By Andrew Neiditz, City Manager, City of Lakewood
* Mayor Emeritus Harrison to give 15TH anniversary of cityhood presentation: During Monday’s regular council meeting (March 7th at 7pm in the council chambers), Mayor Emeritus Bill Harrison will give a presentation on what fifteen years of incorporation has meant for Lakewood and will offer his historical perspective. All citizens are welcome. Light refreshments will be served afterwards to commemorate the City’s 15-year anniversary.
* Official dedication of the new West Pierce Fire & Rescue: The city managers of both Lakewood and University Place, along with Deputy Mayor Anderson and Mayor Klosowski, were present on March 4th at the official dedication of the newly consolidated fire department. The new logo of the new agency was unveiled, and a video presentation summarized the combined 140 years of service of both the Lakewood and UP fire departments.
* Construction Update — Bridgeport Way Improvement project (Steilacoom Blvd to 83rd St): From March 7th to March 9th, weather permitting, our contractor, Miles Resources, will be performing night work to install underground utilities across Bridgeport Way. During these days, Bridgeport Way from Steilacoom Blvd to Custer Rd will be closed to all thru traffic from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am. Local traffic with no detour option will be allowed access to/from their residence; however, delays should be expected. The link below provides detour information – Custer Rd and Lakewood Dr are the best options. As the project progresses, additional night work closures are anticipated in association with the traffic signal installation at 86th St and the final paving operation. To keep abreast of this project and others visit: www.cityoflakewood.us/departments/public-works/capital-projects.html.
* Abatement Update: Contracts have recently been awarded for five property nuisance abatements, with work on all expected to begin within 2-4 weeks. A sixth abatement is currently out to bid. Four abatements are in District One (Tillicum/Woodbrook) and two are in District Six (North Lakewood). These include the last of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program abatements.
* New roundabout at Murray Rd/150th St: To improve traffic flow at this problematic intersection near JBLM’s logistics center gate, the City considered installing either a traffic signal with additional turn lanes or constructing a multi-lane roundabout. In the final analysis, the roundabout option was clearly the more viable option due to a dedication of state property at the southeastern quadrant of the intersection. The roundabout will provide much better traffic flow and will be more reliable and more cost-effective than a new signal. If and when the Cross-Base Highway (SR 704) is constructed, the intersection will be reconfigured. JBLM officials and the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board reviewed the project and it is moving ahead.
* Police Chief Recognition: On February 28th, Police Chief Bret Farrar was named an “America’s Most Wanted All Star” Finalist. Representatives from America’s Most Wanted were in Lakewood on March 1st to interview Lakewood police officials and Public Safety Advisory Board Member Kalina Miller, who nominated the chief. One can watch the interviews on America’s Most Wanted on March 5th, channel 13, 9 p.m. Voting for finalists runs from April 21st- May 8th.
* Habitat Update: This week, Habitat for Humanity conducted a fundraiser and luncheon at Tacoma’s Hotel Murano attended by Lakewood staff from Community Development, Human Services, Public Works, Police, and Legal departments. During the luncheon, Habitat revealed an interest in building a cottage-housing development consisting of single family homes in the Tillicum neighborhood. Concept drawings were presented. Habitat staff also discussed their intentions to work with partners and further redevelop this part of Lakewood. Jeff Brown, a principal at BCRA, a Lakewood citizen, and a member of the Planning Advisory Board, participated in the program. Special thanks to Kim Dodds, Lakewood’s Human Services Coordinator, for her assistance in sponsoring a Lakewood table.
* Lakewood Bar Safety: CSRT recently hosted a quarterly Lakewood Bar Owners meeting with seven bar owners and two military representatives. The military courtesy patrol program received positive feedback from the owners. A State Liquor Control Board representative also presented information on the new WAC requirements for meal service at liquor establishments. The meeting ended with a short presentation on the “nightlife security” training that is offered by Seattle police officers that can be presented in Lakewood if desired.
* Military Law Enforcement Outreach: Lt. Steve Mauer attended the quarterly Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board meeting at JBLM (approximately 20 officials from military and law enforcement attended) to discuss regional issues affecting military personnel. The discussion included off-base fights involving military personnel, the over-serving of alcohol at local bars, and the military’s courtesy patrol. The issue of “spice,” described as “synthetic cannabis,” in its effects was also discussed. Spice is not yet illegal in Washington but service-members are strictly prohibited from using it. Stores selling this substance may be placed off-limits to military personnel by the base commander.
* Graffiti Solutions: The Community Safety Resources Team (CRSRT) recently hosted an interdepartmental meeting with Public Works, Work Crew, Parks and Legal to discuss a recent increase in graffiti. While the policies and procedures are a work in progress, the group agreed to some initial guidelines. These include the City immediately covering graffiti on public property, and quickly notifying the owners of private property responsible for graffiti clean-up. This group will continue to meet regularly to establish uniform graffiti removal and prevention techniques. If any citizen has input or information on those responsible for graffiti, please the CSRT at 253-589-2489.
* Senior Activity Center Recognized: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center recently received the “Golden Can Trophy.” Life Manor challenged various assisted living facilities, senior centers and other community partners to collect food for the FISH Food Bank. This is first time that the Lakewood Senior Activity Center participated. The Center collected well over 250 pounds of food. The trophy will be proudly displayed at the Center until next year’s challenge.
* 6th Annual Child ID program: CSRT participated in the 6th Annual Child ID program on the Pierce College – Ft. Steilacoom campus on February 14th. The annual event is sponsored by the Pierce College Criminal Justice Club, and provides fingerprinting, dental impressions, DNA swabs and a video of the child to the parents for use in the event of an emergency. This year 78 children were provided with identification kits.
* Raiders Present “Last Patrol” Print to Council: During the last regular council meeting, Colonel Mike Getchell, the 4-2 Stryker Brigade commander, presented Mayor Richardson with the 42nd copy of a brigade-commissioned print from artist James Dietz, “the Last Patrol” reflecting a scene from the unit’s recent deployment to Iraq. A press release with more details and several photos is available at www.cityoflakewood.us.