the standard deduction, including anyone who files a short form (Form 1040A or 1040EZ ). A taxpayer will have a tax savings only if the total itemized deductions (mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, etc.) exceed the standard deduction. Use the 2012 Form 1040 Schedule A to determine whether itemizing is better than claiming the standard deduction.
o For all donations of property, including clothing and household items, get from the charity, if possible, a receipt that includes the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and a reasonably-detailed description of the donated property. If a donation is left at a charity’s unattended drop site, keep a written record of the donation that includes this information, as well as the fair market value of the property at the time of the donation and the method used to determine that value. Additional rules apply for a contribution of $250 or more.
o The deduction for a motor vehicle, boat or airplane donated to charity is usually limited to the gross proceeds from its sale. This rule applies if the claimed value is more than $500. Form 1098-C, or a similar statement, must be provided to the donor by the organization and attached to the donor’s tax return.
o If the amount of a taxpayer’s deduction for all noncash contributions is over $500, a properly-completed Form 8283 must be submitted with the tax return.
o And, as always, it’s important to keep good records and receipts.
For more information about contributions, check out Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. The booklet is available on IRS.gov or order by mail at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
IRS.gov has additional information on charitable giving including:
o Online mini-course, Can I Deduct My Charitable Contributions?