Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz report to council for the week of December 3, 2010:
* Community Development to send out Business License Renewal notices: The Community Development Department is preparing to send annual business license renewal notices to all currently licensed businesses within the City of Lakewood. Approximately 4,100 notices will be mailed out the week of December 6. All current business licenses will expire on December 31, 2010. The Lakewood Municipal Code allows applicants to renew their licenses by the end of February 2011 before late charges are assessed.
* Police Memorial Dedication: The Lakewood Police Department remembered our four fallen officers with a memorial dedication event at the station on November 29. Over 500 attendees listened to remarks from the city manager, Mayor Richardson, and Governor Gregoire. Chief Farrar dedicated the recently completed Fallen Officer Memorial, that will forever provide a reminder of the sacrifice those four officers made on that day in 2009.
* Fallen Officers Food Drive: The 1st Annual Fallen Officers Food Drive has been a great success. At last count, the Emergency Food Network has taken in over $33,000 in donations and over 25,000 pounds of food.
* Breakfast with the Commander: The mayor and city manager attended a breakfast meeting at Joint Base Lewis McChord on November 30th with General Curtis Scaparrotti, the new commanding general of Fort Lewis (1st Corps). The session included an overview of JBLM issues, including traffic congestion on I-5 and our Community Connector relationship with the 4-2 Stryker Brigade.
* Change of Command for 4-2 Stryker Brigade: Lakewood’s “Community Connector”, the 4-2 Stryker brigade, which was the last combat Stryker brigade to leave Operation Iraqi Freedom conducted its change of command ceremony on November 30th. Colonel John Norris relinquished command to Colonel Michael Getchell. The mayor, deputy mayor Anderson, and councilmember Moss were in attendance, along with the city manager, and communications/gov’t relations director.
* First Responder Appreciation Day: On December 1st, Lakewood 1st Lions Club and Umpqua Bank celebrated 1st Responders Appreciation Day by bringing two cakes with the words “You are our Heroes” and ice cream to the Lakewood Police Department. Chief Farrar cut the cake and all personnel celebrated the special event.
* Demolition begins on properties in Tillicum: Demolition has begun on three red-tagged buildings at a property in Tillicum. A multi-agency inspection in July 2010 found the buildings to have numerous building code violations rendering them unsafe for use, an attractive nuisance dangerous to children, and fire hazards. A Notice and Order to Abate Dangerous Buildings and Public Nuisance was issued, however the property owner has been working with the city to bring the property into compliance.
* DUI Victim’s Panel Award to LPD officer: The Tacoma-Pierce County DUI Victim’s Panel awarded Lakewood Officer Mark Holthaus recognition for his dedication and efforts to make the community safer at its annual awards event on November 19th in Fife. Ass’t Chief Mike Zaro attended the event.
* CSRT attends International Association of Emergency Managers Conference: CSRT Leader Lt. Mauer spent 4 days in San Antonio TX at the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Conference. This was a grant-funded conference with the assistance of Lakewood Fire who also had representatives there. Lt. Mauer went to presentations including an update on US Army North preparations for manmade disasters and natural disasters in North America, FEMA presentation on strengthening community resilience and efforts to prepare for disasters, Defense support of civil authorities, the director of FEMA Craig Fugate on FEMA, Lessons learned at Fort Hood, Building collaborations through public/private partnerships, Military/local community connections and application of defense support of civil authorities, Deep water horizon – 3 key components of an effective response. He was also able to get information on equipment that can be used by the City of Lakewood to help in the response to a disaster/emergency.
* CSRT attends Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County Annual Fundraising Luncheon: Lt. Mauer is on the board of the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County and was one of the coordinators for this year’s annual fundraising luncheon, held in Tacoma with over 200 people attending. The speaker was KOMO 4 News Anchor Molly Shen and the emcee was Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. Over $18,000 was donated and or pledged to support the mission of providing advocacy and counseling for victims.
* CSRT inspects apartment complexes for safety hazards: On November 9, a team organized by CSRT inspected two apartment complexes in Lakewood that were believed to have serious life safety hazards present. The team included representatives from PSE, L & I, and City of Lakewood building inspectors. The inspections were conducted on a voluntary basis with each apartment resident being contacted and asked permission to enter and check for life safety hazards. Every tenant who was contacted gave consent and the results of the inspections were seven water heaters shut off and capped so no natural gas could leak as well as two furnaces and two stoves being shut off for the same reasons. The owner of the complexes was advised of the problems identified and had all the occupied apartments repairs done within 48 hours. This was a very successful endeavor that resulted in the improved living conditions for numerous families.
* CSRT and Public Works staff investigate apartment complex flooding issue: Public Works Staff Diana Halar and CSRT Staff Gail Conelly visited a local apartment complex to discuss issues of flooding. There were complaints from residents that the flooding was causing children to have to walk through large puddles of water to get to school, as well as vehicles having problems driving through the puddles. Staff contacted the property manager and recommended that the catch basin be cleaned out, which it was, then offered additional recommendations to keep the catch basin clear and avoid flooding. The property manager was very receptive and agreed to also contact adjacent properties to work together to try to come to a resolution regarding the flooding issue.
* CSRT assists with vehicle storage issue: CSRT members, along with the cooperation of a property owner, were able to bring a property maintenance issue to a close. A local auto repair shop had approximately 35-40 inoperable vehicles on the property which created an eyesore. CSRT contacted the owner and advised him on methods for compliance. The property owner worked together with a local towing company to have all of the vehicles removed. The property is no longer considered to be a vehicle storage nuisance.