By Dawn Masko, City Administrator, City of DuPont
1. Police Detective Announced: Police Officer Larry Holt has been named as the Police Department’s new Detective. He is currently attending a week-long detective training school in Seattle and will be officially assigned to the position in the next month. This position has been unfilled for over a year and having it filled will assist the Department greatly in investigations, presentations, and assistance to patrol. Congratulations Officer Holt!
2. Shamrock Walk
Despite the blustery forecast, the Shamrock Walk will still happen this Saturday, March 12th. Participants will meet in front of Anytime Fitness to begin the walk at 10:00 AM. This is a great opportunity to meet community members and support our local businesses. Many thanks to our local businesses who have donated their time and resources to support this annual event. It’s not too late to join in on the fun as participants are welcome to register at the event.
3. Pierce County READS 2011
Pierce County READS 2011 is underway. This is the Pierce County Library System and News Tribune’s fourth annual community reading event. The DuPont City Council, along with the Pierce County Council and 16 other cities and towns in the county, has signed a proclamation supporting this program. The program runs through April 30th and participants are reading the best-seller “The Big Burn” by Pulitzer Prize winning author Timothy Egan. Additional information is available on the Pierce County READS webpage at Pierce County READS 2011.
4. Tourism Update
Staff will be attending the Annual Northwest Festival and Event Convention on March 14th & 15th in Bellevue. There are several seminars that pertain to small town tourism which include “Building Community Relationships” and “How Cities can Sponsor Events to Promote Tourism.” This is the first time the City will have representation at this seminar. Staff will share visions and ideas learned with the Tourism Board at the April meeting.
Work continues on the interpretive signs for our Historic Sites throughout the City. Museum Director Johanna Jones provided an update on this project to the Tourism Board at their recent meeting. The Board approved the sign concepts and the final verbiage is in progress.
5. Daylight Savings Time
Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead this weekend when Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 13th at 2:00 AM. In 2007 the United States, Canada, and some additional countries extended the Daylight Savings period. Previously the Daylight Savings Time period began on the first Sunday in April and ended the last Sunday in October. Now Daylight Savings Time begins for those areas observing it on the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.
6. Upcoming Meetings – Week of March 14th – 18th
* Planning Agency Meeting Monday, March 14th at 7:00 PM
* City Council Workshop Tuesday, March 15th at 6:00 PM
7. Crosswalk Update
The brief break in the weather this past week allowed City Public Works crews to complete the installation of crosswalk pavement markings and signage for a pedestrian crossing on McNeil Street at Jensen Street. The work was accomplished in accordance with the recommendations from an engineering study of this location which was completed in late December. The study analyzed the volumes of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, posted speeds, speed surveys, road geometry, size characteristics, and other various factors relating to the location. This information was integrated into the engineering analysis and also provided data to assist our Police with ongoing traffic enforcement efforts. Staff is moving forward with preparations for installation of a marked crosswalk on Wilmington Drive at Ross Plaza, also recommended in the study, within the coming weeks.
8. Parks & Recreation
Please call (253) 912-5245 or go to the City’s website at www.ci.dupont.wa.us for registration information, questions on Parks & Recreation activities, or for volunteer opportunities.
* Registration is occuring for our spring Cheerleading session. Classes begin April 1st and will be held at the DuPont Community Center. The cost is $40 for a four week session and classes are available for ages 5 thru 13. Please contact Tammy Colbert at Dance4Life with any questions at (253) 212-8770.
* Spring Break is fast approaching! Don’t miss the opportunity to register your child for the Challenger Sports Spring Break Soccer Camp. The camp will run from April 4th – 8th at DuPont PowderWorks Park and is open for ages 6 thru 12. The camp cost is $116.
* Visit our website for information on other programs and events including Yoga, Track, Spring Auction, Baseball Day at Cheney Stadium, and more!
9. Spring Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Class
The DuPont Fire Department invites citizens who live or work in the DuPont area to attend the next session of CERT classes. Aimed at preparing groups of citizens in our community to prepare for and respond to disasters, the classes will follow a model developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and offered in cities across the United States. The idea behind this model is to teach people in neighborhoods how to help each other in the first few minutes or hours following a disaster – before emergency responders are able to render professional help. Students will gain hands-on skills such as how to put out small fires, render first aid in a disaster situation, and perform light search and rescue.
The series of six classes will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings for three weeks, from 6:30 – 9:00 PM, and will culminate in a practical exercise to be held on a Saturday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. The spring class will begin on March 21st and end on April 9th. Classes will be held at the DuPont Fire Station. Instructors will be uniformed firefighters and other subject matter experts. The classes are FREE and are open to 25 students. It is important that if you enroll you are able to attend all sessions to receive your CERT certificate. Contact Fire Chief Greg Hull at (253) 377-7289 or Battalion Chief Greg Cooper at (253) 377-3245 for additional information. To enroll, contact Vincent Martinez at (253) 983-4580 or email@example.com.
10. Fire Department Hosts Pierce County Chief’s Meeting
On Thursday, March 10th the DuPont Fire Department hosted the March meeting of the Pierce County Fire Chief’s Association. Approximately 30 fire chiefs from throughout Pierce County met to discuss common interests and consult on projects currently being promoted by the Association. The Pierce County Chief’s normally meet monthly on the first Thursday of each month.
11. Town Hall Meeting
Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith is looking forward to holding his first Town Hall meeting of the year on Saturday, March 19th at the DuPont City Hall from 1:00 to 2:30 PM. Congressman Smith will meet with constituents to listen to concerns, answer questions, and discuss issues facing Congress, including the budget, military and veterans, healthcare and more. Please RSVP if you are able to attend to (253) 593-6600 or (888) SMITH09 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. Community Development Department Update
* Patriot’s Landing Skilled Nursing Facility – City staff met with representatives from Patriot’s Landing to discuss a potential revision to their conditional use permit application. The applicant’s goal is to reduce construction costs.
* Bell Hill Lots 1 & 2 – PulteGroup has withdrawn their proposal to reduce the wetland buffer from 200 to 100 feet and has requested the application go forward on the two remaining requests to reduce a steep slope buffer from 50 to 25 feet and to construct a sewer line through a steep slope, steep slope buffer, and wetland buffer. Staff is preparing the staff report to the Hearing Examiner. The hearing date has not been set.
* Planning Agency – The Planning Agency will discuss whether the 50 foot buffer around cultural resource markers required by DuPont Municipal Code 25.80.030 is appropriate. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 14th at 7:00 PM.
13. Fire Department Historic Hose Cart Building
Firefighters have completed construction of a new post and beam foundation under the last hose cart building from the 1920’s. The hose cart building will now be moved on a flat bed truck from its current location at the Public Works storage lot to its permanent location next to the Public Safety Building at the Civic Center. Work to restore the exterior will continue once it is moved. Firefighters hope to complete the restoration by this summer.
14. Sequalitchew Creek Watershed Council Restoration Project
The first restoration project of the year for the Sequalitchew Creek Watershed Council (SCWC) is scheduled for Saturday, March 19th. Volunteers will meet at City Hall at 8:30 AM and should come ready to work rain or shine. The restoration project is anticipated to include:
* Invasive species removal at various locations
* Removal of old chain link fence from Sequalitchew Creek
* Maintenance of native plantings and restoration near the Wilkes Observatory marker
* Placement of two benches near the Wilkes Observatory
15. Traffic Safety Reminder: Yellow is Not Green
When March arrives, many of us begin to think “green” – often prompted by the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day or the recognition that spring is nearing. Our Public Safety and Public Works departments would like to share a traffic safety thought for March: Yellow is Not Green. What does a yellow traffic light mean to you? Some answers that may come to mind include “Speed up so you don’t have to stop for the red light”, “Depends on if anyone is looking”, or “What yellow light?” If you answer is “It means you should slow down and prepare to stop for the red light” then you are correct. A yellow traffic light is essentially a cautionary warning that indicates the light is about to change and drivers should prepare to stop. The Department of Licensing’s Washington Drivers Guide (provided to new drivers) indicates that “you must stop if it is safe to do so” on a yellow light. Unfortunately many drivers have developed a habit of treating a yellow light as a trigger to step on the gas to make it through the signal, which can be dangerous for everyone.
While there are many things that affect our driving habits on the roadway, we could all benefit from a few basic reminders for traffic safety:
* Drive attentively
* Drive the speed limit
* Think “prepare to stop” when you see a yellow traffic light
Remember the March reminder that Yellow is Not Green!