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Mar. 7, 2014 at 10:09am City Manager's Update March 7, 2014

Puyallup Newcomers on the “Excellent 10” List

The Economic Development Board (EDB) of Tacoma-Pierce County held its annual meeting in Tacoma on February 28th. Deputy Mayor John Hopkins participated in this well-attended community meeting, along with City Manager Bill McDonald and Development Services Director Tom Utterback. At each year’s annual meeting, the EDB unveils its “Excellent 10” list, showcasing ten noteworthy economic development projects of the prior year. This year, Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB) and TriWest Healthcare Alliance were both featured on the Excellent 10 list. These two companies established major new offices in the Benaroya Business & Technology Center in late 2013.

Puyallup’s Historic Hatchery Featured on Pierce County News

Since the Puyallup Fish Hatchery earned a spot in the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, the Puyallup Historical Hatchery Foundation (PHHF) has been hard at work! See what’s new at the hatchery in the PCTV news segment below:

“Puyallup Hatchery to Open Education Center” - http://youtu.be/GqE7gDNGLLM

How does the City of Puyallup determine whether a traffic signal should be installed at an intersection?

The City of Puyallup follows the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) that establishes minimum conditions under which a signal installation should be considered. The manual provides a process for the traffic engineer to follow while investigating conditions and circumstances regarding the installation of a new traffic signal. The manual contains nine warrants (criteria) which are used to investigate the need for a traffic signal.

Per the MUTCD, the satisfaction of a traffic signal warrant or warrants shall not in itself require the installation of a traffic signal. The MUTCD recommends that engineering judgment also be used in the evaluation of the warrants to ensure that a traffic signal will improve the overall safety and/or operation of the intersection.

Social Media assists PPD once again

Chalk up another win for Puyallup PD’s social media efforts! On February 24th an inmate escaped from PPD custody at Good Samaritan Hospital. Besides conducting an extensive search for the inmate, notice of his escape was posted to social media and the PD received several citizen tips. One alert citizen saw the Facebook post and alerted her relatives living in the area the suspect was last seen. As it turned out, they spotted him in their backyard and called 9-1-1 to alert police of his whereabouts. A K-9 track led officers to the backyard shed where the escapee was hiding. Great work by officers, department of corrections personnel, and our alert citizens!

2014 Crosswalk Projects

The City has eleven crosswalk projects scheduled for 2014. The projects slated for the installation of new marked crosswalks with rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) are at: 

· Meridian and 4th Ave SE
· 3rd St SE and 4th Ave SE
· 7th Ave at DeCoursey Park
· West Pioneer and 15th St SW
· 5th St NE near Stewart Elementary 

We will also be enhancing existing crosswalks by adding RRFB’s to:

· West Pioneer and 2nd St SW
· West Pioneer and 7th St SW
· 5th St SW near Meeker Elementary

A signal will also replace the four-way stop at 7th Ave SW and 5th St SW, which will increase pedestrian and vehicle safety. A new signal with crosswalks, located at the intersection of Valley Ave E and 27th Ave NW, was just completed on March 4th.

Motorola Visits PPD

Motorola recently visited with members of the Puyallup Police Department to talk about their next generation data/communication device portfolio. During a similar visit in 2013, Motorola was able to gather valuable perspectives from officer/end users as well as from specialized units (e.g. detectives, major crimes, supervisors, etc.), so that they can cover both general needs as well as situations that are less frequent, but have a deep importance to Puyallup and law enforcement in general.

Motorola representatives also rode along with PPD officers to gain a better understanding of officer workflow from beginning to end. Motorola Reps were able to observe: daily workflow (before, during and post shift); officer workflow while responding to a 911 call; communications (radio, non-radio, inside and outside the vehicle); and information & data capture needs (inside and outside the vehicle). Visiting with law enforcement agencies helps Motorola develop new and relevant technologies.

Stormwater Section Utilizes Display Case for Awards

The Public Works Engineering Stormwater Division recently began utilizing the display case on the third floor of City Hall to hold and showcase some of its awards and achievements. Next time you’re on the third floor, stop by and see what Public Works has been up to over the past couple of years!

NLC Prescription Drug Program = Real Savings for Puyallup Citizens

The City of Puyallup has issued prescription discount cards through a National League of Cities’ (NLC) Program since 2009. Over the length of the program, more than 1,300 discounted prescriptions have been filled, saving City residents more than $17,000. In 2013, Puyallup users of the discount card saved an average of 29.5%. This program is offered at no cost to the City. NLC works in conjunction with Caremark to provide for program administration and materials. It remains to be seen how federally-mandated healthcare plans will impact program use. More information on the program, including how to enroll, can be found on our website.

City Staff is On-Call for Local Burn Ban Monitoring

Last winter, City staff assisted the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) with local burn ban monitoring. This was done to help support local air quality. This winter City staff has also been prepared to assist PSCAA with this activity. Fortunately, so far it has been a very mild winter on the burn ban front. Despite some extended clear weather in January, no major burn bans have been called in Pierce County in 2014. Other than a brief monitoring episode in January which was quickly called off, City staff has not had to engage in any burn ban monitoring so far this winter. Given changing seasonal weather patterns, burn ban incidences are very uncommon after the end of February, so it appears that this burn ban season is about completed, with minimal City staff involvement.          

New Speakers Installed at the Pavilion

In an attempt to improve the sound quality at the Pioneer Park Pavilion, new speakers were recently installed. These new speakers are a column design which produces an extremely tight vertical sound field that spreads the sound waves at a constant height in relation to the installation location. The speakers are located on either side of the normal stage location and at a height that reaches both seated and standing participants. The sound quality is excellent and much clearer than the old overhead speaker system. The speakers were debuted at the Annual Pierce County Regional Council meeting in February, and the sound quality was given high marks by those in attendance.

Puyallup Development News

A new ice cream business is opening on South Meridian this week. Subzero Ice Cream, a new ice cream parlor brand which is just moving into the state, is opening its newest store in the 4100 block of South Meridian. Subzero stores are unique in that their ice cream treats are made on-the-spot using nitrogen gas to freeze the ice cream at the time of the customer’s order. Having nitrogen tanks onsite made for a slightly more complicated permitting and inspection process, but City building & fire prevention staff have worked closely with the owner and contractor over the past few months to ready the store for occupancy.    

Arbor Day Event- Replanting Street Trees

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) recently contacted the City regarding a partnership for our Arbor Day celebration this year, scheduled for April 19th. Puyallup is nearing certification in our first year as a Tree City USA. As a requirement for Tree City USA, we must hold an Arbor Day event. This year, the City will be partnering with PSE on replacement of street trees that were unsuitably planted under overhead utility lines.

A crew from the Washington Conservation Corps, working under an urban forestry work crew assistance grant from the Washington State DNR, recently removed City street trees along West Stewart between 12th and 5th Streets. About forty trees were removed as the trees were incompatible underneath the overhead utility lines. The City is partnering with PSE and volunteers to complete the replanting and educate the public on the appropriate species to plant underneath overhead utility lines. The Arbor Day event will be an open-to-the-public volunteer planting day. Eventually, all of West Stewart will receive the same remove-and-replace treatment.

Pierce County Regional Council Annual General Assembly Meeting

The Pierce County Regional Council held their General Assembly meeting at the Pioneer Park Pavilion on February 20th. This is the first time that the Pavilion has hosted this annual event. Approximately 120 general assembly members from communities throughout Pierce County were in attendance. Mayor John Knutsen welcomed the members and other elected officials to Puyallup and provided them with some information about upcoming events in our community. Following several speakers and the conduct of official business, the members enjoyed a catered meal provided by Puyallup-based HG Bistro.  

Clarks Creek Sediment Removal Process - Update

On February 14th, the City received the HPA (Hydraulic Project Approval) permit that is required to complete the in-water demonstration project to remove accumulated sediment in a 400 foot test section of Clarks Creek. The permit will cover the in-water work for the one-time demonstration, with ongoing monitoring through 2017. The City is currently developing bid documents and specifications for the project, which is anticipated to be completed during the 2014 fish window (June 15-August 1).

Captain Portmann achieves certification

Captain Ryan Portmann was awarded his Middle Management Career Level Certification on February 24th from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. As a middle manager, Captain Portmann is mandated by RCW 43.101.350 to successfully complete the core training requirements prescribed by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission for the position. Captain Portmann was well qualified for certification, he has completed over 211 hours in leadership electives over the past 4 years, with classes including: Conducting an Internal Affairs Investigation; Employment Law for Supervisors; Intermediate Incident Command for Expanding Incidents; Leadership Under Fire; and Public Information Officer (PIO) training; just to name a few. Congratulations to Puyallup PD’s newest certified Middle Manager, Captain Ryan Portmann!

Youth Baseball/Softball

Registration for the Puyallup Recreation youth baseball/softball program was conducted in February. Recreation leagues are offered for boys and girls ages 5-14. Select baseball leagues are offered for 14 & under and 16 & under teams. A girl’s competitive fast-pitch program is offered for 12 & under and 14 & under. A total of 94 teams (for a total of 1,150 youth participants) have registered for these programs. Practices will begin March 22nd with games underway in mid-April.

Water Utility Efficiency on the Rise as “Lost” Water Declines

Water Use Efficiency (WUE) numbers, regulated by the Washington State Department of Health and outlined in WAC 246-290, have been calculated at 8.49% for 2013 which reduces our “Distribution System Loss” below the State requirement of 10%. Previous years were:

· 2009 17.2%
· 2010 17.6%
· 2011 13.46%
· 2012 11.27%
· 2013 8.49%

The following WUE measures have been employed to reach this number: automatic meter reading, bills showing consumption history, conservation rate structure, construction requirements, customer education, leak detection surveys, and program promotion.

Puyallup Library Teen Activities

The Teen Advisory Group will meet on March 12th, 3:00-5:00pm in the Library South Meeting Room. This group is a great volunteer opportunity for teens to shape the services offered for teens at the library. Participating on the League of Teen Advisors can also be used for high school community service requirements, Contact Librarian Bonnie Svitavsky for more information at bsvitavsky@ci.puyallup.wa.us.

Check out the Puyallup Library’s programs for teens. No sign up is required and drop-ins are welcome! Teen Group is held most Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00 pm in the library meeting rooms. Teens ages 13+ are welcome. Additional information on programs for teens is available on the City’s website.

Public Works Update

The Street Division recently completed the retrofit of street lighting in the LaGrande neighborhood, located in the 700 block of 9th Street SW. This is a pilot project which replaced a total of 17 street light fixtures consuming 130 Watts of electricity each. The new LED fixtures use only 52 Watts each – resulting in a 60% energy savings. The new fixtures should be fairly maintenance free, with an expected life of 24 years. The City will monitor the real world savings over the next year. These cost-efficient fixtures will be part of a new City street light fixture standard being created for future projects.

Per Washington State Health Department requirements, Water Division crew drained, cleaned, and inspected the two million gallon reservoir at Maplewood Springs this week. No structural defects were found and the interior coating remains in good condition. Water purity samples will be taken and the reservoir should be back on line by the first part of next week. The Health Department requires inspections of all reservoirs on a regular basis. Thanks to Washington State Fish and Wildlife and the City Collection Division for their help and cooperation during this project.

Career/Volunteer Fair

Recreation Center and Activity Center staff attended the Emerald Ridge High School Career and Volunteer fair on February 25th. Staff in attendance talked to interested students about volunteer opportunities as well as summer job openings. Students were also able to sign up on interest lists for future volunteer opportunities and get information on current recreation programs.

Crime Prevention Coordinator activity

An Apartment Managers’ Network Meeting was held on February 26th at Willow Springs Apartments, located at 608 39th Ave SW. There were 15 managers in attendance, representing 10 properties. This is another program that Crime Prevention Specialist Lisa Isaacs has resurrected to ensure that we are communicating with our apartment communities. The group has decided that they will meet every other month in the future to keep the information flowing!

Ms. Isaacs and Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Officer Eric Lewis also met with the neighbors in the 9th St SW area on February 26th for their 2nd meeting since starting a Block Watch last fall. There were 14 attendees representing 9 homes. The residents had several questions regarding incidents near their neighborhood, and Officer Lewis stressed to the group to call 9-1-1 when they felt uneasy, fearful, or when something was suspicious. Ms. Isaacs discussed home safety and shared tips to “harden the target” against crime. She also offered to walk the neighborhood with interested residents in the future to provide “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” tips. The “Home Security Checklist” sheet was distributed and the “Operation ID” program was discussed. The Operation ID program allows law enforcement to detect, identify, and return stolen or lost property to its rightful owner by marking or engraving property with an identifying number and displaying a window decal to discourage burglary and theft.

Cinebarre

Seniors from the Puyallup Activity Center ventured to Mountlake Terrace for their first Cinebarre experience. Cinebarre is a movie theater that serves food and beverages before and during the showing of popular first-run films. Participants had eight matinee showings to choose from and were delighted with the food and beverages they ordered being delivered to their seats while sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the show!

Adult Softball Program

Registration is currently underway for the Adult Softball Program. Leagues are offered for men’s, women’s and coed teams. Leagues will get underway the week of April 21st.

Mark Your Calendars

· March 18 - City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· March 25 - Council Study Session, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· April 5 – Daffodil Parade, Downtown Puyallup, 12:45 pm
· April 8 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· April 12 – Puyallup Farmer’s Market Opening Day, Pioneer Park and the Pavilion, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
· April 15 - Council Study Session, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· April 22 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm

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