By Dawn Masko, City Administrator, City of DuPont
1. Holiday Bazaar. The holiday buzz is in the air with the Holiday Bazaar taking place this weekend. Join the City of DuPont Parks & Recreation as we host our 5th Annual Holiday Bazaar tomorrow at Pioneer Middle School located at 1750 Bob’s Hollow Lane. The event runs from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and admission is free. Raffle tickets will be on sale for $1.00 per ticket of $5.00 for six tickets. Proceeds from the raffle will support ongoing event and recreation programs. We have a full house with 38 vendors this year, so help support our local artists and vendors and get your holiday shopping done early!
2. Veteran’s Day Ceremony & Memorial Wall Dedication
The City was honored to celebrate Veteran’s Day yesterday by dedicating our Community Memorial Wall in a ceremony that recognized the DuPont residents who have given their lives in service to our country. This was also an opportunity to honor all those who serve or who have served our country. Several hundred attendees were present at this humbling and inspiring recognition of our local veterans and community heroes – and was a sobering reminder that freedom is not free. Thank you to the committee members, donors and volunteers who helped make the Memorial Wall a reality.
3. New City Attorney
The City is pleased to introduce our new contract City Attorney who began work with us on November 8th. Mr. Bob Sterbank is an attorney with Kenyon Disend, PLLC, with extensive experience in all areas of municipal law, including land use, constitutional law, open public meetings and public records, and employment law. He has also been recognized by Law and Politics Magazine as a Washington Super Lawyer.
4. Upcoming Meetings – Week of November 15th – 19th
* City Council Budget Workshop Tuesday, November 16th at 6:00 PM
5. Community Development Block Grant Workshop
City staff attended a meeting on November 10th at Pierce County to determine if DuPont is eligible for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for public services and public facilities. A grant requirement is that at least 44% of the residents in the benefit area need to be low and/or moderate income as defined by the 2000 US Census as adjusted for Pierce County. The current Pierce County low income level for a family of four is $55,700. The grant coordinator confirmed that DuPont does not currently meet the requirement and therefore is ineligible for CDBG grant funds.
6. Gymnastics Program
City of DuPont Recreation is pleased to offer gymnastics at our Community Center in partnership with Cartwheels and Smiles. Classes are geared for all children ages 3-12. Cost of the program varies from $50 – $85 depending on the length of the class. Registration forms can be found on the City website at www.ci.dupont.wa.us. Classes will fill quickly, so register today!
7. Dangerous Dog Ordinance
The City is revising DuPont Municipal Code (DMC) 7.12 addressing dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs. The proposed changes will bring DuPont into alignment with the City of Lakewood, with whom we contract for animal control services. The major changes include signage and micro chipping requirements, security standards for outside pens, prohibiting dogs declared as dangerous or potentially dangerous from moving into our community, and revising the threshold upon which a dog can be seized. 2nd reading and adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for November 23rd. Please contact Chief Ron Goodpaster at 253-964-7060 for additional information.
8. Joint Statement by Parties to DuPont Settlement Discussions
The parties to a 1994 settlement agreement over a sand and gravel mine in DuPont today (November 9, 2010) issued an update of their negotiations regarding the potential mine expansion and appropriate natural resource protections.
The agreement concerns shorelines regulations under the state Shorelines Management Act, adopted by Washington voters in 1972.
The talks are subject to confidentiality terms outlined in a settlement agreement and subsequent memorandum of understanding regarding the potential expansion of the CalPortland mine and potential action to improve water flows, fish habitat and fish populations in the Sequalitchew Creek watershed.
In 1994, Lone Star Northwest (now CalPortland), the city of DuPont, the Washington Department of Ecology, Weyerhaeuser Co. and a coalition of environmental organizations signed a settlement agreement regarding shoreline uses and the development of a sand and gravel mine in DuPont. The DuPont mine has been operating since 1997 and is the primary source of sand and gravel in the Puget Sound region.
In 2007, a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement evaluated expansion of the mine, and then CalPortland applied to the city of DuPont for the permits to begin expansion. In 2009, this triggered a process outlined in a 1994 settlement agreement to address how any expansion would occur.
As a result, the parties to the settlement entered into a memorandum of understanding. It called for the development of a feasibility study to evaluate various alternatives for expansion of the mine, actions to improve water flows and habitat, and other strategies to rebuild fish populations in the Sequalitchew Creek watershed. The memorandum also called for discussions started during, and informed by the feasibility study, to continue after it is completed.
The parties are exploring whether they can agree on a schedule and conditions associated with the potential expansion of the mine, and potential actions that could be taken to restore stream flows and habitat in Edmond Marsh and Sequalitchew Creek.
If an agreement is reached and approved by the DuPont City Council, CalPortland will submit a revised project application, including a mitigation plan.
Before this application could be approved, the State Environmental Policy Act and DuPont Municipal Code require substantive opportunities for public review and comment. The application may be denied, approved or approved with revisions based upon information submitted by the applicant, public or resource agencies and the applicable regulatory criteria.
9. Building & Planning Recent Activity
* Hampton Inn & Suites – The DuPont Hearing Examiner will hold a public hearing at 9:00 AM on December 16th, 2010 at DuPont City Hall located at 1700 Civic Drive, to take testimony on a Type III land use application for Hampton Inn & Suites, City File No. LU-10-01.
* Creekside Village Project – Barghausen Consulting Engineers, on behalf of Commencement Bay Development, filed a Type III land use application with the City on November 5th to construct a 180 unit multifamily project. The site is located north of Sequalitchew Creek and west of Center Drive, on Pierce County Assessor’s Parcel Number 0119262018.
10. Police Training
DuPont Police Sergeant Dana Smitley recently attended a two-day Internal Affairs Investigations course hosted by the Lakewood Police Department. The training focused on best practices, social media, in-car videos, and other related issues.
11. Crosswalk Update
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) defines the legal standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public traffic. The MUTCD is published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F.
The MUTCD indicates that an engineering study should be performed prior to placing a marked crosswalk away from a signalized or stop-controlled intersection. In accordance with this guidance, staff has been working with City engineers to review site conditions and traffic data for locations identified on McNeil, Ridgeview, and Wilmington. Traffic flow data from recent counts is being compiled and utilized to provide up-to-date information as part of the engineering review. Police continue to monitor the situation as time allows. Additional information will be available upon the completion of the engineering review.
12. Volunteer Opportunities
* The DuPont Museum is currently seeking volunteers. Opportunities include being a museum tour guide, assisting with clerical tasks, cataloging artifacts and photographs, and helping with educational outreach and special events. If you are interested, please contact Museum Manager Johanna Jones at (253) 964-2399.
* City Hall is seeking citizens for volunteer receptionist and clerk positions. These volunteers will assist with answering phones, distribution of assorted forms, typing, mailings, filing, photocopying documents, and other assorted clerical duties. For more information and application materials please go to the City website at www.ci.dupont.wa.us.
13. Sounder Commuter Rail – D to M Street Project
Utility work has begun in preparation for Sound Transit’s 1.4 mile D to M Street track and signal project and is expected to continue through early December. Work is currently occuring along South Tacoma Way and at the intersection of South 26th and A Streets.
The project will build new tracks between East D and South M Streets and install train signaling systems between Tacoma and Lakewood. A new railroad bridge over Pacific Avenue will keep traffic flowing on that busy roadway without interruption from trains crossing overhead. This is the final link needed to prepare for the extension of Sounder commuter rail service to South Tacoma and Lakewood Stations beginning in 2012.
Additional project information is available at D to M Street Track & Signal Work Project.
14. State Master Licensing Service Program
The City will “go-live” with the State Master Licensing Service (MLS) on Monday, November 15th. The MLS program will allow businesses and individuals conducting business in the City to apply for/renew their City business license with the State at the same time they apply for/renew their State Master Business License – a “one stop shopping” concept. All current City business license holders should have received a letter explaining the service and its benefits, applicable dates, and any actions that they may need to perform. City staff is completing training on the State’s MLS software system and how processing of licenses will be handled as of November 15th. The City is excited about the program, the partnership opportunity with the State, and with the associated savings related to City staff time and expenses. Questions regarding the MLS program can be directed to Finance Specialist Barb Bange at (253) 912-5213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
15. Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Road Work Project
JBLM staff is currently in the design phase for road projects and signal adjustments that should help to improve traffic flow and address some safety concerns on and around JBLM. According to JBLM Public Works project manager Matt Weeks, one of the first projects is to add a right-turn-only exit lane at the North Gate on D Street which will allow motorists a dedicated lane heading to Lakewood and a separate lane to DuPont-Steilacoom Road. Another project slated for 2011 which should help address safety concerns of DuPont residents is the Army Corps of Engineers installation of a traffic light at DuPont-Steilacoom Road and East Road that will help with the flow of traffic.
16. Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)
The Army has prepared a draft PEIS for the proposed growth, realignment, and stationing of new and existing Army aviation assets. The proposed action includes the consolidation and reorganization of existing aviation units, and the potential establishment of one or more Combat Aviation Brigades (CABs). The proposed action will increase the availability of helicopter assets to meet current and future national security requirements, and will allow the Army to better organize existing aviation assets to promote more effective training and force management. Alternatives being considered within the PEIS include the potential stationing of a CAB at JBLM.
The Army invites all interested members of the public to submit written comments on environmental issues, concerns, and opportunities analyzed in the draft PEIS. The PEIS is available at: aec.army.mil/usaec/nepa/topics00.html. Written comments on the draft PEIS will be accepted for 45 days after the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. For further information, please contact: Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Environmental Command, Attn: IMPA-AE, 1835 Army Blvd, BSMT (Bldg 200), Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-2686 or (210) 221-0882.
17. Career Day at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Middle school through college students thinking of becoming zookeepers, zoo veterinarians, marine biologists or environmental educators won’t want to miss Career Day at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on November 13th. At Career Day, students can observe special animal presentations, find out how staff prepared for their zoo careers, pick up free information and participate in behind-the-scenes tours (space is limited for the tours).
Check-in begins at 9:30 AM with most activities and presentations taking place between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. The Zoo closes at 4:00 PM. Pre-registration is not required, however all participants must check in at the event tent prior to entering the zoo. Students in 6th grade through college level will receive free admission to the Zoo that day. Students under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. More details are available at www.pdza.org.