December 17, 2021: Weekly summary
The city celebrated the holidays with a driving light parade on Saturday, December 11. Almost 900 cars full of families from Lakewood attended the event.
Councilmember Patti Belle was sworn in on Monday. Belle was elected in November after starting her term by appointment in February.
A deadly fire broke out Wednesday morning in a harmful commercial structure. WPFR and LPD are investigating the fire and the death. The City will continue with the logging of the property.
Morning commuters experienced slippery, icy conditions Tuesday morning. Drive carefully and patiently this winter; road ice can be difficult to see.
Residents can enroll in a new South Sound 911 program that provides emergency dispatchers with advance medical information to decisively respond to medical emergencies.
Happy Lakewood Town Vacation
Lakewood’s Drive-Thru Holiday Light Parade was celebrated this past weekend. Volunteers from local businesses and organizations built and displays the festive light nearly 900 cars full of families enjoyed the event. The amazing turnout created a long line, but we hope you left the event filled with holiday cheer.
The City expects to return to a traditional Christmas parade next year.
City Councilor Patti Belle was sworn in on Monday, December 13 to begin a new four-year term following her recent election. Belle first joined the board in February 2021 by date after John Simpson left.
“I think it is a great privilege and honor to serve the Town of Lakewood. I look forward to serving my tenure and learning from (council) and City staff ”.
Patti Belle, Lakewood City Council Member
Click here to see his swearing-in ceremony, or here to read his biography.
The Fire Ignites Nuisances shopping complex along gritty lake
A fire broke out on Wednesday morning at 9616 Gravelly Lake Dr SW, damaging a shopping complex that was being cleaned up. West Pierce Fire & Rescue limited the blaze to the complex; no surrounding buildings were damaged.
Upon entering the structure after extinguishing the fire, firefighters discovered a body. The cause of the fire and the death are under investigation.
Harmful properties are a danger to the community. City staff work daily to bring problematic properties into compliance across the city. We have a long list of active pollution control properties. Usually the owners are responsible and carry out the repairs themselves. The desired result is repair, safety and function of the property.
Just days before the fire, the owner requested that the power be restored so that the electrical work could continue. The City’s building official rejected this request due to the dangerous situation of the building and the combustible load inside. If this structure had been supplied with power, the fire could have posed a greater threat to surrounding businesses.
Winter Weather Is Coming; Expected icy road conditions
Winter has arrived, and freezing overnight temperatures can create dangerous road conditions for morning commuters. Black ice formed on Lakewood streets Tuesday morning, and city crews responded by salting the streets.
Drive carefully and patiently this winter; the road ice can be difficult to see. The streets are cleared of snow or salt according to a priority system – the roads with the most traffic are dealt with first.
South Sound 911 new Emergency health profile The system provides emergency dispatchers with potentially vital information as soon as an emergency call arrives. When citizens with an emergency health profile call 911, dispatchers can quickly communicate medical conditions, allergies, and other relevant information to first responders.
To register, citizens can create a profile on their Sud 911 site or authorize Medical ID on Apple iOS devices with the Health application installed.
Martin Luther King Jr Day (virtual): January 15, 2022
The City will pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on January 15, 2022 (the holiday is January 17). The Town premieres a video based on a theme from “World’s Life in Lakewood,” a nod to an inclusive mural done by students at Clover Park High School.
- Steilacoom & Lakewood: Sewer repair under Steilacoom Boulevard remains on schedule. The roadway is closed between Lakewood Drive and gravelly Lake Drive. The causeway is expected to reopen in February. All local businesses are open.
- Steilacoom & Custer: Installation of the sidewalks between Weller and Phillips will begin in January after completion of utility works in the area.
- Gravelly Lake and Nyanza: Gravelly Lake Drive is closed between Nyanza and Washington until February. Street lights are now active above the new roundabout at Gravelly Lake and Nyanza.
Monday December 13 (Study session)
The meeting began with a swearing-in ceremony for Councilmember Patti Belle. Belle was appointed in February after the departure of John Simpson, then was elected in November for a full four-year term.
Deputy City Manager Tho Kraus reviewed the City’s third quarter financial report. The City’s closing fund balance is the highest since 2007 due to a combination of prudent spending during the pandemic and better-than-expected income after a difficult 2020.
Recreation Coordinator Sally Martinez reviewed the year’s special events and public art. Highlights included celebrating the 25th anniversary, painting a new mural at American Lake Park, and applying decorative utility box wraps around the city.
SummerFest will be back next year, and the city plans to return to a traditional holiday parade around Christmas. New events like Saturday Street Festivals at Colonial Plaza, “Dancing in the Streets”, “Carnival of Cultures” and “Fiesta de la Familia” are on the schedule. Drive-in movie nights will not come back.
Long Term Planning Director Tiffany Speir has reviewed Pierce County’s comprehensive homelessness plan and the end of the work to date. The main goal of the plan is to create a unified Tacoma-Pierce Regional Homelessness Office to Consolidate Efforts and Harmonize Planning. Accountability and measurement are also priorities, starting with the point-in-time count to quantify local roaming in January.
- Monday, December 20 (Regular meeting)
- Health Tips: TPCHD residents to be vaccinated implore, mask, and practice social distancing.
- Recall shots: Adults 18+ are eligible to receive a booster injection if 6+ months have passed since the prior vaccination.
- Vaccine locations: The Towne Center Vaccine Clinic is open daily from midnight to 6 p.m. at 10330 59th SW, STE B, Lakewood, WA 98499.
- Vaccine eligibility: Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are now eligible for the vaccine and the CDC encourages vaccination for this age group.