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May. 16, 2014 at 3:09pm City Manager's Update May 16, 2014

Riverwalk Trail – JEB III Link Ribbon Cutting

The Puyallup Parks and Recreation Department will have a ribbon cutting celebration for the completion of the Riverwalk Trail Phase IV – JEB III Link on Saturday, May 31st at 11:00 am. This section of trail will complete the Puyallup Riverwalk Trail from the corner of Shaw Road and Pioneer Avenue East to the western trailhead of the existing Foothills Trail. This project is of high value to trail users in the community, but it did not come with a high price tag. The trail segment came in significantly under budget and was largely funded by Washington State Department of Commerce grant funds.

The ribbon cutting event will be held at the Eastern end of the link, just off of East Pioneer on the corner of 8th Avenue SE and 33rd St SE. Parking is available at the Foothills Trailhead on 80th St E. Pierce County Television (PCTV) will be on site at the Ribbon Cutting, filming for a Pierce County News Story.



Puyallup Receives Improved S&P Credit Rating

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) recently raised the City’s credit rating from AA- to AA. The rating upgrade indicates S&P’s increasing confidence in the City’s strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. In its report, S&P commented that “Puyallup’s budgetary flexibility is very strong” and that “very strong liquidity supports Puyallup's finances.” It further stated that the stable outlook reflects S&P’s view of the City's strong economy and strong management. Puyallup's adequate budgetary performance combined with an adequate debt and contingent liabilities profile, also contributed to this rating upgrade. The City requested the rating review as an initial step toward saving taxpayer dollars by refinancing existing debt. By taking advantage of lower interest rates and the improved credit rating, the city will save more than $700,000 over the next 13 years.

 We’re not the only ones crowing about the city’s improved bond rating and refinance savings. On May 15th, Pierce County News began airing a story on the City’s improved S&P bond rating. You can view the news segment here.

 Click it or Ticket Campaign

 The statewide Click it or Ticket campaign will take place in Pierce County between May 19th and June 1st. Most people have heard of “Click It or Ticket” campaigns. These campaigns are designed to raise awareness of wearing a seat belt while driving or riding in an automobile. According to some studies, 59% of people who died in an automobile-related accident were not wearing a seat belt. In fact, more lives are lost by people not wearing a seat belt than by drunk driving. The Puyallup Police Department will once again be participating in the Click It or Ticket campaign. Seat belt emphasis patrols, funded by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, will be occurring throughout the City during the campaign.

 Puyallup Police Department Receives Grant

 The Puyallup Police Department recently received a Child Safety Seat grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, Child Passenger Safety program, in the amount of $1,883.35. The PD will use the grant to further their Child Passenger Safety Seat Training program. The grant will allow the PD to purchase car seats and training aids to assist with instruction on the proper installation of child safety seats. The two child safety seat inspections conducted recently by PPD have been very well attended, and this grant will allow the PD to continue this valuable and successful program.

 Puyallup Library Book Release & Signing Event

 The Puyallup Public Library will host an event to mark the release of If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children, by New York Times bestselling authors Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris, at 7:00 pm, May 30th at the Pioneer Park Pavilion. This new book is the definitive account of the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell from her West Valley City, Utah home on December 6th, 2009, and the tragic aftermath in Puyallup.

Susan’s father Chuck Cox, sister Denise Cox Olsen, and family attorney Anne Bremner will join the authors for a panel discussion to mark the book’s release.
Seats are limited and (free) tickets are required for admittance to the event. Tickets will be available at the Puyallup Public Library beginning May 9th – limit two (2) per person. Books will be available for purchase and the authors will sign books following the discussion.

 Growing to Learn, Learning to Grow

 Each year, participants in the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Institute initiate a service project to benefit the local community. The Leadership Institute class of 2014 chose to collaborate with four schools in the Puyallup and Sumner school districts (Meeker and Stewart Elementary Schools in Puyallup, and Maple Lawn Elementary and Liberty Ridge Jr. High in Sumner) to create curriculum-based “Learning Gardens.” The project’s mission was to offer a hands-on, fingers-in-the-dirt gardening experience that encourages agricultural awareness and promotes healthy eating habits. Local businesses such as Ed Hume Seeds, Corliss Resources, Washington State Fair, and Rogers High School provided materials such as gravel, soil, seeds, and starter plants. Each school now has their very own Learning Garden that will be used to instruct students on healthy eating and the importance of agriculture to our local community. City of Puyallup participants in this year’s Leadership Institute are City Clerk Brenda Arline and Building Code Official Ray Cockerham.

2015 Event Sponsorship Applications Being Accepted Now

 As discussed at the April 22nd City Council Meeting, the city is now soliciting applications for potential new event sponsorships in 2015. Those who have traditionally received sponsorships were notified on May 9th that they will need to submit an application by June 9th – one month ahead of the deadline. The application information went up on the city’s website the same day. Notice of the application process was printed in the News Tribune on May 13th and will run again on May 22nd. 

Staff will be reviewing these applications to determine the total cost of requested sponsorships and they will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration as part of the budget process for 2015. Questions concerning the proposal process may be directed to Management Analyst Melanie Harding.

 Police Department Seeks Justice Assistance Grant

 The Bureau of Justice Assistance recently announced an opening for local solicitation grant applications. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program is the leading source of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions, providing vital funding to support a wide range of programs and equipment for law enforcement.

The Puyallup Police Department will submit the 2014 JAG application to focus on Crisis Intervention Team Training. The grant funding will enable the department to provide training to law enforcement personnel in responding to individuals in mental health crisis. If awarded, Puyallup’s 2014 grant allocation will be $11,729 and will not require local matching funds.

 Development Services Update

1.     City staff have recently been involved in processing construction permits related to either new stores or remodels for several retail/service business projects in Puyallup. Some of these include:

a)     Bonney Lake Bicycle Shop recently opened in the small retail center at the NE corner of S. Meridian-43rd Avenue SE;

b)     Following an extensive internal remodel, Prana Hot Yoga & Body Sculpt is expected to open very soon in the Meeker’s Landing professional building (NE corner of East Pioneer-5th Street SE);

c)      Building permits are now under review for a tenant space remodel at the South Hill Mall to accommodate a new Ulta Beauty & Cosmetics store. This retailer will take the former Big 5 space, near Target;

d)     Anthem Beverage & Bistro, adjacent to the Puyallup Activity Center by Pioneer Park, has been issued a building permit for an expansion into the adjacent former “Comfort Foods” restaurant space; and

e)      City staff is also currently processing various remodel permits at other local businesses, including the Meridian Plaza Sports Authority, Starbucks at S. Meridian-37th Ave. SE, and Cheers Restaurant on S. Meridian near Best Buy.

2.     People traveling on Fruitland Avenue near Fruitland Elementary School may notice that site work is beginning on a major new development in that neighborhood. Fruitland Estates, a residential subdivision located on the west side of Fruitland Avenue in the 2000 block, is now beginning its initial construction. This 47-lot single family planned development project, to be situated on 10.5 acres, underwent its public hearing process in mid-2013. Major site work is expected to continue through most of 2014, followed by the “final plat” process, after which actual home construction will commence.

3.     In the past two weeks, City Development Review staff has held pre-application meetings with interested parties on the following two potential projects:

a)     “Big Whiskey Saloon”, a country-themed tavern proposed in an existing building at 1200 4th Street NW (abutting the existing Goodwill Store); and

b)     A proposal by Niagara Spring Water Bottling for a new facility on Inter Avenue where tank trucks would collect bulk City water, to be transported to the Niagara facility in Frederickson for bottling.

Workplace safety presentation

Puyallup Police Department Crime Prevention Specialist Lisa Isaacs recently made a Workplace Safety Presentation to the staff of the Puyallup Public Library. PPD Intern, Trisha Hill, also attended. There were 21 staff members in attendance as well as representation from the City Human Resources Department.

Ms. Isaacs presented basic personal safety information and reminded staff to route their ‘travels’ around the library appropriately to allow enough room to view the known trouble areas. Ms. Isaacs discussed and demonstrated ways to use their hands, feet, head, elbows, knees, etc., to protect themselves – while reiterating the importance of using physical barriers so as not to resort to ‘hand to hand’ protections. Ms. Isaacs also discussed the need for good communication among staff, when and why to call 9-1-1, and tips on being a good witness. Lastly, Ms. Isaacs discussed ways to make the Library safer – from the inside and outside.

Code Amendment Work Recommended by Task Force Gets Underway

City staff and the Planning Commission are gearing up to review possible code amendments related to short-term emergency shelter programs such as Freezing Nights. The current regulatory language in the Puyallup Municipal Code only applies to shelters that are in place for 48 hours or more, with no code guidance for “overnight” shelter programs like Freezing Nights. Earlier this year, City Council accepted a number of recommendations from the Task Force on Homelessness, including a request that this code gap be addressed by creating new standards/procedures to address short-term emergency shelters which rotate from site to site. At the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for May 28th (7:00 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers), staff will provide the Planning Commission with background information on the Freezing Nights program and related existing City codes. Staff’s intention is to then review actual draft code language on this topic with the Planning Commission at their subsequent meeting of June 11th. Planning Commission recommendations on any code amendments are subject to City Council action. The Task Force is reconvening in May to provide Planning staff with additional input on these draft code amendments. All members of the public are welcome to attend any Planning Commission meeting.

EBAY 1-2-3: Learn the Basics

During the months of May and June, Linda Philips is teaching the “Basics of eBay” at the Puyallup Activity Center. Ms. Philips is an eBay trained, certified education specialist and has been an eBay seller and owner since 2002. Her class provides an excellent eBay overview and covers topics such as: how to create a listing, what to do after you sell an item, how to ship an item, how to manage your sales, and numerous selling and buying tips. Linda’s class has been very popular with our seniors and they really appreciate that Linda allows plenty of time for questions and answers during her sessions.

15th Ave Stormwater Replacement

As part of a $2.184 million line item in the State’s capital projects budget, the 15th Ave Stormwater Replacement project is fully funded to completion. The project will consist of construction of a 48” diameter main line that will extend from the existing trunk line at 4th Ave NW and to the 30” diameter main on Pioneer. The completed project will help reduce flooding in the downtown and residential core areas. It will also reduce untreated stormwater flows into Clarks Creek and divert it to the Puyallup River. The project will include updates to the water and sanitary sewer systems on 15th Street.

Bids were opened on April 17th and Rodarte Construction, Inc. from Auburn was the low bidder at $1,811,517.00, coming in under the engineer’s estimate. The anticipated construction start date is June 23rd, immediately after school is out. This should help lessen the impact to Aylen Jr. High which fronts the project. The contract was approved by Council on May 6th.

New Day Northwest with Margaret Larson

On May 12th, the Activity Center provided a trip for our seniors to the talk-show “New Day Northwest.” The show is hosted by local TV favorite Margaret Larson and her program focuses on people, activities, and interests that make the Northwest a great place to live! Our seniors enjoyed experiencing the program first-hand as part of the studio audience, and many brought cameras for a group photo with Margaret. Following the show, our group enjoyed an excellent lunch at Bahama Breeze before returning home.

Mark Your Calendars

· May 20 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm

· May 26 – Memorial Day - City Offices are Closed

· May 26 – Memorial Day Event, Pioneer Park Pavilion, 1:00 pm

· May 29 – District 1 Neighborhood Meeting, Puyallup United Methodist Church, 6:00 pm

· May 31 – JEB III Link Ribbon Cutting, Riverwalk Trail, 11:00 am,

· June 3 - City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm

· June 7 – “Puyallup Connector” Ribbon Cutting Event, Puyallup Farmer’s Market, 10:00 am

· June 17 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm

· June 20-22 – Meeker Days Festival, Downtown Puyallup

 

Puyallup Farmer’s Market & Sunset Market Hours:

Saturdays 9:00am - 2:00pm April 12 – October 11

Wednesdays 3:00pm -7:30pm June 18 – September 17

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