By John J. Caulfield, City Manager
Council Meetings The City Council will be holding a Study Session on Monday, October 14, 2013, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW. Agenda items for the meeting include:
- Joint meeting with the Lakewood Arts Commission.
- Review of an Interlocal Agreement with the Association of Washington Cities Benefit Trust to provide self-insured health benefit plans and programs for participating employees.
The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, October 21, 2013, beginning at 7:00 P.M. in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW. Agenda items for the meeting include:
- A public hearing to consider a Resolution expressing opposition to the City of Tacoma’s Position 1 ballot measure. If passed, the ballot measure would levy a 2% earnings tax on natural gas, electric and phone companies for the sole purpose of funding basic Tacoma-wide neighborhood street improvements and safety upgrades. Utility companies may choose to pass this cost increase on to their customers through their rates, though the Tacoma City Council would have to approve any Tacoma Power rate change.
- Appointing Mario Lee, Michelle Perrenod and Phillip Raschke to serve on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee through November 1, 2016.
- Authorizing the execution of an interlocal agreement with the Association of Washington Cities Benefit Trust to provide self-insured health benefit plans and programs for participating employees.
Topics of Interest and Updates
On October 7, 2013 Colonel Getchell of the 4-2 Stryker Brigade thanked the City of Lakewood for the Raiders Return Welcome Home Event. He presented the Council with a framed action board of photos of soldiers while in Afghanistan.
On October 7, 2013 Mayor Anderson presented a proclamation of appreciation to Ms. Tammy Hemmie President of the Lakewood Subchapter Association of the United States Army for support of the Raider Return event. He then recognized other Lakewood Subchapter board members who contributed in sponsoring the event. A video of the event can be viewed at vimeo.com/76070106
On October 7, 2013 Mayor Anderson presented certificated of appreciation to art contest winners from Custer and John Dower Elementary Schools for producing the 2013-2014 Storm water Pollution Prevention and Conservation calendar.
Legal Department Update
During the week of September 30-October 4, 2013, for the Cities of Lakewood and University Place, 37 cases were reviewed by the Prosecutor. Of these, 26 charges were filed in Court. This is in addition to the in-custody cases already filed for both cities.
Last week, City Attorney, Heidi Ann Wachter, attended the 2013 International Municipal Lawyers Association Fall Conference in San Francisco, California. Ms. Wachter currently serves as IMLA’s Washington State Chair.
Public Works Update
In the next few days the Public Works Department will be launching a pilot safety project at 3 cross walk locations with the intent to verify whether the project provides any beneficial level of added safety to the pedestrians using the cross walks. The three cross walks are 1) 59th Ave at the Old Country Buffet, 2) Main St between Barnes and Noble and the DHSH building and 3) Washington Blvd at Lake City Blvd. The intent of the project is make pedestrians more visible to drivers when crossing the street at non-signalized crossings by providing them flags to wave as they cross. At these locations there will be receptacles stocked with hand held flags on each side of the street. Upon a pedestrian crossing the street they can pick up a flag on one side, wave it as they cross and deposit in the receptacle on the other side. Before studies have already been completed at these crossing and after studies will follow once pedestrians have adjusted to this new option. The Public Works Department will monitor and assure that the receptacles have sufficient flags therein.
Public Works Projects Out to Bid
The Public Works Department put two safety grant projects out to bid this week: 1) Custer / John Dower Traffic Signal Improvement Project which will upgrade the existing signal by replacing the current span-wire with a new signal bridge; and 2) Citywide Safety Improvement Project which will upgrade 49 traffic signals throughout the city with upgraded signal heads (larger, more visible displays) and operations including flashing-yellow-arrow (FLY) operations. The two projects received over $1.0 million in Federal Safety Grant funding with zero city matching funds anticipated. It is anticipated the projects will be recommended for award at the first City Council meeting in November.
Economic Development Update
Lodging Tax Advisory Committee
Lakewood’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) invited 16 grant requesters to their meeting on Wednesday, October 2nd. The requesters made presentations asking for a total of $489,440 in grant funds. Projected 2014 grant fund earnings do not allow all projects to be recommended. LTAC’s funding recommendations, which totals $394,040, next go to the Lakewood Council for final approval in late November or early December-2013.
Economic development is increasing outreach and support of local businesses. Meetings with resource and regional partners continue to be crucial as a part of our business retention and expansion program. One of the many topics covered in our outreach is the government shutdown and how different industries are calculating and anticipating the monetary effects of this situation. There is still much to be learned, but the more communication we have the better position we will be in to help. We are encouraging businesses to contact us. Congressional staff is interested in meeting with businesses to provide support. We met with companies in the financial, hospitality, transportation, retail, manufacturing, and distribution industries over the past two weeks.
Pierce County Procurement Forum
Representative from the Community and Economic Development Departments attended the annual procurement forum last Friday. The workshop included a session on how to procure state certification as a minority business and information specific to women owned businesses. The Tacoma School District reported they received a new bond for $500 million in construction projects to be distributed over the next ten years with $63 million planned for 2014. They spend $50 million in supplies and services yearly. Washington State Department of Defense (DOD) spending dropped from $13 billion in 2012 to $6 billion in 2013. JBLM Army Corps of Engineers supports five Multi Award Task Order Contracts that each span five years. They spent $110 million in 2012 and $55 million in 2013 mainly for operations and maintenance, with some new construction. The State Department of Enterprise Services is a fairly new office combining printing, personnel, procurement, and small business assistance. With the new governor’s push for innovation and to “do something different now,” the office has added an array of business services, translations in Spanish, and Korean, “pre, pre-bid meetings,” and a new requirement for contract inclusion plans. These allow for set-asides like the DOD for veterans, women owned businesses and disadvantaged businesses. Many Lakewood businesses could take advantage of these revenue streams. Contact Becky Newton at 253-983-7738 or email@example.com for resource connections including where to find contract opportunities. DOD spending information can be accessed through www.usaspending.gov.
Redevelopment Advisory Board Meeting (REDAB)
At the REDAB meeting this week Henry Liebman, Attorney and Principal of American Life, Inc. presented information on the EB5 program. EB5 is an immigration program that allows individuals and their families to invest in projects that create new jobs in the United States in exchange for a “green card” and eventual permanent U.S. citizenship. Lakewood has an EB5 regional center and Mr. Liebman is working with a Lakewood client to raise considerable funds around an I-5 project. For information on EB5 visit: www.cityoflakewood.us/government/departments/economic-development/business-financial-assistance/foreign-investment-regional-center-eb5. Public Works Director Don Wickstrom and City Attorney Heidi Wachter presented a sign code amendment to allow service and way-finding signs in the city. REDAB and other members of the city and community are being asked for input on the proposed amendment prior to being revisited again by the City Council.
Police Department Update
Three Officers Graduate from Academy
On Thursday, October 10th, Officers Jordan Feldman, Jessica Vanzant and Skylar Eastman graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA). Officer Jordan Feldman was the class president and gave the class speech. We are extremely excited and happy to welcome them to the Police Department and are looking forward to working with them.
Community Development Update
On October 10th members of the Community Development Department conducted a meeting with local planning directors and JBLM representatives to discuss the contents of the Joint Land Use Planning Request for Proposal (RFP) scope of work. In attendance were planning professionals from Pierce and Thurston Counties, Thurston County regional Planning, Lacey, Tacoma, Yelm, and DuPont. Amendments to the scope of work were suggested and approved. Representatives were selected to sit on the interview panel. Release of the RFP for consultant services is scheduled for October 17th. The RFP proposals are due November 20th. The interview and selection process will begin on December 17th.
October 10th Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson, previous Lakewood Mayor Bill Harrison, and Pierce County Councilmember Doug Richardson were present as Assistant City Manager for Community Development Director Dave Bugher made a presentation to Rallypoint 6 on the current efforts of the South Sound Military Communities Partnership (SSMCP). Mr. Bugher discussed the JBLM Joint Land Use Study, the current effort to update the military preference survey, and the upcoming SSMCP Membership Forum scheduled for November 14th.
Municipal Court Update
On Friday October 4, 2013 Court Compliance Officer Sean Dunn graduated from the Corrections Officers Academy class #424. The Corrections Officer Academy provides 160 hours of training to employees whose job functions include custody, safety and security in jails. This prepares the graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the demands of a complex job. Please feel free to congratulate CCO Dunn when you see him in City Hall.
Save the Date
Coffee with the Mayor will be held on Tuesday, October 15th at 7:30 a.m. at St. Clare Hospital, 4908 112th Street SW in the Resource Center. Guest speakers will be Ernest Heller-Judge and Deana Wright-Court Administrator who will give a Municipal Court Update.