By Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager
Council Priority: Develop a vision for the City Center
Lakewood Towne Center Redevelopment: As a part of RPAI’s intensive and proactive approach to asset management, they are excited to begin a redevelopment project at Lakewood Towne Center. The redevelopment will include the demolition of the former Gottschalk’s building and the addition of some exciting new retail concepts and dining options. They look forward to announcing new tenants for the project soon.
Council Priority: Foster Redevelopment of Pacific Highway Corridor, Woodbrook and Tillicum
Lakewood Public Works to receive additional grant funds: With the new push by the federal government to get federally grant funded transportation projects implemented in a timely manner, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) recently expanded their list of grant approved projects. PSRC programs federal grant dollars for 4 county regions including Pierce County. They expanded their list to ensure that its present allotment of federal transportation grant dollars gets fully utilized thus ensuring its future allotment for its 4 county region is not diminished. The added projects all came from prior approved project contingency lists from the respective counties. As a result, Lakewood will get $233,550 in federal grant money for its Bridgeport Way improvement project from Main Gate JBLM to I-5. The grant funds are for the design of the project which includes curb & gutter, concrete sidewalks, street lighting, traffic signal upgrade, pavement overlay and other related improvements.
Council Priority: Maintain and enhance public safety
CPSD and LPD present Active Shooter Awareness Program: Clover Park School District and the Lakewood Police Department staff worked together to set up and present an Active Shooter Awareness training program for all Clover Park School District employees. Sgt. John Unfred and Lt. Steve Mauer conducted 30 presentations to staff at 26 locations throughout the school district. Each school was visited twice, once to survey and photograph and then a second time to present the training. The training emphasized the “Get out, Hide out and Fight” options for staff to discuss and prepare for, should this rare, but very real type of incident occur in one of Clover Parks facilities. There will be follow-up meetings to decide what further steps can and should be taken by both Clover Park and Lakewood PD to help prepare the district and its employees for this kind of incident.
CSRT provides self defense awareness training: On Saturday, April 27th, Lt. Mauer taught a self defense awareness class for members of the Lakewood New Hope Church with approximately 30 members of the congregation in attendance. The class discussed situational awareness, trusting your instincts, proper use of force, different types of weapons i.e. personal, impromptu and real and the goal of getting away from an attacker as opposed to fighting it out with them. The class was well received.
Council Priority: Continue cooperative partnership with educational institutions in Lakewood
LPD and Tacoma Community College teach Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class: A team of instructors from the Lakewood Police Department and Tacoma Community College worked together to provide a women’s self defense class at the Lakewood Police Station. The program is called Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) and is only for women. It was presented over 4 days for a total of 12 hours. There were 18 students who were taught about self defense awareness with the goal of preventing them from having to physically defend themselves. The students came from all around the Lakewood area and the class will be offered again later in 2013.
Other items of interest:
National Rebuilding Together Day: The Rebuilding Together South Sound Program repaired and up-graded more than a dozen Lakewood homes on Saturday, April 27th. Mayor Don Anderson and County Councilmember Doug Richardson kicked off the day-long event at the home of Don and Marilynn Nickle. Mayor Anderson swung the first hammer to launch BECU volunteers into action. A local family had their deck repaired and new barrier shrubs planted to add beauty and safety from a very busy Custer Road. The City supports this effort with its Human Services Fund. www.rebuildingtogetherss.org.
Code Enforcement Officers attend Conference in Issaquah: On April 26th, Code Enforcement Officers Doug Price, Randy Richards and Sandi Stauffer attended the spring Washington Association of Code Enforcement Officer’s Conference. The topics included how to address hoarding situations, locating and restoring VIN’s and declaring junk vehicles.
Wellness Committee hosts BBQ to support Foster Children Sock Drive: The Wellness Committee sponsored a Hawaiian BBQ lunch to raise funds for the Foster Children Sock Drive. The event was well attended by city staff raising $374 to purchase socks. This event assisted children in Lakewood who have a basic need (socks) that most of us take for granted.
CenterForce “A Look into the Future”: Mayor Don Anderson and city staff attended an after hours event this week at Lakewold Gardens focusing on CenterForce’s plans for expansion. CenterForce is a private non-profit agency located in the Springbrook area of Lakewood. They have provided employment services and training for people with developmental disabilities in the greater Puget Sound area since 1968. Their expansion plans include a “Home Town Dogs” food truck, training kitchen, restaurant, and events center. To learn more about CenterForce, please visit www.centerforce.net.
WAPRO Spring Conference: Interim City Manager Heidi Ann Wachter and Acting City Attorney Matt Kaser presented at the Washington Association of Public Records Officers Conference in Everett on April 30th. Their topic was entitled “Proactive Public Records Act Solutions in Litigation” Analyzing the pros and cons of seeking affirmative relief in the courts.