“Breakfast With Santa”
“Buddy the Elf” was the theme of this year’s Santa Breakfast, with 338 adults and excited children in attendance. The character “Buddy” did a wonderful job entertaining the crowd and the “Holly Buddy Band” set the stage by playing the music from the hit movie “Elf”. The highlight, as always, was Santa himself! The Recreation Division would like to thank the many sponsors who contributed donations to help carry out this annual event. In addition, nine high school students volunteered their time at the event; the students did an awesome job and earned community service hours. This was the 9th year for the Santa Breakfast, and the most successful yet!
Water Main Breaks - December 26th
A water main break was reported at 7:20 am on December 26th at the intersection of 25th St SE and Valley View Drive. During the initial assessment, the Water Division maintenance crew found a second water main break at the intersection of 15th Ave SE and 25th St SE. The Water Division was working at lower than normal staffing levels, but they successfully teamed up with Street Division staff to expedite the repairs. The crews had both full-circle main breaks repaired and service restored by the end of shift the same day.
The mains in this area were installed in 1966 using Belgium sand cast pipe, a very brittle cast iron pipe. The main was initially installed with inadequate bedding material which created a stress point. As the earth settles over time, the stress increases until the cast iron pipe eventually snaps under the pressure. This is what led to the initial main failure. Staff believes the second break was due to a combination of poor bedding, brittle pipe, and a water hammer effect created by the rapid opening and closing of a six-inch Pressure Reducing Valve on Vista Drive after the initial main break.
Waterfowl Issues at Decoursey Pond
The “Friends of Decoursey Pond” group has been exploring solutions to address the increasing number of waterfowl at Decoursey pond. Ducks and geese are a major contributor to pollution of the pond, which feeds into Clarks Creek. A local dog trainer presented his program of reducing waterfowl populations by the use of trained Border Collies; the dogs are trained to harass the birds without harming them. When done on a regular basis during certain times of the year, duck or geese populations can be reduced dramatically. The trained dogs can also be used to disperse any fowl that relocate on neighboring private properties.
“Creating an Atmosphere of Customer Service”
In an effort to continue building a culture of excellent customer service among city employees, Human Resources launched the first of nine offerings of “Creating an Atmosphere of Customer Service” training classes. This two-hour workshop helps participants recognize customer service opportunities and offers tips to overcome obstacles and barriers to customer service. Effective listening skills are the cornerstone of providing excellent customer service, as well as a helpful attitude, and good knowledge base. This class stemmed from a recent training survey sent by Human Resources to directors. Survey results were instrumental in identifying the types of training viewed as most important; customer service was at the top of the list. All city employees are encouraged to attend one of the nine workshop sessions that will be offered.
Porous Alleys Project
As part of Ecology’s Stormwater Grant Program, the city received funding for our Porous Alley Initiative Program. Impervious surfaces contribute to pollutant loading in Clarks Creek and the Puyallup River. Replacement of existing impervious gravel alleys with porous pavement will reduce the volume of stormwater and pollutant loading from eventually entering into these waterways.
Three alley and street locations have been selected for replacement this year; 6th Ave SW (where a water main was recently replaced), Wilson Loop Drive NW, and the alleys adjacent to the 8th Ave NW LID Retrofit project (between 11th and 9th Street NW). Public Works Engineering is designing the roadways, and construction is anticipated to begin in the spring.
Annual Senior Christmas Party
On December 14th, the Puyallup Activity Center hosted its annual senior Christmas party at the Pioneer Park Pavilion. Over 300 people turned out to enjoy the wonderful holiday festivities. Highlights of the party included spectacular entertainment by the Ferrucci Junior High School Band, Choir, and Orchestra; Santa pictures and presents from Mr. and Mrs. Claus (David German and Valene Patton); and raffle prizes. In addition, delicious food and beverages were served by City Council Members; Parks, Recreation and Senior Advisory Board Members; Special Event Committee Volunteers; and staff. This wonderful holiday celebration was made possible by the contributions of numerous organizations and individuals. In addition, over 760 pounds of food was collected for the Puyallup Food Bank.
Clarks Creek Riparian Restoration
Construction for the grant-funded porous maintenance road in Clarks Creek Park is nearly complete. The re-alignment has been completed and sub-base material is in place, as well as the GravelPave2 product (a plastic sub-surface reinforcement structure, with fabric added to the back, to create a dust, weed, and pot hole free porous gravel parking/walking/riding area), the final layer of gravel is last to be installed. Completion of the road is expected by late December or the first week of January. The work is somewhat weather dependant and could be delayed if severe snow or rain occurs before the end of the year.
Ezra Meeker Mansion Tea & Tour
The Puyallup Activity Center organized a local trip to the “Ezra Meeker Mansion Tea and Tour” on December 19th. Our seniors enjoyed learning (among many things) that Ezra Meeker was a pioneer and leading citizen of Puyallup, Puyallup’s first mayor, one-time “Hop King”, local historian, and author. The tour of the 17-room Italianate Victorian Meeker Mansion was eloquently delivered by “the ladies of the house” who also served a wonderful afternoon tea; the tea was served in the English Bone China Teacup collection belonging to the Meeker Mansion.
5th Ave NW Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation
Construction is scheduled to begin the first week of January 2013 on the 5th Avenue NW Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation. During construction, the existing sewer will be bypass pumped from a manhole between 2nd Street NE and Meridian. The bypass route will follow the curb on 2nd Street NE north to a manhole 200 feet north of 5th Ave. The project will replace old clay pipe and two brick manholes with concrete pre-cast manholes and PVC pipe between North Meridian and 2nd St NW.
Cleaning up our Act: Burn ban information & $$$ for old Woodstoves
Tacoma and much of Pierce County is one of only 32 areas in the country that doesn't meet federal health standards for air quality. Wood smoke plays a large part in this pollution problem in our region. In 2009, an area Smoke Reduction Zone was designated and new programs implemented to make our region healthier.
Efforts to improve air quality include increased public education and enforcement surrounding burn bans. The weather forecast for the upcoming weekend is hinting at the possibility of a burn ban. If a burn ban IS called for this weekend, enforcement staff will be out patrolling the Smoke Reduction Zone, looking for violations. More information on the enforcement process is available at www.airsafepiercecounty.org.
Puyallup citizens who use a woodstove or fireplace can sign up to receive burn ban alerts via text message to avoid adding to air pollution or receiving a citation. This convenient, free service is easy to sign up for: Simply text “pierceburn” to 313131 from your cell phone.
In addition to the increased enforcement and education efforts related to burn bans, citizens can also sign up to receive help with the cost of replacing an old woodstove. Older, uncertified wood stoves and inserts are dirty, less efficient and pollute the air – both inside homes and in the surrounding neighborhoods. $1.5 million in funding is now available to help remove, recycle or replace the estimated 24,000 uncertified devices in our area. More information on what older woodstoves qualify is available at www.pscleanair.org/woodstove.
Citizens can register at https://secure.pscleanair.org/WoodSmokeReduction/ for:
· Woodstove Buy Back Program
· Prize Drawing: Free Woodstove Replacement for 10 lucky winners
· No-cost Woodstove Replacement for Low-income Households
Generator Upgrades and Flooding Mitigation Improvements
In order to maintain public safety and health, the Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) and remote pumping stations must operate without interruption. Any service interruption could result in sewage backup into homes and businesses and/or sanitary sewer overflows, creating health, environmental, and liability issues. To ensure uninterrupted service, the WPCP and all major pumping stations are equipped with diesel-powered emergency generators that automatically provide power when utility service is interrupted.
Some major upgrades are now underway: Relocation of incoming power and distribution switchgear to an elevation above the proposed flood elevation for safety and elevation of other substation pads as necessary; completion of minor building modifications to allow continued operation in the event of a flooding episode; replacement of the 30-year-old generator at the 4th and River Road Pumping Station; replacement of the 30-year-old North Levee Road pumping station generator; replacement of two 30-year-old generators at the WPCP; the addition of a new generator dedicated exclusively to fail-safe influent pumping at the treatment plant; and replacement of 30-year-old switchgear and motor starters connected to the generators. Construction of this project was awarded to McClure and Sons and is scheduled to begin in January. Construction management of this large, technical project will be supported by Conley Engineering, Inc.
Mark Your Calendars
· January 1 – New Year’s Day - City Offices are Closed
· January 8 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· January 15 – Council Study Session, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· January 21 – MLK Jr. Day - City Offices are Closed
· January 22 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· February 1 – City Council Special Meeting, Council Chambers, 2:00 pm· February 5 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm