By Dawn Masko, City Administrator, City of DuPont
1. Winter Storm. Let’s hope that this is not going to be a regular pattern, as for the second week in a row my Administrator’s Letter is kicked off with an item regarding a recent storm!
This past week began with a severe winter storm which has wreaked havoc on not only DuPont but the entire Puget Sound region. Snow accumulations, freezing temperatures, ice, and high winds have contributed to treacherous driving conditions which continue to persist as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.
Public Works crews have been diligently working to clear primary streets which has proven challenging as temperatures have not risen above freezing. To be most effective, crews concentrate their efforts on maintaining arterial streets and primary access roadways, such as Center Drive, McNeil Street, Wilmington Drive, Palisade Blvd., Bob’s Hollow Lane, Hoffman Hill Boulevard, Ridgeview Drive, Bell Hill Street and Lapsley Drive.
The City owns two dump trucks with snow plow and sanding attachments and two service trucks with ice-melt spreaders; however, one of the dump trucks broke down during the height of the storm and is being repaired. Unlike the County and State, the City does not currently have equipment in our fleet to apply liquid deicer (salt brine). To date, we have used 40 yards of sand, 4 tons of salt, and over 70 hours of overtime to try to stay on top of road conditions.
When primary routes are treated and safe for travel, crews may then be able to move to secondary streets and address residential streets. However, depending on the severity of the event, residential streets may not be plowed or sanded for some time. Unfortunately, to be able to adequately address the residential neighborhoods, it would take an additional two to four dump trucks which cost approximately $100,000 each, and since most snow events require Public Works staff to work around the clock, it would require another six to eight staff. Since a snow event is so rare and most times only lasts two to three days, this would not be a good use of tax dollars.
As a result of the high winds, a large tree fell early Tuesday morning on a home on Hudson Street in Edmond Village. Fire, Police, and Public Works staff responded to the incident to provide aid to the injured homeowner, coordinate securing the severely damaged home, and block off the street until the debris could be cleared. Public Works crews had to clear debris from downed tree limbs from other roads throughout that same night in addition to snow and ice removal.
To report a hazardous roadway condition, please contact the Public Works Department at (253) 912-5381 during regular business hours, or call (253) 912-5389 for after-hours emergencies. For non-emergency Police events please call (253) 798-4721. Remember to call 9-1-1 in the event of a true emergency. Citizens are also encouraged to go to the City’s webpage at www.ci.dupont.wa.us for additional winter weather related information and a list of emergency contact phone numbers.
Thank you for your patience during these inclement weather times!
2. City Council Meeting Cancellation
Due to the inclement weather and hazardous driving conditions, the November 23rd City Council meeting was cancelled. The regular meeting will now be held on November 30th beginning at 6:00 PM and will adjourn into the previously scheduled budget workshop.
3. 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.
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 29th – December 3rd
* Tree Lighting Ceremony – Ross Plaza Monday, November 29th at 6:00 PM
* City Council Meeting Tuesday, November 30th at 6:00 PM
* Civil Service Meeting Wednesday, December 1st at 6:00 PM
* Sequalitchew Creek/Edmond Marsh Committee Thursday, December 2nd at 6:00 PM
6. Council Agenda Items – November 30th, 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
* Budget Workshop
7. 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.
8. Flood Control Zone District Board Meeting
The first meeting of the recently formed Pierce County Flood Control Zone District scheduled for November 23rd was postponed to a future date due to the winter storms. 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.
9. Lakewood Police Department Fallen Officer Memorials
* The Lakewood Police Department will be dedicating their Fallen Officer Memorial on Monday, November 29th at 10:00 AM. The memorial is located at their station located at 9401 Lakewood Drive SW. The memorial is being dedicated in remembrance of Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Ronnie Owens, Officer Tina Griswold, and Officer Greg Richards who were killed on November 29th, 2009. Additional information is available on the Lakewood Police Department website at Fallen Officer Memorial.
* A memorial will be dedicated on Sunday, November 28th at 3:00 PM at the Forza Coffee location where the four Lakewood Police Officers were gunned down last year. The memorial is located at the corner of South 116th Street and South Steele Street.
10. Winter Weather Delays El Rancho Madrona Water Main Connection
Due to the recent inclement weather and sub-freezing temperatures early in the week, contractors had to delay the El Rancho Madrona water main connection by one week. The current construction schedule indicates that the water system tie-in will occur early next week. Connection of the new water main section to tie in the El Rancho Madrona water system, originally scheduled for November 22nd, has been rescheduled to occur on Monday, November 29th to limit potential freezing damage to the water main components. Affected homeowners have been notified of the schedule change. City crews will continue to monitor conditions and keep in close contact with contractors on their revised project schedule.
11. Food Drive
The 1st Annual Fallen Officers Food Drive will be held on Monday, November 29th from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM at the Lakewood Police Station located at 9401 Lakewood Drive SW. Suggested donation items include peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meat, fish and stews, baby food and formula, fruit juices, rice, pasta, chili, evaporated milk, powdered milk, and breakfast foods. No glass, frozen, home canned, or perishable items can be accepted. All donations will go to the Emergency Food Network.
12. 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.
13. Base Studying Gate Adjustments
Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) officials are working with local, state and federal agencies to find solutions to base access problems and traffic congestion. Some of the options being explored are extending the hours that the Center Drive gate is open and the opening of the Pendleton gate. JBLM Law Enforcement Director Matt Toth says that JBLM planners must consider not only the impacts on post but also what gate changes might mean to surrounding communities. “Before a decision is to be made, we’re going to hear DuPont’s concerns,” he said in a recent article in the NW Guardian. The City will be paying close attention to this issue as discussions continue to occur.
14. HAPPY THANKSGIVING
May everyone have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the holiday with family and friends!