January 2018

A Library in Wildwood Park? Why, Yes!

A local Girl Scout troop has built and installed a “Little Free Library” in Wildwood Park in Puyallup. The books offered are for all ages, from pre-readers to adults.

Troop #43636 spent nine months from start to finish on this project, and will continue to serve as the library’s primary stewards. The troop welcomes book donations, which it will use to restock the library as needed.

Crystal Mann, troop leader, said the group’s twelve scouts made the library for the community to enjoy. It is the troop’s hope that the community helps take care of this new, interactive amenity. The library also serves as a painted rock trading post, thanks to a partnership with the PUYALLUP ROCKS group.

The “Little Free Library” is located in Wildwood Park near the caretaker’s residence. More information can be found on the Facebook page set up by Mann.
Little Library 1
little library 2

Free AARP Income Tax Preparation 

The Puyallup Activity Center has partnered with AARP again this year to provide income tax preparation assistance through April 3rd. Through trained volunteers, AARP Tax-Aide helps numerous taxpayers have more discretionary income for everyday essentials, such as food and housing, by assisting with tax services and ensuring they receive applicable tax credits and deductions. The program is offered free to Puyallup taxpayers with low and moderate incomes, with special attention to those 60 and older.  

Public Hearing

The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 6:30 PM, on the following two zoning items: 

  • Proposed City Zoning map amendments related to “Planned Developments” wherein multiple residential areas around the City, upon their original platting, were simply zoned “Planned Development” (PD) on the City’s zoning map. The City ceased using that “PD” zone district for new subdivisions several years ago, instead using one of the standard “RS” single-family residential zones, as we found that the PD label led to some confusion on the part of residents as to their exact development standards.  The City is now revisiting those few remaining older plats/areas which are still shown as “PD” on the City’s zoning map and formally reclassifying them to an appropriate “RS”-zone district corresponding to their overall density.  These “clean-up” rezones do not involve any actual new development approvals.
  • Proposed zoning text amendments to Section 20.59 (Wireless Communications) of the Puyallup Municipal Code, relating to “small cell wireless facilities”. These proposed code changes are intended to address new wireless technology for siting smaller cellular antennas and related equipment on poles and other places, including within City rights-of-way.        
Assistant Planner Rachael Brown (253-770-3363) is the case planner for both zoning projects. This Planning Commission hearing will be held in the City Council Chambers on the 5th Floor of the City Hall (333 S. Meridian); any interested party may attend and, if desired, provide testimony. Any Planning Commission action from this hearing takes the form of recommendations to City Council, which would be scheduled for Council consideration at a later date.    

New IKEA Store and Lunch

In January, the Puyallup Activity Center escorted a group of very excited seniors to the newly remodeled IKEA store located in Renton. Nationwide, IKEA stores are known and admired for having unique and cutting-edge home furnishings with modern designs and Scandinavian flair. The group had a fabulous time exploring this new unique store and after they shopped, they re-energized themselves with a delicious lunch from IKEA’s trendy restaurant. 

Library Yule Ball

In December, the Puyallup Public Library hosted a hugely successful Harry Potter themed Yule Ball wherein 357 people attended! Witches and wizards of all ages came in costume to enjoy activities like Pin the Sock on Dobby and Quidditch Cornhole, Hogwart-approved crafts that included creating a wax sealed letter, Harry Potter trivia and music! Fans of wizard rock danced to a performance by Tonk and the Aurors. One family came all the way from Moses Lake to enjoy the event!
Yule Ball 3

Great Decisions Discussion Group 2018

The Puyallup Activity Center has partnered again this year with Learning is ForEver and the Puyallup Public Library to offer Great Decisions Discussion Group 2018.  Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs and is sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions briefing book, meeting to watch a DVD pertaining to the theme of the week, then discussing critical global issues facing America Today. Topics presented include: The Waning of Pax Americana?, Russia’s Foreign Policy, China and America - The New Geopolitical Equation, Media and Foreign Policy, Turkey - A Partner In Crisis, U.S. Global Engagement & The Military, South Africa’s Fragile Democracy, and Global Health-Progress & Challenges.

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

During National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week that took place January 22nd – 28th, the Puyallup Police Department partnered with the Puyallup School District and the Youth Investment Center to provide educational activities for youth in the community to participate in. School Resource Officer (SRO) Mark Ketter provided demonstrations at junior high schools using the “drunk goggles” to demonstrate the impact that alcohol consumption has on their judgement and abilities.  SRO Ketter also did a mock drive in the department’s electric GEM car at Puyallup High School with the drunk goggles to demonstrate to students the impacts of driving impaired.  The week ended with a panel discussion about drugs and alcohol organized by our Crime Prevention Coordinator Keriann Cockrell.  The week of activities was well received and our department appreciated the opportunity to make a connection with youth in our community.
drunk goggles

Utility Rate Increases to Fund Capital Needs

In the interest of attending to important maintenance and upgrades for our aging utility systems, Puyallup’s water, sewer and storm water rates will increase by 3.5% in 2018. This means that the average residential utility customer will pay an additional $3.54 per month, starting February 1st.

These rate increases are tied to the Construction Cost Index (CCI) as reported by Engineering News Record. The CCI is determined by certain labor and materials costs.

According to current and future capital needs of the three utility systems, the revenues available to each utility are not sufficient to accomplish all or even most of the listed projects (see pages 96-99 of the adopted 2018 budget). As an example, in 2019 the city expects to have $1,250,000 in available capital funding for the water utility—yet we project $6,138,333 in capital needs. As projects go unfunded, they are moved out into future years, growing each subsequent year’s deficit.
Capital needs for the utilities come in the form of seismic retrofits, tank re-coatings, water main replacements, lift stations and pump stations, sewer lines—even preventive efforts to protect the water pollution control plant and ensure its continued operation during a major flood event.

The amounts needed for capital improvements are large simply because the systems are large. Puyallup’s wastewater and stormwater collection systems are composed of approximately 190 miles of pipe, 6,500 manholes, 10,000 lateral connections, 15,000 acres of drainage and 32 detention ponds. On the water side, nearly all of the city’s drinking water comes from two natural springs and five deep wells. Ground-sourced and of high quality, it’s collected and conveyed to nine sealed reservoirs which together can hold 19.3 million gallons. From there, the water is distributed on demand to residents and businesses via more than 200 miles of pipeline.
Salmon Springs Water Main Replacement
Because the provision of utilities is, like public safety, an essential public service, it’s critical that we responsibly invest in the infrastructure which allows us to safely and reliably provide these.

Spring Softball

Registration for our adult slow pitch spring softball leagues opened on January 29. We offer leagues for Men, Women and Coed teams and games are played six days a week. Registration closes on March 11 so be sure to register early before leagues fill up.
Development Services – Proposed New Development Projects

Over the past several weeks, City Development Review staff have held pre-application meetings with the proponents of the following possible new development projects: 

  • T-Mobile proposed new cellular antenna facilities in the grandstand area of the State Fairgrounds, including a replacement light standard/antenna.  
  • Triplex in the 1200 block of East Main.  
  • Proposal to renovate and re-use the currently-vacant “Liquid Sugars” (aka ADM) industrial/tank facility at 213 10th Street SE. This proposal is to rehabilitate the site for handling recycled petroleum products.  
  • The Puyallup School District plans an approximately 13,000 square foot addition to the existing “Central Kitchen” institutional building at 1500 39th Avenue SW to serve as warehouse space for District supplies.   
  • Two-lot single family residential subdivision, proposed for the 500 block of 15th Street SE. 

MLK Basketball Clinic

With basketball season in full swing, sometimes it’s important to focus on the fundamentals. This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Basketball Clinic had 78 participants that did just that.  Kids from kindergarten through 8th grade spent two hours of their holiday on the basketball court in an effort to improve their game.  Arvin Mosley of Triple Impact Coaching keeps the clinic fun but also focuses on improving each player’s skills.  The Recreation Center hosts clinics like this throughout the year, with this year’s MLK clinic being the best attended yet.  
MLK Basketball Clinic

2017 Code Compliance Stats

The City’s Code Compliance function handles a variety of nuisance situations in Puyallup, including derelict buildings, debris in yards, illegal land uses, junk cars, overgrown landscaping, etc.  Code Compliance Officer Shane Pieren had a very active year in 2017, as evidenced by the following year-end statistics: 

  • Newly opened compliance cases in 2017: 248 
  • Total cases resolved and closed in 2017: 197 (90% of all complaints received some City response/action within two days of receipt).
  • Top categories of compliance cases (in order of %):  Trash & debris, weeds & overgrown vegetation, motor vehicle violations, dangerous buildings, unsanitary premises. 
  • Total compliance site inspections in 2017: 2,248 
  • Top months for receiving compliance complaints: May-August
  • Total # of violation notices issued in 2017: 369
  • Current number of active “yellow tag” properties (i.e. derelict buildings in which occupancy is only permitted to repair violations):  24  

Daddy Daughter Dance

The annual Daddy Daughter Dance was held on February 3rd at the Pioneer Park Park Pavilion.  Dads and daughters were able to create a treasured memory and dance the night away. This Puyallup tradition is designed to bring dads and daughters together for a night of fun. The dance featured a live DJ playing kid friendly hits, light refreshments and a professional photographer.  Two dances were offered this year to accommodate the number of dads and daughters who wanted to attend.  
Daddy Daughter Dance 1
Daddy Daughter Dance 2

Shaw Road Widening, 23rd – Manorwood

This approximately $7 million project will add a center turn lane to ease traffic congestion and improve travel times, particularly during the morning and evening commute hours. It will also add planter islands, a sidewalk on the west side, a multi-use trail on east side and three designated crosswalks with flashing lights. The entire project is low impact development with the use of pervious paving materials on the majority of the surface treatments.  

Project bids are due in early February and work is anticipated to start in May. Because a full road closure will shorten the time needed for construction, this section of Shaw Road will be inaccessible to all through traffic for approximately eight months. Detour routes will be provided; see more information at 

Silent Saturday – Youth Basketball

The youth basketball leagues recently had their first of two Silent Saturdays on January 20th.  Silent Saturday is a day for the young players to display what they have learned thus far this season.  Spectators are asked to stay silent for the duration of the games; however, clapping is encouraged. This gives the young players a chance to hear one voice, the voice of the coach.  Silent Saturday is not meant to punish the spectators but rather to allow the kids to play without feedback from the stands.  

S.A.I.L. Program

Puyallup seniors are enthusiastically starting off the New Year with a re-commitment to their health. One of the many options available to them is participating in the Stay Active and Independent for Life (S.A.I.L.) fitness program. S.A.I.L. is a senior-developed exercise program with the goal of promoting healthier life styles for adults 65 and older.  The entire curriculum of activities performed in the S.A.I.L. program can help seniors reduce their chances of falling and improve their strength and balance if done regularly. 

2017 Overlay

An overlay of West Pioneer from 11th Street SW to 5th Street SW is anticipated to begin this spring as this section of roadway was selected for last year’s funds. This project will involve grinding off the surface of the existing roadway, re-paving, striping, and replacing curb.  Additionally, removal and replacement of sidewalk that is out of compliance or a trip hazard, which includes constructing ramps to ADA compliance will also occur. The sidewalks will be replaced with pervious material to meet Low Impact Development regulations.  The project has bid and the low bidder (Miles Resources LLC) was $140,000.00 below the engineers’ estimate. The start date is still undetermined, but should be no later than June 8, 2018, to ensure the project is complete in time for the start of the Washington State Fair in September.

Puyallup South Hill Rotary Dog Park at Rainier Woods 

On January 27th, approximately 15 volunteers from the South Hill Rotary assisted with the installation of the dog park amenities at the new dog park at Rainier Woods. The volunteers worked alongside our Park Maintenance staff to install the various dog park toys. The Rotary contributed $20,000 to the project and wanted to assist with the install of the park amenities that were purchased with their generous donation. In appreciation of their donation, naming rights were granted for the dog park “Puyallup South Hill Rotary Dog Park at Rainier Woods”.  
Dog Park 1
Dog Park Agility Course

Pioneer Park Pavilion

Even though the weather has been dreary, January at the Pavilion has been busy with a variety of great events. This past month the Pavilion hosted the Auto Warehousing employee event, the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber’s Rising Star Breakfast, three beautiful weddings/receptions, the Keurig/Green Mountain Coffee Roasters holiday party, and the two-day Puyallup School District PTA Art Reflections event. We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful, multipurpose venue in the City of Puyallup and we continue to get glowing reviews from our customers! 
Once again, the Pavilion was represented at the NW Wedding Expo at the Tacoma Dome on January 6th and 7th. This continues to be a great opportunity to connect with potential clients and network with other local venues and vendors.
wedding expo