By Dawn Masko, City Administrator, City of DuPont
1. Wind Storm. This past Monday evening’s wind storm provided an opportunity for Police, Fire, and Public Works to test their storm response standards. All three agencies worked closely together throughout the night to coordinate their efforts to provide response to all areas of the City where assistance was needed.
The Public Works Department was busy responding to reports of blocked roadways due to downed trees and limbs. Chainsaws were used to cut downed trees into manageable pieces and a front-end loader was used to clear the debris from the roadways. It is the City’s goal to insure roadways are passable, but not necessarily clear of all debris. The Fire Department assisted Public Works with clearing downed trees, and the Fire Chiefs conducted a windshield survey of all areas of DuPont throughout the evening to assess needs. Fire also responded to a call at the Guest House Suites for a woman trapped in an elevator without power. Using specialized tools, firefighters were able to open the elevator door and release the trapped woman without incident or injury.
Police officers placed flares at all intersections where signal lights were without power, provided traffic control assistance, and assisted Public Works with blocked roadways. The power was out for most of the City from 5:30 PM until 6:10 AM. According to Puget Sound Energy, our power outage was not due to system mechanical issues but to trees and branches falling into lines. Unlike many areas in the region, we did not have any transformer fires.
Public Works crews have diligently worked throughout the week to clear trees, limbs and debris from streets, sidewalks and throughout our trail system. Several trails remain closed at this time as crews have continued working to remove trees blocking passage. Please avoid closed trails while our crews work to complete the clean-up efforts.
Residents are reminded that this winter is predicted to be colder and wetter than usual. This means there is a high likelihood for more storms of this nature to occur. Please make sure you are prepared, especially for power outages!
2. Tips for Dealing with Tree Service Companies
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers these tips to consumers seeking a tree service company to deal with downed or damaged trees from the aftermath of storms:
* Hire a company that is licensed, bonded, insured and employs ISA Certified Arborists. Although Washington requires tree service companies to register with the State, they are not required to adhere to proper pruning standards or even demonstrate pruning knowledge to obtain a license.
* Beware of door-knockers; their low prices could prove costly. Most reputable companies have business cards, truck signs, and even uniforms that represent a professional level of service.
* Ask for references, and take time to select a reputable company. Avoid hiring anyone who will top a tree.
3. Pierce Transit Snow Guide – Winter 2010-2011
Pierce Transit has updated their website for the winter season. Visit www.piercetransit.org for information on snow routes, schedule revisions, and a Holiday service guide.
4. Santa Breakfast
Many thanks to America’s Credit Union for sponsoring this year’s Santa Breakfast scheduled for Saturday, December 4th at 10:00 AM at The Home Course Event Pavilion. Tickets are currently on sale at City Hall for $10.00. Children 2 and under are free.
5. Upcoming Meetings – Week of November 22nd – 26th
* Planning Agency Meeting Monday, November 22nd at 7:00 PM
* City Council Meeting Tuesday, November 23rd at 7:00 PM
* City Hall offices are closed on Wednesday, November 24th – Thursday, November 25th for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
6. Council Agenda Items – November 23rd, 2010
* Presentation: DuPont Historical Society
* Public Hearing: 2011 Proposed Budget
* Consent Agenda Items: 10/12/10 Council meeting minutes; 11/9/10 Claims Voucher List; Fire Chief contract renewal; Humane Society contract renewal
* Unfinished Business: Community Services Consultant contract
* New Business: Resolution Amending Fees; Museum Services Agreement; First Reading of Ordinances amending the 2010 Budget and adopting the 2011 Budget; Second Reading of Ordinances Amending DMC Title 7 – Household Pets; and setting Regular & EMS Property Tax Levies for 2011
7. Fire Department Training
Two DuPont Firefighters attended a 40-hour Confined Space Rescue Class sponsored by the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management (DEM). Attendees were certified in a rescue program that includes all types of confined space work. These situations can commonly be found in buildings following earthquakes, windstorms, and situations where structures may have been hit by moving objects such as vehicles or planes. The class included training in trenches, pipes, and caves or deep pits. The firefighters are now better trained to recognize hazardous situations and will have the skill sets to deal with these types of problems they may encounter. This class was offered free of charge and DEM will also reimburse the City for all wages, benefits, and any overtime incurred as a result of their attendance.
8. Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Feel the holiday spirit come alive for the entire community as the City of DuPont hosts its annual tree lighting event on Monday, November 29th at 6:00 PM at Ross Plaza. The festivities begin with a traditional lighting of the tree, followed by hot cocoa and cookies as you enjoy the live music from Mr. Ray Conn. Thank you to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for donating our beautiful tree, DuPont Public Works for cutting down and transporting the tree, and the DuPont Lions Club who provided decorating services in-between this past week’s windstorms.
9. City Hall Business Hours
Beginning December 1, 2010, City Hall business hours will be 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The change is a result of numerous staffing reductions over the past year that have significantly impacted staff’s ability to balance the many competing needs of the City which must be accomplished in a timely manner. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to the public.
10. Flood Control Zone District Board Meeting
The first meeting of the recently formed Pierce County Flood Control Zone District will be held on Tuesday, November 23rd at 9:30 AM in the Pierce County Council Chambers. Actions being considered by the Board are establishing a Flood Control Improvement Service Charge, adopting a 2011 budget, and approving a 2011 work plan. Additional information about the Flood Control Zone can be found at Flood Control Zone.
11. Small Business Administration
Mayor Tamara Jenkins and City Administrator Dawn Masko met recently with Calvin Goings, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for an overview of their national programs available to help small businesses start, grow and succeed. The SBA also offers a program called “Patriot Express” which helps veterans, military members and spouses start a business or assist with an existing business.
Mr. Goings was impressed with DuPont’s current and potential business potential and will be meeting with the DuPont Business Association (DBA) in 1st quarter 2011 to share information. This will be a precursor to a potential Small Business Summit meeting including the SBA, and a cross-section of participants from DBA, DuPont staff and elected officials, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
12. Fantasy Lights Walk
On Sunday, November 21st is your one chance this season to walk through Fantasy Lights located at Spanaway Park. 2.5 miles of spectacular animated decorations are on display for your enjoyment. Visit Fantasy Lights Walk or www.co.pierce.wa.us for additional information.
13. Report Windstorm Damages
The Pierce County Emergency Operations Center is collecting damage information from homeowners and business owners affected by Monday night’s windstorm. Residents and business owners in Pierce County that suffered damage should call 1-866-798-6363 (toll free).
Callers should have the following information available:
* Name and address of affected property;
* Type of insurance (homeowners);
* A description of damage, even if uninsured;
* A personal estimate of uninsured losses;
* Estimates of the fair market value of the damaged home or business. It is not necessary at this point for property owners to have a contractor’s estimate.
The findings from this assessment will be used by the Governor to request a possible disaster declaration and federal disaster assistance from the President. This process could take up to a couple of weeks or more. Federal disaster assistance, if and when it becomes available, only covers uninsured losses.
Among the immediate steps that individuals and families impacted by the windstorm should take:
* Call you insurance agent to check on coverage;
* Keep detailed records of all clean-up and repair costs, including photographs;
* When the time comes to make repairs, be aware of local permit requirements and do a thorough check of potential contractors.
14. Meeting with Pierce County Refuse
The City Administrator met with representatives from Pierce County Refuse (LeMay Inc.) this week to discuss the potential future upgrade from a manual residential refuse collection service to an automated refuse collection system. An automated system would provide several advantages to citizens including options regarding collection frequency and container size. Additional information regarding this program will be available as talks continue in the future.
15. Veteran’s Day Ceremony
DuPont’s Veteran’s Day and Memorial Wall Dedication is one of the featured topics on this week’s edition of Pierce County News. The 15 minute newscast is produced by Pierce County TV and is available for viewing on local cable channels and at the following link: www.piercecountytv.org/pcn
16. El Rancho Madrona Water Main Connection Project
Work on the El Rancho Madrona water system connection project has continued to progress this week. The current construction schedule indicates that the water system tie-in will occur early next week. The connection of the new water main to the existing main on Lapsley Drive will require the system to be shut down for a few hours during the middle of the day. City crews will be providing notices of the temporary service interruption to the affected customers in advance of the scheduled work. Once complete, the project will provide a new water main that will connect the El Rancho Madrona water system with the City’s main water system, providing increased functionality and added reliability. This new connection is the first step in moving forward with the removal and replacement of the aging water system infrastructure in El Rancho Madrona which is planned for next year.
17. Art Commission Seeks Applicants
Pierce County Community Services is seeking applicants to fill vacancies on the Pierce County Arts Commission. The Commission has openings for representatives from County Council Districts 5, 6 (which encompasses DuPont) and 7, and three At-Large positions. The Commission serves as a volunteer advisory group to Pierce County government and is comprised of members appointed for their interest in and support of the arts. The Commission meets four times a year. An application is available at www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/services/arts/artscom.htm or by calling (253) 798-6902. The deadline for submitting completed applications is Monday, November 29th.
18. Site Selection for DOC Prison Reception Center
The Department of Corrections is searching for an appropriate site for a facility that will serve as the reception center for all male inmates as they begin their prison sentences. The reception center serves as the location for initial intake and assessment of incoming offenders before they are assigned to correctional facilities elsewhere in the State. Jurisdictions interested in proposing a site need to submit their proposals by January 6, 2011. DOC has developed a website at tinyurl.com/DOCPrisonSiting to provide additional information about the proposed facility and the site selection process. Questions may be submitted through this website and reponses will be posted on a regular basis.