Highlights from the weekly report (April 20) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- American Lake Seaplane Splash-In: Saturday April 21st will be a busy day on American Lake. A seaplane splash-in event will take place at American Lake Park North throughout the day with eight to ten seaplanes participating. Also occurring on Saturday is an event based out of Bill’s Boathouse on the southern side of the Lake featuring between 50-80 human powered watercraft lined up three deep and rowing three laps of a specific route. The LPD marine unit and the Fire Department’s fire boat will provide support to this event.
- Lakewood Mobile Home Park Tour: The City hosted a tour on April 17th for housing providers of a sampling of mobile home parks within the city. The sites toured highlight the challenges presented by aging and in some cases “unsafe to enter” units, deteriorating conditions, predatory landlords, and poverty. Numerous mobile home parks are reaching or have already reached their life spans, and many could not be developed residentially today. The City has initiated a discussion with housing providers to begin identifying solutions before the situation becomes pressing. As part of the tour, Pierce County Housing Authority (PCHA) also offered a tour of one of its properties. The City appreciates PCHA’s participation and also that of everyone who attended, including representatives from the Metropolitan Development Council (MDC), Habitat for Humanity, Martin Luther King Housing Development Association, Lakewood Area Shelter Association (LASA), and the City of Tacoma.
- Fort Steilacoom Park Hill Ward Building: A site visit will take place at the Hill Ward building at Fort Steilacoom Park on Tuesday, April 24th, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Interested citizens are encouraged to come directly to the building site to see the ruins of a facility that once housed Western State Hospital patients. The removal of this building will occur in the near future due to its deteriorated condition. The City is seeking ideas for preserving the past and wants people to share memories associated with this structure, and is looking for ways to enhance the area after the building is removed. A Public Meeting is scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. following the site visit on April 24th at the Pierce College Campus in the Cascade building’s Performance Lounge for citizens to share information about this building and their vision for the future of the site.
- Business Retention/Expansion Visit: Economic Development Administrator Joe Hannan and David Nishamura of the EDB visited the C4 System Division of General Dynamics on Fort Lewis on April 19th, as an annual business retention/expansion visit. The C4 Division employs approximately 15 employees and services Army communications needs throughout the Pacific; it is distinct from the larger General Dynamics Division which is responsible for supporting the Stryker Brigades. The visit reinforces the City’s commitment to actively assist in retaining or expanding local businesses.
- Pierce County Law Enforcement Memorial: The Pierce County Police Chiefs Association annual Law Enforcement memorial service commemorating police officers killed in the line of duty is scheduled for May 3rd at 6:00 PM at the McChord AFB Main Chapel, BLDG #180 on Colonel Joe Jackson Blvd. The LPD honor guard will participate in the ceremony.
- Police Department vs. Fire Department Basketball Game: The third annual Helmets vs. Shields Charity Basketball Game is scheduled for May 19th, at 6:00 PM at the Clover park High School Gym. All proceeds go to Life Safety Charity Fund benefiting the citizens of Lakewood. Chief Sharp and Chief Saunders will enter a half-time competition for the most free throws sunk in a 30 minute period. In addition, they have agreed to a side bet that the Chief with fewer Council Members/Commissioners present will have to buy the other lunch.
- Fort Clarke Motel Closure: Earlier this month, the State Department of Health issued an administrative order closing the Fort Clarke Motel, which listed numerous health violations. An inspection was performed by City personnel; it was found that the owners were performing construction work without a permit. A stop work order was issued. Multiple building and housing code violations were also observed. Given the unsafe conditions found on the property a follow-up, multi-agency inspection took place on April 19th, at which time there were no tenants on-site since Lakewood Area Shelter Association (LASA) had assisted in providing relocation. Following the inspection, the City’s Building Official declared the motel unsafe and posted the property. A special “thank you” goes to LASA for their help, without which this would have been a difficult closure.
- Transportation Project Funding: The Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC) approved the contingency project list as recommended by the Transportation Coordinating Committee at its meeting this week. It now goes to the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) for approval by the Policy Board. Upon the Board’s approval, the additional $290,000 funding designated for our 100th Street pedestrian and bike facilities improvement from Gravelly Lake Drive to 59th Ave will be official. The total grant received for the project will be $957,000. Councilmembers Richardson and Finnigan assisted with their attendance to assure a quorum and to enable this action to be taken.