By Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager
Army Chief of Staff Visits Lakewood: The Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the US Army (AUSA) welcomed US Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno and Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler to Lakewood’s Tacoma Golf & Country Club on Tuesday, June 25. During the event, Mayor Don Anderson welcomed General Odierno on behalf of the City and the region and presented the general with a City coin (see photo below). General Odierno recalled his family’s rewarding assignment at Fort Lewis in the 1990s, including his son’s attendance at Lakes High School. Councilmembers Marie Barth and Mary Moss also attended.
(Photo Courtesy of US Army – Mr. Lester Hovey)
Mayor Discusses Welcome Home Parade on “CityLine” TV: On Wednesday, Mayor Don Anderson appeared on Tacoma’s “CityLine TV” and discussed the City’s planning efforts to recognize the 4-2 Stryker Brigade after they return from Afghanistan. The initial portion of the interview focuses on the September 15 welcome home parade which will feature 2,000 troops marching through Lakewood.
“Raider Brigade” to Deactivate: On the same day the Army Chief of Staff visited Lakewood, the City learned that the Army had selected its “community connector” to JBLM, the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, for deactivation. The City issued a news release, which highlighted the brigade’s recent and impressive history.
Council Priority: Maintain and enhance public safety
Lifeguards Reporting for Duty: Lifeguards will be on duty starting tomorrow, Saturday, June 29, just in time for the 80-degree weather forecasted. Lifeguards will be stationed at Harry Todd Park and American Lake Park from noon until 8:00pm daily unless weather conditions dictate otherwise. All lifeguards are there for the public’s safety and require everyone’s cooperation for a safe swimming environment. New this year is a partnership with the Lakewood YMCA, Safe Kids Coalition, West Pierce Fire, Tillicum & Woodbrook schools and the City to provide basic water safety skills at the American Lake North swim beach. The program will begin this weekend and will run every Friday through the remainder of the swim season from 12:00 – 3:00pm at no cost. YMCA staff and volunteers will help fit the lifejackets provided by the City. In addition to lifejacket fitting, staff/volunteers will be in the water teaching patrons how to float, tread water, kick on their front/back, basic swimming and hypothermia risks. The City reminds all park visitors that lifeguards are not a substitute for parental supervision.
Council Priority: Continue cooperative partnership with educational institutions in Lakewood
Council to Recognize Outstanding Graduates: At its regular meeting on July 1, the City will recognize the top graduates from Lakewood’s three high schools: Keyre “Kadie” Figueroa (Clover Park HS), Elizabeth Badger (Lakes HS), and James-Victor Alvarez (Harrison Prep). Faculty from their respective schools selected these students after considering a variety of factors (academic achievement, school activities, civic involvement, and so forth).
Other Announcements and Highlights:
New Ramp Connects St. Clare Hospital to Bridgeport Way Bus Stop:
On Wednesday, Lakewood City Mayor Don Anderson joined St. Clare administration and staff in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a new ramp connecting the hospital to the Sound Transit bus stop. The connection will make it easier for the public to receive medical services. The ramp is a partnership between Sound Transit and the City of Lakewood. Cornerstone Constructors were the contractors for the project.
Photo courtesy of Franciscan Health System
Chaos at the Counter!: The 2nd floor permit counter has been under the gun over the past few weeks with both permit technicians unavoidably absent at the same time. Staff maintained customer service levels by redirecting management and borrowing trained staff from other departments. One of the regular permit technicians has now returned so counter operations are expected to return to the normal level of chaos next week.
Now That’s a Big Building!: On Tuesday the City’s Hearing Examiner approved a conditional use permit for a 442,000 sq. ft. industrial warehouse/distribution facility on a 22 acre site in Woodbrook. The site is located on the east side of Spring Street, across from Woodbrook Middle School. This is the second industrial project approved for this area since the City rezoned it “industrial” in 2001. The building was granted preliminary approval as a “shell building”, meaning that specific tenants have not yet been identified. The building will facilitate warehousing/distribution or manufacturing. The project will require the construction of a sound wall around operational areas of the site, and several off-site traffic mitigation projects to reduce the impact of truck and vehicle traffic to and from the site. The hearing examiner’s approval requires additional evaluation of noise and traffic issues once the owner identifies tenants in order to confirm the adequacy of required mitigation measures.
2015 U.S. Open Championship Briefing: On June 27, the Pierce County Council conducted one of its regular meetings at the Environmental Services Building in University Place. On the agenda was a presentation regarding the 2015 U.S. Open Championship. Over 200 people attended. Former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, Deputy County Executive Kevin Phelps, and Danny Sink, United States Golf Association On-Site Championship Director, all presented. Mr. Sink projected that the USGA championship will attract 235,000 people over a one-week period or, on average, 35,000 people a day. He estimated the economic impact to Pierce County at $144 million. For more information, please visit www.chambersbaygolf.com and click “U.S. Open FAQ.”