By John J. Caulfield
Council Meetings: On Monday, September 30, 2013 the Transportation Benefit District Board will meet at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood, WA. The items for discussion include:
- Review of proposed transportation improvements and funding options.
On Saturday, October 5, 2013 the City Council will hold a special meeting at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room 3A Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood, WA. The items for discussion include:
- Review of proposed State Legislative Agenda.
Items tentatively scheduled for the City Council regular meeting of October 7, 2013 include:
- Presentation of the 2013-2014 Stormwater Pollution Prevention and Water Conservation Calendar. – Custer Elementary and John Dower Elementary Schools
- Proclamation declaring the month of October 2013 as Domestic Violence Awareness month.
- Setting Monday, November 4, 2013, at approximately 7:00 p.m., as the date for a public hearing by the City Council on the 2014 property tax collection.
- Appointing individuals to the Lakewood Arts Commission through October 15, 2016. Appointing individuals to the Citizens’ Transportation Advisory Committee through November 5, 2016.
- Appointing an individual to the Redevelopment Advisory Board through May 23, 2015.
- Approving the Fiscal Year 2014 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Act policies and proposed use of funds.
Topics of Interest and Updates
New Communications Manager
The City is pleased to announce and welcome Brent Champaco as Communications Manager. Mr. Champaco will be responsible for coordinating and leading all citywide communication efforts. He will begin work on October 21, 2013.
Mr. Champaco comes to the City with 15 years of media, journalism, community outreach, and social media experience. Many of you may know him as the current Senior Local Editor of the local AOL Patch.com or his time as an award-winning journalist with The News Tribune that included covering the Lakewood community. Mr. Champaco holds a BA in Business Administration-Communication from Washington State University and is working on completing his Master’s Degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University.
Legal Department Update
During the week of September 16-20, 2013, for the Cities of Lakewood and University Place, 34 cases were reviewed by the Prosecutor. Of these, 10 charges were filed in Court and 1 case was referred to diversion. This is in addition to the in-custody cases already filed for both cities.
Economic Development Update
Filming for Local Economic Benefit
Economic Development staff met with representatives from Washington Filmworks (WFW). They encourage growth in the film and video production industry for the economic benefit of Washington State by offering production support and location scouting. They are looking for available filming venues in Lakewood and photos of unique offerings as well as empty warehouses, diners, coffee shops, jail cells, decommissioned schools, hospital rooms (i.e. CPTC new health sciences building), high school tracks, and individual homes. If you are interested in submitting any properties, contact Becky Newton at 253-983-7738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact WFW directly through their website at www.washingtonfilmworks.org. Films can provide a positive economic impact to a community.
The Lakewood Chamber provided a blue ribbon cutting ceremony for Delong’s Deluxe this week. After just over six months in business, the company has far surpassed their expectations and they have hired 16 employees.
Sound Glass celebrated their 30th Anniversary this past week with a catered lunch, tours, and prizes for attendees. The company is expanding their showroom here in Lakewood and adding to their manufacturing/warehousing space.
Community Development Update
On Thursday, Principal Planner Dan Catron met in Tukwila with several planners from other cities and Association of Washington Cities representatives to discuss proposed changes to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). In 2012, the Legislature passed 2ESSB 6406 directing the Department of Ecology to review and update all exemptions listed in the code, and otherwise find ways to streamline the process. The rule-making activity has been going on all year with various iterations of amendments being proposed. This final round of comments is due to Ecology on October 3rd.
The Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board (LHAB) met on Thursday night. The Board received information from Ms. Emmalou Lyle regarding Fort Steilacoom Living History Day. The Board then discussed proposed changes to the City’s landmarks code, appointing a subcommittee of members to work with a subcommittee of the Council to improve the code. The Board also reviewed the latest draft of a self-guided automobile tour map that is being funded by the City’s lodging tax. Final comments on the map are expected by Tuesday.
Public Works Update
Public Works recently applied for an enhancement Grant thru Puget Sound Regional Council to improve 111th/112th St with pavement widening, bike lanes, sidewalks, street lights and other amenities. Due to submittal deadline the application was submitted predicated upon an unsecured financial commitment from Sound Transit. The project is estimated to cost $1,780,000 and would link the recent improvements on Kendrick St including the pedestrian bridge over to the Sounder station to the existing pedestrian and bicycle facilities on Bridgeport Way. The City’s grant application was destine to go nowhere without a secured commitment from Sound Transit for which the City now has received and much thanks for same goes to go to Councilmember Moss and County Executive McCarthy for their support of the project. While the grant process is a competitive process and the outcome is yet to be determine the City now has a very competitive project in the mix and thus a good chance of at least getting the environmental, design and right of way phases funded which is estimated to cost $260,000. Further once plans, permits and right of way are all secure grants for “shovel ready” projects are much easier to secure.
Parks and Recreation Update
September 28, 2013 is Fort Steilacoom Living History Day. In cooperation with Smithsonian Museum Day, Fort Steilacoom will come alive as reenactors live and work as soldiers, officers, their wives, children and friends. The event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will take place on the grounds of Western State Hospital.