My last few articles have mentioned several road and utility projects planned for 2007 in the Town. Included this month is a Town map, with notations, of the major road/utility construction projects planned for the year. The purpose is to give you advanced notice of specific work and the general location. Expect the Rainer Street project to cause traffic diversions. Once a contract is awarded, the specific traffic details will be announced.
On Tuesday January 16th, the Town hosted a series of demonstrations on the railroad “horn” options which could replace the current train whistle. Under our contract with RCL, Railroad Control, Council has provided direction to proceed to the next step which will soon bring staff from WSDOT, Federal Railroad Agency (FRA), and the BNSF railroad to Steilacoom for a full crossing diagnostic review including recommendations and estimated costs. I expect this gathering to occur within 90 days. With input from this review team, Council will receive a presentation with recommendations and will provide final guidance after public comment. If Council approves the project, I would expect a year long process to request approval and implement the chosen option. We will proceed as swiftly as possible.
The WIFI network over portions of the Town is being installed. Look for more information from CenturyTel and/or in next month’s Around Town.
The recent storms made the road system hazardous. I assure you that Public Works staff came early and worked late using a mix of applications to include scraping road surface, applying sand or a sand/salt mix, use of a salt brine over ice, and liquid de-icer. Priorities for school bus and Pierce Transit routes, main arterials were worked hard. We will continue our ongoing efforts and continue updating our plans as conditions warrant.
The weather challenges of the recent weeks provided further opportunities to demonstrate that “Steilacoom cares” with many of you checking on your neighbors and working together to ensure we all stayed safe. I thank you for your actions.
On a final note, the Pierce County Assessor will be mailing out to you in February your annual property tax statements. Please remember that the tax statement covers many overlapping taxing jurisdictions and that each of these jurisdictions establishes their own levy request. In addition to comparing the total from last year to this year, I recommend you compare each jurisdiction’s levy as well. The last page of the Around Town provides general information on how your taxes are distributed. Additional information may be obtained by visiting the Pierce County website or calling the Assessor’s office.
Ron Lucas, Mayor