Winter Explorer Academy
Nine members of the Puyallup Police Explorers endured freezing temperatures at the Yakima Training Center to attend the winter Explorer Academy, December 26-31. The explorers received training in police field operations and mock scenes, as wells as drill and ceremony. All of the Explorers that attended graduated from the program, after completing the rigorous training.
Puyallup Earns an AA/Stable S&P Credit Rating
Standard & Poor's Ratings Service has assigned its 'AA' rating to $5.1 million of combined utility revenue refunding bonds. At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'AA' underlying rating on Puyallup's combined outstanding utility revenue bonds. The bonds are being issued to refund series 2004 bonds in their entirety. The ratings reflect S&P’s view of the combined utilities; including factors such as:
· Primarily residential economic base, along with strong wealth and income levels;
· Strong financial metrics, expected to continue, including debt service coverage (DSC) and liquidity;
· Adoption of a multi-year rate plan; and
· No additional debt plans.
According to the S&P report, the underlying economy is solid and Puyallup's median household effective buying income is considered to be strong, at 100% of the state and 110% of the national level. Furthermore, the city's October unemployment rate of 7.1% was slightly better than the state's (7.3%) and nation's (7.5%).
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Tax season is upon us, and over the past several years, the US Conference of Mayors has been involved in an effort to call attention to what mayors and other elected officials can do to help families in local communities achieve economic success. Working families are encouraged to take advantage of federal tax credits; especially the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The EITC is a refundable tax credit available to working families and individuals earning low-to-moderate incomes. Eligible families can receive as much as $5,891 in tax credits in 2012. More information on EITC is available at www.irs.gov .
Toastmasters Hosts an Open House at City Hall
Talk of the Town Toastmasters, held weekly on the fifth floor of City Hall, has 16 members, and it’s looking for more! The club will host an open house with light refreshments from noon to 1:00 pm, January 30th, in the City Hall Council Chambers. Those who attend will learn about the benefits of being in the club and how a typical meeting is structured. Toastmasters is an international organization, with clubs located in 86 countries. “Talk of the Town Toastmasters”, was launched in the city in 2009 to give city employees the opportunity to hone their skills in public speaking, leadership, and presentation skills. The club has since branched out to welcome community members. Today, about two-thirds of the group is comprised of city employees seeking professional development opportunities.
Reflecting a national trend, the Puyallup Police Department has experienced a significant increase in Concealed Pistol License (CPL) applications from the public. Currently, the only day/time to be fingerprinted is Thursday afternoons from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. In response, our Records staff will be providing the service on Saturday, February 2 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, to help alleviate the Thursday afternoon rush. Additional dates will be scheduled, depending on the public’s response.
Radio System Preventative Maintenance and Optimization Completed
The twice-yearly radio system preventive maintenance and optimization on the Puyallup sub-system was recently completed by our contracted radio system manager. This is done at all five of the sites that comprise the Puyallup radio sub-system. This preventative maintenance is on all equipment affiliated with the 800 MHz system and includes minor adjustments and calibrations made to keep the system in an optimal working condition. The next scheduled maintenance will be this summer.
United Way – Live United!
United Way of Pierce County is committed to making measurable improvements in the lives of people in our community, and the City of Puyallup is on board with this commitment through our annual campaign. The city’s campaign runs from January 17-February 7. Employees can donate online or on a traditional hard copy form and can choose to donate to any 501C3 agency across the nation!
January Wellness Program
The Puyallup Activity Center’s January Wellness Program was titled “Maximize Memory Ability by Staying Cognitively and Physically Active.” The program was taught by Certified Geriatric Wellness Instructor Lindsey Grip, who discussed research showing that lifestyle choices for both physical and mental health can be the best way to delay Alzheimer’s and other degenerative dementias. The class focused on all aspects of psychological aging, memory and cognition, as well as the benefits of social support. In addition, the class covered delay of dementia, fall prevention, and overall wellness strategies.
2013 Safe Routes to School Program Funding
The city was recently selected to receive $210,000 in state funding through the Safe Routes to School program. This funding is subject to approval by the 2013 State Legislature. The project includes flashing beacons, street lights, curb ramps, educational materials/outreach, and speed emphasis patrols at three crosswalk locations adjacent to Puyallup schools. The locations are Meeker Elementary School (5th Street SW between 4th and 5th Avenue SW), Stewart Elementary School (south leg of 5th Street NE/4th Avenue NE intersection), and Aylen Junior High (west leg of W Pioneer/15th Street SW intersection).
New Computer/Cell Phone Forensics Equipment for PPD
The PPD Major Crimes Unit recently obtained new equipment to upgrade the Police Department’s digital forensics capabilities. This includes a new forensics computer and devices that extract evidence from cellular phones. The upgrade will help the digital forensics detective retrieve deleted mobile device content, as well as bypass passwords and pattern locks. Prior to obtaining this equipment, the PD had to rely on other agencies or the state computer crime lab to process some electronic devices for evidence collection, causing delays during investigations in non-priority cases. PPD is one of only a handful of local departments with this upgrade. The forensics equipment was purchased for approximately $6,000 with drug seizure funds.
Residential Development Updates
The city recently received two major residential development submittals. Phase II of the proposed single-family, 80-lot development of the “Villages at South Hill” (aka “Highridge,” located near 39th Avenue SE and Shaw Road), was recently submitted to the city. Plans were also submitted for the “Meeker Crossing” plat, which will consist of approximately 350 homes. The homes will be located on 66 acres north of West Stewart near 26th Avenue SW; which will be built in several phases. Both of these housing projects are preliminary plats, which will involve City staff review followed by separate public hearings before the City Hearing Examiner. Both applicants are planning to begin actual site work later in 2013.
Hearing Examiner Public Hearing
The City Hearing Examiner will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, February 6th at 10:00 am in the City Hall Council Chambers, on two separate proposals: a conditional use permit request from the Puyallup School District to expand their transportation/facility property on 12th Avenue NW and a structural variance for a private residence also in Northwest Puyallup.
Development Services Staff Assists with Burn Ban Enforcement
Development Services staff has been assisting the Puget Sound Clear Air Agency during the recent dry weather burn ban. In late 2012, City Council approved partnering with the Clean Air Agency to help monitor burn ban violations for the winter months. Other local jurisdictions, including Tacoma, Lakewood, and Pierce County; have also been serving in this capacity. The winter burn ban season typically extends only through February, so staff will remain available over the coming weeks in the event another burn ban is called.
Pioneer Park Pavilion
During January 7–20, the Pavilion was busy with a variety of events. Sound Sleep Products, a Sumner Mattress manufacturer, brought in a variety of mattresses and box springs to display for their buyers for the second year. They appreciate how easy the space is for set-up and take-down and plan to use the building again for future shows. In addition, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters held their Company Holiday party at the Pavilion and the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce held their annual “Rising Star” awards breakfast; attended by over 200 local community and business leaders. The Pavilion also hosted two weddings and receptions during the past two weeks.
Changes are coming to the Farmers Market in 2013!
The Puyallup Main Street Association (PMSA) has announced changes for this year’s Farmer’s Market. The Saturday market will begin on April 13th and run through October 12th; hours of operation are from 9:00 am–2:00 pm and vendors will be located in the Pavilion and in Pioneer Park. In addition, PMSA will offer a Wednesday evening market. The Wednesday market will be held in Pioneer Park beginning May 29th through August 28th and will operate from 3:00–7:30 pm; there will be no Sunday market in 2013.
8th Ave NW Low Impact Development (LID) Retrofit
The 8th Ave NW LID Retrofit project was complete as of January 7; the road has been open to the public since December 10. The plantings for the rain gardens will be installed utilizing volunteers in early spring when the weather is better for plant establishment. This project came in 3% less than the budgeted amount. The original budgeted amount for this project was $408,000. The actual project costs for this project were $396,000.
City Gallery Artist Reception
City Gallery opens for one night each quarter for a 'meet the artist' event. This quarter, view the work of local photographer Talis Abolins and meet the man behind the lens on:
Tuesday, February 12
Puyallup City Hall - 5th Floor
Mark Your Calendars
· January 31 – District 2 Neighborhood Meeting, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
· February 1 - City Council Special Meeting, Council Chambers, 2:00 pm
· February 2 – PD Fingerprinting, Puyallup Police Department, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
· February 5 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· February 11 - Pierce Transit Title VI Public Hearing, Pierce Transit Rainier Room, 3720 96th Street SW, Lakewood, 4:00 pm
· February 12 – City Gallery Artist Reception, 5th Floor City Hall, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
· February 12 - Council Study Session, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· February 18 – President’s Day - City Offices are Closed
· February 19 - City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm