By Dawn Masko, City Administrator, City of DuPont
1. Police Chief. As most of you are aware, the City had started a recruitment process to replace Police Chief Ron Goodpaster since his current contract was expiring. I am very pleased to announce that the City will continue to retain his services as our Police Chief for another two years! We are looking forward to the stability, training and professionalism that he will continue to bring to the department.
2. Snow & Ice Control
As we seem to be continually reminded, the winter season is in full swing and our Public Works (PW) crews have been busy trying to address the snow and ice issues as they arise. Snow and ice control on city roads requires a balanced use of sand, salt and plowing. Late in 2010, PW crews were able to complete compiling a variety of components together to allow our equipment to utilize a liquid anti-icing (salt brine) product which we previously did not have the capability to do. Their ingeniuity in setting up this equipment as opposed to purchasing it saved the City significant dollars. The salt brine product is a safe and effective snow and ice fighting tool which deters ice from forming on roadways when it can be applied under the right conditions and in advance of a foreseeable snow or icing event. This new set up greatly increases our capabilities to prepare for and respond to adverse weather, and our streets should see an improvement in traction during icy periods.
When plowing is needed, our crews use high-density rubber plow blades which are affordable and work well for removal of snow build-up on the roadways. Steel bit plows are used in other parts of the country, but while these are effective at removing snow and ice, they are costly and can cause expensive damage to roads, especially in regards to traffic markings and road striping.
To report a hazardous roadway condition, please contact the PW Department at (253) 912-5381 during regular business hours, or call (253) 912-5389 for after-hours emergencies. 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.
3. Fire Safer Grant Update
The City received final approval notification today for the Fire SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) from FEMA that was applied for in late 2010. The request will be presented at the January 25th City Council meeting for comments and final approval. This grant will fund three firefighter positions and restore three person minimum staffing on DuPont Engine 25. The City recently started the recruitment process for the firefighter positions in anticipation of an affirmative grant notification. The process includes a written exam, oral interviews, physical agility testing, and EMT qualifications. At this time the written exam has taken place and 59 candidates have received letters requesting records of further certifications. A final list of qualified candidates should be presented to the Civil Service Commission in February and recruit training could start in March. We are very excited for this opportunity to enhance our Fire Department services to the community.
4. Community 1st Credit Union
A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy was recently issued to Community 1st Credit Union located at 955 Ross Loop. A permanent Certificate of Occupancy will be issued pending completion of all project close-out requirements (GIS, easements/bonds, landscaping, inspection corrections, etc.) . They anticipate being open for business early the week of January 17th.
5. Police Collective Bargaining Agreement
The 2011-2013 collective bargaining agreement with the DuPont Police Officers’ Association Local #165 was ratified at the January 11th City Council meeting. The agreement represents the culmination of months of collaborative efforts and is a good compromise between the City and Local #165 given the challenging economic times.
6. Hampton Inn & Suites
On December 16th, 2010 the DuPont Hearing Examiner held a public hearing on the land use application for Hampton Inn & Suites. At that time the record was held open for the applicant to submit additional information regarding the vehicular capacity of Station Drive. On January 7th, 2011 the Hearing Examiner conditionally approved the land use application. The decision is available on the City website under Planning Department Decisions or at Hampton Inn & Suites land use decision. The developer is preparing civil construction and building permit drawings for submittal.
7. Upcoming Meetings – Week of January 17th – 21st
* City Hall offices will be closed on Monday, January 17th in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Holiday
* Tourism Board Meeting Tuesday, January 18th at 2:00 PM
* City Council Workshop Tuesday, January 18th at 6:00 PM
* Parks Agency Meeting Cancelled due to lack of quorum
8. Parks & Recreation Agency Vacancies
The City is seeking interested residents for appointment to the City’s volunteer Parks & Recreation Agency. Eligible applicants must be residents of the City of DuPont for a minimum of one year. Please submit a letter of interest that includes your relevant professional experience, your reasons for desiring to be appointed to a position, and your thoughts on the most significant parks and recreational issues facing the City in both the short and long term. Letters should be sent to Erin Larsen, City Clerk at City Hall, 1700 Civic Drive, DuPont, WA 98327.
9. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrations
Two cities in our area are hosting special events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. City offices will also be closed in observance of this holiday.
* The City of Tacoma Human Rights & Human Services Department is hosting a celebratory event on Monday, January 17th at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. The theme of this year’s fun, uplifting, multi-cultural celebration of life is “This Land ~ Our Land”. The program will begin at 11:00 AM and end at 1:00 PM.
* The City of Lakewood will sponsor their celebration event from 10:00 AM to Noon on Saturday, January 15th at the Clover Park Technical College – McGavick Conference Center. The event will consist of a variety of entertainment and cultural performances to honor Dr. King’s legacy of freedom. An event program can be found at www.cityoflakewood.us.
10. Parks & Recreation
* Parks & Recreation is happy to announce Spring Break Soccer Camp, April 4th thru 8th! Registration forms will be available online beginning January 15th. The City is partnering with Challenger Sports to make this possible. Camp will be held at DuPont PowderWorks Park. Challenger Sports will return in August for our annual Summer Soccer Camp. Watch for details at www.ci.dupont.wa.us.
* Going Green? Mark your calendars for the 4th Annual Shamrock Family Fun, Walk & Roll scheduled for Saturday, March 12th. This is a great way to continue with your New Year’s resolution of healthier living! The walk begins promptly at 10:00 AM. Prizes for the walk are being gladly accepted. Please contact Parks & Recreation at (253) 912-5245 if you would like to donate prizes. This is a great opportunity to promote your business locally. The first 50 walkers will receive a goody bag packed with ideas for healthier living! Registration forms are available at City Hall (1700 Civic Drive) or on the City’s website.
* DuPont Parks & Recreation Spring Baseball signups will begin on January 19th for kids ages 4 thru 8. Anyone over the age of 8 is encouraged to register for baseball with the DuPont-Steilacoom Youth Association. Volunteer coaches are needed. Please contact Tom Bradbury at email@example.com with any questions. Our Opening Day Jamboree is scheduled for March 26th at DuPont PowderWorks Park. Don’t miss it!
11. Tourism Board Activities
* The Tourism Board has developed a sub-committee to work on the Fall Festival scheduled for September 24th and 25th. This is a very enthusiastic group! The committee is currently seeking individuals who would like to serve on the planning committee for this event. Interested volunteers should call (253) 912-5245.
* This year’s Summer Car Show will be held on July 16th. Back by popular demand, this year’s show will occur at Clocktower Park. Are you a car lover? Volunteers and ideas are always welcome! Please contact Gina Irvin if you would like to volunteer to help at firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. Community Services Consultant
John Hubbard began his services as the City’s Community Services consultant this past week. Mr. Hubbard has over 35 years of experience in the professional planning and capital project management arena. He has worked for various municipalities over his extensive career – including the cities of Tumwater, Lacey, Olympia and Redmond, as well as for Pierce Transit and Sound Transit. Mr. Hubbard will be working on several projects for the City including the Sign Code update, Water System Comprehensive Plan update, and Combined Public Works Standards update.
13. Small Business Administration Loan Programs
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has raised the limits on its loan program from $2 million to $5 million, which opens up new loan opportunities for Pierce County businesses according to the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. The new limit applies to loans made through the 7(a) program, which aims at helping start-up and existing businesses obtain financing when they might not be eligible for loans through normal lending channels. The new limits also apply to loans which provide long-term fixed-rate financing to acquire fixed assets, such as real estate or equipment for expansion and modernization. The loans are made through banks but are guaranteed by the SBA. Regional Administrator Calvin Goings will be meeting with the DuPont Business Association in April to discuss this and many other opportunities available for local businesses. For more information contact the SBA at (206) 553-7310.
14. Emergency Declaration for December 2010 Storms
Governor Chris Gregoire has proclaimed a state of emergency due to the severe winter storms that struck 17 Washington counties from December 8th – 18th, 2010. This declaration will allow agencies and citizens to seek federal disaster assistance for uninsured losses.
15. Refuse Collection Proposed Rate Increase
Pierce County Refuse (Harold LeMay Enterprises Inc.) has filed a request with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) to raise the rates for refuse collection and landfill disposal. The new rates will be effective on March 1st, 2011 upon approval by the WUTC.
16. “Medicare Basics” Workshop
“Medicare Basics” is an information-only briefing being provided by the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center. This one-hour briefing provides an overview of the four main programs offered by Medicare and how each program connects to the others. Medicare made significant changes in the past year including adding numerous new preventative services, improved coverage for hospital and out-patient services, and increased prescription drug coverage. The workshop is intended for people soon to turn 65; existing Medicare beneficiaries, family members, and others who wish to know more about Medicare.
The workshop will be held at four different locations. All presentations are free and open to the public. No reservation is necessary.
* January 24th – 12:10 PM Pierce County Annex – Main Conference Room
2401 So. 35th Street – Tacoma
* January 25th – 7:00 PM Sound View Building – Conference Room
3611 So. “D” Street – Tacoma
* January 26th – 12:10 PM County-City Building- 7th Floor – Rainier Conference Room
930 Tacoma Avenue South – Tacoma
* January 26th – 7:00 PM Puyallup Public Library – South Meeting Room
324 South Meridian – Puyallup
17. Pierce Transit Open House Meeting
Pierce Transit is holding Open House meetings during the month of January to talk about what will happen if Proposition 1 passes and what will happen if it fails. Pierce Transit staff will be present to answer questions. Citizens are welcome at any time during Open House hours. Additional information is available at www.PTtomorrow.org.
· Tuesday, January 18th 4 – 6 PM Sumner City Hall – Council Chambers (1104 Maple St.)
· Wednesday, January 19th 4 – 6 PM Pierce Transit Training Center (3720 – 96th St SW)
· Monday, January 24th 4 – 6 PM Evergreen State College – Commons (1210 – 6th Avenue)
· Tuesday, January 25th 4 – 6 PM Tacoma Goodwill Industries – Milgard Center (714 S. 27th St.)
· Wednesday, January 26th 4 – 6 PM Puyallup Library – Board Room (324 So. Meridian)