By John J. Caulfield, City Manager
The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, November 18, 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:
• Set December 2, 2013 as the date for a Public Hearing on the 2013-2014 biennial budget amendments.
• Public Hearing on vacating a portion of 104th Street Court South.
• Adopt of 2014 property tax levy
• Approve a purchase and sale agreement to acquire property for Wards Lake Park.
• Adopt the condemnation of property at 8008 to 8248 Bridgeport Way SW.
• Adopt allocations for 2014 human services programs.
• Affirm the Oakbrook Golf Course open space application for property tax credit.
The City Council will be holding a study session on Monday, November 25, 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:
• Review of the proposed lodging tax funding allocations.
• Economic Development and Development Services update.
• 2013-2014 Mid-Biennial Budget Review, Proposed 2013 Budget Amendments.
• Review of Prairie Oaks (LASA) Section 108 loan.
• South Sound Military and Communities Partnership Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
• Review of Comprehensive Plan visioning process & contract.
• Review of criminal codes update (ie DUI Cost Recovery)
• Municipal Court code updates
Topics of Interest and Updates
South Sound Military & Communities Partnership Forum
The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership held its annual forum Thursday at the Courtyard Tacoma Downtown Marriot.
More than 150 people representing local and state governments, federal lawmakers, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the business community and other stakeholders attended the three-hour long event, which Program Manager Dan Penrose led throughout the day.
Col. H. Charles Hodges Jr., Commander at JBLM, opened the forum with his speech on the state of the base, covering everything from the base’s habitat preservation to base construction to what military leaders are doing to help traffic flow better inside JBLM’s gates.
The SSMCP specifically addressed the JBLM corridor’s traffic woes with a panel discussion that included City Manager John J. Caulfield, who emphasized the importance of all stakeholders working together for a fix. Lacey City Manager Scott Spence, JBLM Public Works Director Steve Perrenot and John Wynands, Assistant Region Administrator for Project Development with WSDOT, also sat on the panel.
“In order for us to be successful as a region, this corridor needs to be addressed,” Caulfield said.
The event featured another panel discussion on innovation to ensure men and women leaving the military can successfully make the transition to civilian life.
A photo gallery of the forum is available on the City of Lakewood’s Facebook page.
Local, State Leaders Meet To Discuss Funding For JBLM Corridor Improvements
On Wednesday night, the City of Lakewood hosted an informational meeting of local and state officials that addressed obtaining state funding to pay for traffic improvements to the JBLM corridor.
Mayor Don Anderson, Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen, and City Councilmembers Marie Barth, Paul Bocchi, Mike Brandstetter and Mary Moss all attended the meeting, which took place at the Oakbrook Golf Course. Also in attendance: Former Lakewood Mayor and Pierce County Councilman Doug Richardson, State Reps. Tami Green and Dick Muri, and Sen. Steve O’Ban.
Much of the discussion focused on improvements that are needed to unclog the regular traffic bottleneck near JBLM, as well as how the region could position itself to receive funding from the proposed state transportation package to pay for the improvements.
Legal Department Update
During the week of November 4-8, 2013, for the Cities of Lakewood and University Place, 12 cases were reviewed by the Prosecutor. Of these, 11charges 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
VIBE Opening Celebration
The City attended the Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship (VIBE) Grand Opening this week. VIBE is a University of Washington Tacoma program that allows students who are veterans to use their talents to create new inventions while earning their degrees. Here’s more information: www.tacoma.uw.edu/news/new-business-incubator-focuses-veterans.
Hobby Lobby Coming Soon
In case you missed the sign on 100th, Hobby Lobby will soon open in the former K Mart building. Economic Development Manager Ellie Chambers-Grady first met with this retailer at an International Council of Shopping Centers trade show three years ago. Since then, Hobby Lobby has wanted to be in Lakewood, but it couldn’t find the right space. We’re very excited to welcome this new destination store – look for a first quarter 2014 opening. They expect to hire 35-50 employees. They will share the space with another store…so stay tuned.
Economy Still Slowly Edging Up
As of early November 2013, the medium home sales price in Lakewood was $207,450 which is an increase of 22 %from a year earlier. Number of sales is up by 18% and the average price per square foot is at $142 (+24.5%) according to Trulia. As of October 2013 retail sales are up over 8% year-to-date over 2012. Unemployment rate is down from 9.4% in January to 8.2% in August 2013.
LPD EVOC coordinates regional training
From November 7 to November 10, LPD EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator’s Course) and other Cooperative City EVOC instructors hosted in-service training on a closed course at the Washington State Patrol Academy. 117 student officers from 9 agencies received updated training that included tactical backing, Pursuit Immobilization Technique, simulated vehicle pursuits, decision making, and low speed placement skills. LPD EVOC joined the cooperative cities team in 2010 to better leverage instructors and resources.
Food Drive Event
On November 21st, from 3-7 p.m., Les Schwab and Q13 will be hosting a Food Drive Event at the South Hill, Puyallup Wal-Mart (located at: 310 31st Ave SE, Puyallup-across from the South Hill Mall) You won’t be able to miss it-they’ll have Les Schwab vehicles, tents, banners, and LPD vehicles. If you haven’t had a chance to donate yet, here is a great place to do so! The City thanks everyone who has already donated, and as well as those who plan to do so. We appreciate the support more than we can say!