City Manager's Update May 30, 2014
Puyallup Memorial Day Concert and Remembrance
The Annual Puyallup Memorial Day Concert and Remembrance was held Monday, May 26th at the Pioneer Park Pavilion. The event continues to grow in popularity, and this year all seats were filled to capacity and there was standing room only. Over 500 community members were in attendance to honor the men and women who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The event was coordinated by the Puyallup Valley VFW Post 2224. The audience was entertained by the Pierce College Concert Band performing a collection of military themed numbers as well as several stirring numbers by the Clan Gordon Pipe Band. Dignitaries on hand to welcome the audience included Congressman Denny Heck, Mayor John Knutsen, Jack Dauer, Commander of the Puyallup VFW and the host of the event Jack Taylor also from the VFW Post 2224. A memorial roll call was announced with the presentation of wreaths donated by many local organizations including the City of Puyallup and the Puyallup Police Department. A rifle salute was performed by members of the local VFW Legion Post and taps by dual buglers marked a fitting conclusion to the tribute. A special thanks goes out to all of the sponsors and organizations that helped put this program together:
- Puyallup Valley VFW Post 2224
- American Legion Post 67
- Fleet Reserve Association, Mt. Rainier Branch 104
- City of Puyallup
- The Pierce College Concert Band
- Clan Gordon Pipe Band
- Rogers High School, Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps
Network Infrastructure Upgrades Continue
This week marks another milestone in the development and continued upgrade of
Puyallup’s network infrastructure. The final splices of the first fiber connection
between City Hall and the Public Works complex have been accomplished. This
connectivity provides the necessary bandwidth to allow distribution of data and some degree of geographic diversity for our backup and disaster recovery requirements. This line will also reduce our annual operating costs by approximately $38,000 as the City will no longer need to use lines from Century Link.
In a continued effort to maximize resiliency and minimize cost, the IT Department is collaborating with other City Departments to provide infrastructure for future fiber installations to eventually connect all City sites. Over time, these installations will make it more economically feasible to provide connectivity to systems such as traffic signal management, automatic water meter reading, treatment plant monitoring, and telephone systems.
The IT Department has tasked a GIS Intern with mapping all available conduit within the City. With this documentation, the City will be able to plan for the future and plot out best avenues and methods of connectivity.
Author Event Brings Regional Attention to Puyallup Public Library
This Friday, May 30th, at 7 pm in the Pioneer Park Pavilion, the Puyallup Public Library is hosting a program with bestselling authors Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris, who will be talking about their new book, “If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children.” Olsen and Morris will be joined by members of the Cox family. We expect an audience of close to 400 people at this event. KOMO 4 news interviewed Library Director Tim Wadham in advance of the program, and will broadcast live from the Pavilion for their evening newscast on Friday. Inside Edition will be on hand with cameras to film a segment for their program as well.Street Banner/Variable Message Board
The City Manager’s Office previously received an inquiry into the potential of replacing the old street banner sign over Meridian. The City Manager assigned the project to the Public Works Department. Public Work’s maintenance staff requested that a Variable Message Board (VMB) in Grayland Park be evaluated as a replacement to the street banner as a less maintenance intense option that would allow the City to display multiple, specific messages relating to events, emergency information, recreation activities, and other public information. As part of the evaluation process, staff presented the proposal to the Design Review Board which granted conditional approval of a VMB in Grayland Park. This is an unfunded project which will be brought forward during the upcoming budget process for approval and funding. Foreclosures and Code Compliance During the recent economic downturn, the City has experienced an increase in foreclosure properties within our residential neighborhoods. Although Puyallup has not been impacted as severely as many communities, some local homes have become vacated for extended periods of time, with associated site maintenance issues. Often, code compliance complaints are forwarded to the City by citizens regarding unkempt homes in their neighborhood. Upon receiving a complaint for an unmaintained/vacated foreclosure property, City Code Compliance Officer Laurie Lowery tries to contact the current property holder (usually an out-of-area financial institution) and works to get a stronger commitment for the property’s upkeep. Often, this is a protracted enforcement process, as some banks are less responsive than others.
Over the past two years, one visible example of this has been an older blue house, with detached garage, located on the SE corner of 9th Street SW-7th Avenue SW (see photos). This property, subject to a foreclosure and abandonment, has generated a number of compliance complaints from neighbors as the building and yard conditions have deteriorated over time. Most recently, the Police have also been involved due to some reported trespassing and/or other types of nuisance/criminal activity on the premises. Fortunately, in late 2013, a new owner acquired the property and received short plat approval to split this large lot into two new infill home sites. After some delays, the former buildings were demolished last week and the new owner is preparing to redevelop the site. 2014 Clarks Creek Elodea Removal
The 2014 Elodea Management contract was awarded to Aqua Dive Services, LLC,
who was the low responsible bidder. Following a successful completion of elodea
removal using the Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) method in 2013, this year’s work will be completed with DASH as well, with the work starting north of the 12th Ave SW bridge working downstream to the 56th Street E bridge in Pierce County.
The project work will be completed during the in-water work window: June 15- August 1. Once the projects begin, updates on the DASH work progress will be posted on the project webpage: http://www.cityofpuyallup.org/services/publicworks/ stormwater-management/projects/clarks-creek-elodea-removal/.Comprehensive Plan Update – Public Meetings
Work continues on the City’s major Comprehensive Plan update, which will continue until mid-2015. This State-mandated project involves an update to most sections of our Comprehensive Plan, which is intended to guide Puyallup’s future growth. All community members are invited to attend one of three public forums to be held in the first week of June on the topic of housing in Puyallup. The three sessions will be held:
- Tuesday, June 3rd, 12:30 pm Puyallup Korum YMCA
- Wednesday, June 4th, 2:00 pm Puyallup Public Library
- Thursday, June 5th, 7 pm Fruitland Elementary School
At each forum, participants will be asked to provide ideas and input on their current and future housing needs and choices in Puyallup. More information is available on the City’s website or by contacting Assistant Planner Kendall Wals at (253) 841-5462.15th Ave Stormwater Replacement
A Notice to Proceed was given to the Contractor for June 16, 2014. The roadway will be closed – open only to local traffic as of June 23, 2014, immediately after school is out. The timing of this project will help reduce impacts to Aylen Jr. High which fronts the project.
The project will consist of construction of a 48” diameter stormwater main line that will extend from the existing trunk line at the RR tracks at Stewart Street 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 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.Veterans Park Picnic Shelter
The Request for Proposals for the picnic shelter for Veteran’s Park on Riverwalk Trail at Veteran’s Memorial Bridge have been received and the contract has been awarded to Exteriors West of Puyallup. Construction for this project is scheduled to begin in the middle of June. This project will include the engineering design, furnishing, and installation of a steel-framed, covered structure at the park.Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Extraction Labs
The Police Department is noticing an increasing number of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Extraction Labs in our region to include the instance of the explosion on Shaw Rd one week ago. THC Extraction Labs are designed to strip THC from the Cannabis plant. The end result of the process is a highly concentrated form of THC. The final product is frequently referred to as Hash Oil. Hash Oil can be ingested by smoking, eating, or vaporizing.
While the extraction of Hash Oil can be found as far back as the early 1990’s, the type of extractions being seen now are relatively new. Individuals extracting TCH seem to be utilizing the Butane Hash Oil (BHO) process. The process involves using large quantities of Butane to strip the TCH from the plant. Butane is colorless, odorless, and extremely flammable. Butane is also heavier than air which means that you end up with a large concentration of Butane vapors in the extraction area. This tends to be dangerous as certain steps in the extraction process utilize the introduction of a heat source. This creates an extremely volatile situation that can result in an explosion and/or fire. The fire and/or explosion can endanger innocent people and property in residences adjacent to the extraction location.
As this a new phenomenon in our region, Law Enforcement and the Fire Service are working closely on response protocols. Additionally, as we learn more about the dangers of these types of labs, we will begin working with our legislators on new laws designed to reduce the impact that these labs have on our communities.Pitch, Hit, and Run
The Puyallup Recreation Department hosted the Sectional Pitch, Hit, and Run competition on Monday, May 26th at the Puyallup Valley Sports Complex. A total of 33 participants demonstrated their skills in pitching for accuracy, hitting off of a tee and running the bases. Winners advance to the next level of competition, a regional competition at Safeco field with the opportunity to advance to the finals at the MLB All-Star game.Officer Massey receives 1st Quarter PPD Power Impact Award
The Puyallup Police Department “Power Impact Award” is presented once a quarter to the officer who best exemplifies the Puyallup Police Department values of S.E.R.V.I.C.E. (Service, Ethics, Respect, Values, Integrity, Compassion, Excellence) and the Operations Division guiding principles of P.A.T.R.O.L. (Proactive, Accountable, Teamwork & Tactical, Respectful, Outstanding, Leaders). Officer Greg Massey is a great example of the blended enforcement model. He balances proactive enforcement with timely responses to calls for service. Officer Massey shows high dedication to DUI enforcement while staying active on contacts and the prevention of property crime in the city. Officer Massey consistently stays busy throughout his shift and is always able to find something to do, including assisting other squad members on warrant services. In additio to all of this, Officer Massey is required to keep up on the demanding duties of his leadership role with Metro SWAT. Officer Massey’s entire squad appreciates working with him. Ecology Invites Public Input on Clark’s Creek Water Quality Improvement Plan
The Department of Ecology is inviting people to review and comment on a draft water-quality improvement plan for Clarks Creek through June 30th. Citizens are also are nvited to attend a public meeting on the plan at 6 pm, June 10th at the Puyallup Public Library, 324 S. Meridian.
Clarks Creek is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of impaired water bodies under the Clean Water Act due to low levels of dissolved oxygen, and it soon will be listed for excess sediment. This four-mile, spring-fed tributary to the Puyallup River is an important area for salmon. Five salmon species spawn, rear, and migrate here. The draft water-quality improvement plan is called a total maximum daily load, or TMDL. A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards. A stakeholder group, comprised of Pierce County, City of Puyallup, WSU Puyallup, local citizens, WSDOT, Puyallup Tribe, EPA, and Ecology have been meeting since May 2009 to contribute and provide feedback.Citizen’s Academy graduation
Congratulations to the 21 people who graduated from PPD’s 2014 Citizen’s Academy on Wednesday, May 28th. Of those, 10 people attended every session. These citizens spent 12 weeks (45 hours) learning about the police department and their community. The citizen’s favorite class involved PPD’s K-9 unit Maverick and Marshal. This was an enthusiastic group of citizens and PPD was able to retain approximately 75% of the class as volunteers. Thanks to Council Members Vermillion, Door and Shadko for attending the graduation and to Crime Prevention Coordinator Lisa Isaacs for planning, organizing and facilitating the academy.Emergency Preparedness: Training City Staff to Tackle the Worst
In times of emergency, city staff are called on to fill essential roles in the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Between emergency events, Emergency Management works to connect employees on emergency response teams with valuable training that will help them be well prepared for their roles when they are called on to serve. Management Analyst Melanie Harding serves as an EOC team Public Information Officer (PIO) during emergencies. Last week, Melanie attended a FEMA-provided “Advanced PIO” training course at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. This intensive training course featured daily lessons on best practices in Emergency Management communications as well as exercises to test and enhance PIO skills. Exercises included preparing for and executing a press conference and a full-scale emergency simulation exercise that requires PIOs to put all their skills into practice. The training course and lodging was provided by FEMA at no cost to the city, and this FEMA program also reimburses the city for the full cost of airfare. Thus, the city gets a great value on this vital emergency preparedness training.Pickleball
The Recreation Center is now offering Pickleball on Mondays from 2:30-4:30 pm and Fridays from 3:00-5:00pm. Pickleball, which was invented in Washington in 1965, is a fun game that can be played by all age groups. Pickleball is traditionally played on a badminton-sized court with special Pickle-ball paddles, made of wood or high-tech aerospace materials. The ball used is similar to a wiffle ball, but slightly smaller. The lower net and wiffle ball allow the game to be accessible to people of all ages and abilities, while still allowing more competitive players to test their mettle. Equipment is provided at the Recreation Center.Mark Your Calendars
- May 30 – Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris at Puyallup Library, 7 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,
- 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:
- April 12 – October 11 ; Saturdays 9:00am - 2:00pm
- June 18 – September 17; Wednesdays 3:00pm -7:30pm