Puyallup Riparian Stream Planting Video Wins Film Festival Award
The Puyallup River Outreach Program (PROP) held their 1st Annual Puyallup River Film Festival on December 5th at the University of Washington - Tacoma. This program is funded, in part, by the Russell Family Foundation. The festival drew an audience from government agencies, non-profit organizations, local schools, the Festival’s sponsors, The Russell Family Foundation, and others interested in the Puyallup River Watershed.
Films were submitted by a wide range of filmmakers, including: Pierce County’s Office of Sustainability, Lincoln High School’s Lincoln Center, the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Friends of Fennel Creek, and Washington State University’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center. Each audience member received a ballot and picked the best submissions in four categories: (1) high school student, (2) college student, (3) government agency, and (4) non-profit organization. In addition, the audience selected a Grand Prize winner from across all four categories. Puyallup’s submission of their Riparian Planting Program won in the government agency category! Joy Rodriguez, Associate Stormwater Engineer, submitted the film that was created with PCTV through our annual PCTV contract. Our hats go off to Joy for the effort she put forth to promote the City and its successful programs. Here’s a link to the video: Streamside Planting video in 2013
West Hills - Neighborhood Open House
The City’s current Comprehensive Plan contains a “Neighborhood Plan” section pertaining to the West Hills area, roughly bound by 9th Street SW, SR-512, Woodland Avenue, and 23rd Avenue SW. The map and text section of the Plan was established thirteen years ago, prior to the West Hills annexation into the City. As part of the ongoing Comprehensive Plan update, City staff and the Planning Commission are reviewing the West Hills section of the plan and will be holding a Neighborhood Open House on:
Wednesday, February 5th
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Fruitland Elementary School gymnasium
1515 S. Fruitland Ave
Notices for the Open House are being mailed to the West Hills residents. No actual changes in zoning are being considered as a part of this current update, but this is an opportunity to potentially reformat neighborhood plan sections of the Comprehensive Plan. Contact City Planner Kendall Wals, 253-841-5462, for additional information.
Hearing Examiner Public Hearing – Commercial Building on 5th St SE
The City Hearing Examiner will hold a public hearing on January 30th, 11:00 am, City Hall - 5th Floor Council Chambers. This hearing is regarding a Conditional Use Permit request for a small commercial building abutting the BNSF railroad tracks on the east side of 5th Street SE. Members of the public are welcome to attend Hearing Examiner meetings. City Planner Chris Beale, 253-841-5418, is the contact on this project hearing.
Sound Transit Is Asking for Your Feedback!
Sound Transit continues its work on station access planning in Puyallup with a Community Open House on Thursday, February 6th, 4:30 – 7:30 pm, at the Puyallup High School Commons. Sound Transit will present various options for potential improvements in and around the downtown Puyallup Sounder Station. In addition, Sound Transit is conducting a local public survey on the potential improvement options, which can be accessed via Sound Transit’s website. Feedback from this open house and survey will be used by Sound Transit as they refine the list of possible improvements for Puyallup to be funded with Sound Transit 2 (ST2) funds for the future expansion of the regional mass transit system.
Puyallup Development News
Several businesses are in the process of completing their construction phases and/or are opening for business, including:
1. Puyallup Volkswagen, the first major new car brand in Puyallup in several years, will soon be opening at the Harnish Auto dealership site at 9th Street NW-River Road. The building, formerly housing Puyallup Buick-GMC, has been undergoing renovation work to accommodate the new Volkswagen dealership; the Buick-GMC operations are being moved to another soon-to-be-remodeled structure on the site.
2. Pacific NW Motorsports, which already has two sales facilities on River Road, has recently opened a third truck sales site at 400 Valley Avenue NE. This new sales operation occupies the western half of the Miles Resources headquarters site, formerly the Cornforth-Campbell Auto Dealership.
3. Domino’s Pizza is moving into a new expanded restaurant space at the Meeker’s Landing commercial center (NE corner of E. Pioneer – 5th Street SE). This new facility is much larger than Domino’s nearby, current takeout-only store and includes a sit down dining area. The restaurant is due to open within the next few weeks.
4. Red Canoe Credit Union is slated to open its new facility on 39th Avenue SW, next to the South Hill Mall Transit Center, before the end of January. A formal grand opening is anticipated in February.
Corporate Yard South Access Upgrade
Installation of an access on the south side of the corporate yards facility is underway to allow better ingress/egress of large vehicles and trucks. The project will install approximately 300 linear feet of pervious concrete driveway 26 linear feet in width. The Contractor began work on January 13th.
911 Performance Stats for 2013
The Communications Center finished the year strong in their 911 performance standards. Puyallup’s Communications Center is a primary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), handling emergency and non-emergency calls for Puyallup, Bonney Lake, and Sumner. In 2013, the Comm Center handled 47,244 emergency 911 calls as well as handling 66,227 non-emergency/business calls. The Communications Center answered 96.98% of these 911 calls within the first 10 seconds and 99.91% within the first 20 seconds. Both percentages far exceed recognized national standards for 911 answering times. We commend our City of Puyallup dispatchers, who are consistently dedicated to providing quick, timely, and professional service to our community.
Citizen’s Academy Graduation
The Puyallup Police Department held a graduation dinner for the first Citizen’s Academy class in approximately five years, with seventeen students successfully completing the eleven-week program. The class was such a success, that several of the graduates promptly signed up for the Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS) program. Mayor Knutsen and Councilmembers Vermillion, Door, and Shadko attended the graduation to recognize those who completed the program. Applications are currently being accepted for the spring session of the Citizen’s Academy.
Street Division employees, Scott Hill and Jason Rogge, recently attended a “Swerve Fleet Winter Driving Challenge” course. This course was developed and taught by former members of the Washington State Patrol. Attendees participated in both the classroom and on an obstacle course driving challenge. Various driving skills were tested, including: emergency braking, lane changes, vision exercises, and collision avoidance. The information learned in the course will be passed on to the Public Works team in upcoming in-house training.
Saturday, January 18th was “Silent Saturday” for Puyallup’s Youth Basketball program. The purpose of Silent Saturday is to have a day for the kids in the program to display what they have learned so far this season. Spectators are asked to stay silent for the day, which allows the kids to focus on the instruction given to them by their coaches. Parents and other spectators are asked to remain silent and show their support solely by clapping. Silent Saturday is not meant to punish the spectators but to allow the kids a chance to play without verbal feedback from the stands. Silent Saturday also encourages coaching in a positive manner.
Citizen Boards & Commissions Vacancies
The City of Puyallup is currently accepting applications from citizens interested in serving on one of the City’s following volunteer boards and commissions: Civil Service Commission, Library Board, Design Review and Historic Preservation, Planning Commission, and the City Council Salary Review Commission. Completed applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office no later than January 31st. Click here for the application and learn more about the scope and purpose of various boards here.
SR 167 Puyallup River Bridge Closure
Northbound SR 167 Puyallup River Bridge along with 4th St NE and North Levee Road East will be closed every night from January 12th - February 3rd, at the following times:
· 9:00 pm Sundays through Thursdays until 5:30 am the following morning;
· 10:00 pm Fridays to 10:00 am Saturdays;
· 10:00 pm Saturdays to 11:00 am Sundays.
During the closure, WSDOT crews will execute repairs on the 89-year-old steel truss bridge. The southbound bridge will be reconfigured to accommodate two-way traffic and detour signs will reroute motorists. Click here for bridge repair and closure details.
Conversation With Puyallup’s New Mayor John Knutsen
The Puyallup Activity Center is honored to have Mayor John Knutsen provide regular updates on City projects and events, followed by a question and answer session. “Conversation with the Mayor” occurs the second Thursday of each month at 10:00 am.
Pioneer Park Recreation Upgrades
The Pioneer Park Recreation Upgrades project is progressing on schedule to meet a targeted July 3rd opening date. Recent review of plan development by the City Council has directed the park design to incorporate amenities such as seating walls, picnic tables, and access paths. This will help create a fully-incorporated feel of the spray park, which will replace the current wading pool.
The replacement play structure will include two separate structures to accommodate both younger (2-5) and older (6-12) children with appropriately-sized play features.
Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year
Captain Scott Engle was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year at the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce 2013 Rising Star Awards Breakfast on January 14th. Captain Engle is currently the president of the Puyallup Kiwanis and donates an amazing amount of his time to their efforts. Way to go, Scott!
Valley Avenue Bridge Girder Repair (Epoxy Injection) Project
The current Valley Avenue Bridge is rated at 67 out of 100 on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s bridge inspection rating system. Although the bridge was built in 1998, the rating was downgraded due to cracks that have appeared on the main support girders of the second span on the north side. These cracks do not make the bridge structurally unsound, but must be repaired to prevent further degradation of the internal reinforcing steel.
Staff is currently working with Gray and Osborne on design of a fix for this issue, entailing the delivery of high pressure epoxy injections at the crack locations. This repair will prevent further intrusion of water into the cracks and prevent rust from developing on the steel. As part of this project, the City will also obtain an access easement from Uchida Farms, LLC for access to the bridge on the north side of the railroad tracks. The City, when it annexed the bridge in 2007, did not have a legal access to the north side of the bridge. Obtaining an easement will remedy this problem. It will also provide a necessary access for future maintenance, repairs, and inspections of the structure. This project design is anticipated to be completed in late January 2014 and bid in early March 2014.
4th Ave SE Water Main Replacement Project
Construction for the 4th Ave SE Water Main Replacement Project is scheduled to begin February 3rd. The project is expected to be completed by the end of April. This project will replace the existing main with a new main to ensure adequate level of service and fire flows. Replacing the service connections along the street will bring the entire street up to updated standards. The council approved budget for this project is $167,573.45.
7th St NW Railroad Crossing Upgrade
BNSF plans to rehabilitate the 7th St NW Railroad Crossing in the upcoming months. Tentatively, this work should be completed during work days around the beginning or middle of February. The crossing work schedule is subject to change based on the progress of the adjacent rail replacement work.
This crossing was not originally included as part of the larger rehabilitation project. As a credit to the cooperation and teamwork shown on the completion of the six planned crossings, BNSF has requested to rehabilitate the 7th St NW crossing at no cost to the City in exchange for the City providing traffic control. This crossing rehabilitation will not be as extensive as the others; the road grade and sidewalks will not be significantly altered, and the road surface will be replaced with asphalt as opposed to concrete. This will complete the rehabilitation of all seven crossings in downtown Puyallup.
Human Resources Assumes Workers Compensation Duties
As of January 1st, the Human Resources Department took responsibility for Workers Compensation functions in the City. HR Analyst Katie Ortega will now be the main point of contact for all workers comp claims. For incidents that occur during normal business hours, employees can contact Katie to obtain an Injured Workers Packet and to answer any questions. For those employees who work outside of normal business hours, HR is working with the affected departments to secure a location where the packets can be accessible at all times.
Seattle Times Printing Press Tour
The Puyallup Activity Center recently coordinated a Seattle Times Printing Press tour. The excursion was a lot of fun for our seniors and one of the most popular parts was watching robots pick up enormous rolls of newsprint and move them along to the press. The tour also included following the newspapers roll “hot off the press,” through the packaging center, and out the door to the waiting trucks. After the tour, our group enjoyed lunch at Canyon’s Restaurant in Bothell before departing for home.
Local Source Control Program and a Local Success Story
The City’s grant-funded Local Source Control Program is beginning a new business focus to support local automotive shops, gas stations, and storage facilities. The program began in November and businesses will receive no-cost assistance and site visits to evaluate their day-to-day practices and identify potential environmental impacts. The purpose of the City’s program (modeled after a program developed by the Department of Ecology) is to support local small businesses by providing technical assistance to help them understand how to stay in compliance and identify cost saving practices. To date, there have been over 50 site visits with local automotive repair-related businesses.
One local success story is from the AM/PM on the corner of Meridian and 15th Street. After an initial site visit from Bryana Solis, the City’s Local Source Control Specialist, the business owner became aware of the issue and took the initiative to clean their site.
Mark Your Calendars
· January 29 – Planning Commission Public Hearing, Potential I-502 Zoning Code Amendments, Council Chambers, 7:00 pm
· January 30 - Hearing Examiner Public Hearing, Council Chambers, 11:00 am
· February 4 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· February 5 – West Hills Neighborhood Open House, Fruitland Elementary School Gymnasium, 5:00-7:00 pm
· February 6 – Sound Transit Community Open House, Puyallup High School Commons, 4:30 – 7:30 pm,
· February 11 – Council Study Session, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· February 17 – President’s Day - City Offices are Closed