By Debbie Klosowski, Mayor, City of University Place
Yellow daffodils bursting into bloom, a visit with the Daffodil Queen and honoring the memory of former U.P. Councilmember and Mayor Jean Brooks were among the highlights in University Place this week.
Spring came to University Place as hundreds of daffodils created a welcome sight in our often misty climate. Thanks to Beautification Fund donations and the efforts of our Public Works crew, Mayor Pro Tem Ken Grassi and volunteers, this spectacular glimpse of spring certainly brightens the lives of all UP residents!
Speaking of daffodils, congratulations to our very own Claire Flemming who is the 2011 Daffodil Queen! Claire, who is a senior at Curtis High School, maintains a 3.84 GPA and is headed to the University of Washington to major in Biology and Spanish. Her future plans include medical school and working with Doctors Without Borders.
Other items at this week’s meeting included:
*Accepting a $1,000 check for the Jean Brooks Park and Recreation Scholarship Fund presented by her son Clifford Brooks. People who wish to donate matching funds in memory of Jean can do so by sending contributions to the Parks and Recreation Department, 3715 Bridgeport Way West. A long time advocate for youth and seniors, Jean was instrumental in the original U.P. Park District as well as incorporation. She was elected to the City Council in 1995 and served until she passed away in 2009. Our thanks to the Brooks family for such a fitting remembrance of Jean.
*Future impacts on surrounding communities from the increasing numbers of soldiers, their families and civilian contractors on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) was presented by Dan Penrose, Lakewood project coordinator for the JBLM Growth Plan.
JBLM, which is the size of the City of Seattle, grew from 35,331 people in 2003 to 50,587 in 2010. Of that, there are 45,893 military personnel and 4,694 civilians. By 2016, JBLM will support more than 136,000 individuals along with providing services to 117,971 military retirees.
JBLM is the third largest employer in Washington State and the largest employer in Pierce County. On a daily basis, there are 126,000 to 152,000 trips though the entry gates.
Although the JBLM annual payroll is $3.2 billion, much of the money is spent elsewhere in that the Department of Defense has selected many out of state contractors to perform local work. Other significant aspects of JBLM include 950,000 annual outpatient visits at Madigan and 140,000 Emergency Room visits. The base is a magnet for medical training and is known for its expertise in dealing with issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Regional plans are underway to address impacts of the population growth including traffic congestion along I-5, housing, education, economic impacts, public safety, health and social services. Obtaining more accurate information to determine exactly where military personnel live off base so that communities can do a better job providing services and meeting other needs is a related issue as well. In regard to transportation, more than $900 million in projects have been identified; however, no funds are available as of yet.
Work is also being done to implement several recommendations to improve community collaborations, support military families, regional mobility, access to existing services and information and to promote JBLM as a center of regional economic significance. For more information, please contact, www.JBLM-growth.com or Dan Penrose at 253.983.7772.
Council Action: The council also approved:
*Parks and Open Space Zone – Based upon recommendations from the Planning and Parks and Recreation Commissions, the Council approved a new Parks and Open Space Zone. The zone, which applies to all existing City parks and open space, identifies allowable uses and development standards in each area.
*40th Street West Safe Routes to Schools project change order for $20,135 to replace an old wooden stairway leading up to Narrows View Intermediate. The City received a grant to construct parking bays, sidewalks and streetlights along with improving the crosswalk used by students. Based upon a school district request, staff determined that the grant scope and funding would fully cover a needed stairway replacement.
*Contingency funds of $3,000 for ongoing Curran House utility costs and $14,200 to street maintenance to replace materials used for snow and ice removal.
*An extension of a contract with Owens Press for 2011 and 2012 for $42,000 for printing services.
City Manager’s Report – City Manager Steve Sugg reported that thieves have stripped copper wire from streetlights along the 4800 and 5800 blocks of Grandview Drive, resulting in several light outages. Thieves also cut wires in irrigation controllers on Grandview just south of Cirque along with stealing aluminum street signs. Anyone with information about these thefts and vandalism is urged to contact the U.P. Police Department at 253.798.4058. Please call 911 immediately if you see anything suspicious…acts like this take limited dollars away from other needed projects.
· Curran Orchard Pruning Party – Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Master Gardeners will be on hand to provide free training. Bring work gloves, loppers, hand saws and hand pruners if available. Goodies provided.
· Parks Appreciation Day – Saturday, April 16 at Curran Apple Orchard and Cirque Bridgeport Park. Contact 253.460.2530 or the U.P. Volunteer Center (email@example.com or 253.223.0039).
· WOOFD2 – SUNDogs is partnering with Washington Owners of Flying Disc Dogs (WOOFD2) to present a Canine Disc Training Clinic on Saturday, April 16 at Cirque Bridgeport Park from 10 a.m. to noon followed by a “Spring Fling” from 12:30 to 3 p.m.
Learn proper throwing techniques and how to teach your dog basic tricks. Clinic fees are $25 per dog with pre-registration and $30 the day of the clinic with a $5 discount for SUNDog members. For more information, please visit www.updogpark.org or register online at www.woofd2.com.
· Happy Birthday UP for Art! Celebrate UP for Art’s 10 year Anniversary on Tuesday, April 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the University Place City Hall. The nonprofit group, which is open to anyone interested in art, is responsible for several major art pieces in our community, including the bronze duck in front of Market Square. For more information, please visit www.upforart.org or RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Spring Flower Show & Plant Sales – Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Homestead Park. www.friendsofhomesteadpark.org.
· Enviro Fair featuring environmental exhibits, tips and educational information. Topics will include composting, worm bins, recycling, mason bee shelters, gardening and much more! Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Homestead Park. For more information, contact sbuter@CityofUP.com or 253.460.2505.
· Open House at Adriana Hess Wetland Park – Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, contact 253.460.2530.
· Spirit of Democracy contest! – Send in your favorite quote about voting rights or citizenship (20 words or less not including author’s name) from a historical or contemporary public figure. Winning quotes will appear on the side of the new Ballot Drop boxes provided by the Pierce County Auditor’s office. The quotes must be nonpartisan, historically significant and be properly attributed to the author (cannot be created by the contestant). U.P. entries should be sent to Spirit of Democracy, c/o University Place City Hall, 3715 Bridgeport Way W, University Place 98466, no later than Tuesday, May 31. For more information, please contact Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson at 253.798.3188.
As always, I welcome your questions and comments. Please feel free to contact me at dklosowski@CityofUP.com.