April 2017

Emergency Manager Tours Nevado del Ruiz

Pat Donovan, Puyallup’s Emergency Manager, spent five days in Colombia, touring around Nevado del Ruiz, an active volcano similar to Mt. Rainier. The tour was part of a bi-national exchange through the USGS, the Colombian Geological Service, and US-AID. Pat was one of 12 local participants who engaged with local experts and first responders on their current emergency plans. The participants also got to hear survivors and first responders recount their stories from the Armero tragedy, which occurred in 1985. Sadly, the Armero lahar killed over 22,000 people in multiple river areas around the volcano. 
The Hazard Mitigation working group for Puyallup meets monthly to prepare and update the current emergency preparedness plan. Multiple city employees and other local stakeholders are involved in updating the plan to help reduce damage caused by natural and man-made disasters. Recently, a public comment meeting was held at the Puyallup Library for additional input and to raise awareness.

Nevado del Ruiz

Nevado del Ruiz

Special Olympics Recognition

Special Olympics Washington recently recognized the Puyallup Police Department for their fundraising efforts. The Puyallup Police Department is a part of the Circle of Honor and achieved Silver Level status by raising over $15,000 to support Special Olympics in 2016. The largest fundraiser was a Tip-a-Cop event at Red Robin. PPD Reserve Officer Shaun Nestor coordinates the fundraising efforts and serves as the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communication for Special Olympics Washington.

National Historic Preservation Month

National Historic Preservation Month Flyer

Youth Baseball/Softball

Youth Baseball/Softball games are currently underway, but you guessed it: “lots of rainouts” thus far.  There are 49 teams registered to participate in the youth recreational program for boy’s and girl’s ages 5-12.  There are currently 35 teams registered to play in the competitive baseball program for ages 12 -16 and five teams registered to play in the girl’s competitive 12U fast pitch softball program.  We are hopeful that we will get some drier weather soon.

Officer Kowalski Retires

Officer Mike Kowalski retired on April 21, 2017. Officer Kowalski was hired by the Puyallup Police Department on March 1, 1988. During his time with Puyallup PD, Officer Kowalski had two assignments to the Criminal Investigations Division, was a member of the Special Operations Group and Clandestine Lab Team, was a Field Training Officer and served as an Evidence Technician. Officer Kowalski received many commendations over his 29 years in service. In addition, Officer Kowalski was awarded a Life Saving Medal in 1997, a Distinguished Service Medal in 2003, a Chief’s Outstanding Achievement award in 2008 and a Medal of Valor in 2015.

Congratulations and thank you for your service Officer Kowalski!

2017 Memorial Day Observance

This year’s annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 28th at 1:00 p.m. at Pioneer Park Pavilion. This year’s guest speaker will be “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos, Sergeant Major, US Army, Retired, and the Director of Washington State Veterans Affairs. Joining her are three outstanding musical units: the highly regarded Rogers High School Wind Ensemble (some 70 members strong), the Ferrucci Junior High School String Ensemble, and the renowned Clan Gordon Pipe Band. The program will also include traditional Memorial Day ceremonies and wreath presentations in honor of all those who lost their lives in service to our nation. This event is free, open to all ages, and indoors. 

Online Reporting

The Puyallup Police Department will be opening an online reporting option starting May 1st. The online reporting program will initially be used to report instances of lost property, but may be expanded in the future. The goal of the program is to free officers up from responding to take lost property reports and allow them to focus on proactive efforts.

Parks Appreciation Day

Twenty-five amazing volunteers came out to Wildwood Park on April 22nd to volunteer their time during the county-wide Parks Appreciation Day.  Projects included: spreading bark at all the fitness stations along the trails, spreading gravel in wet areas of the trail, cutting invasive ivy off trees, and litter pick up.  This event is held annually at over two dozen parks, as a celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day.  Youth volunteers earned community service hours that go towards their school volunteer requirements as well.  City of Puyallup Parks are highly regarded by the community and volunteer help is always appreciated.

Development Services Update

This year continues to be a busy year for medical-related construction in Puyallup.  City staff is currently reviewing building permits for Good Samaritan Hospital to occupy the upper two levels of their Patient Care Tower, which have remained empty since that facility’s opening in 2010.  In addition to work at the main hospital site, a number of medical office projects around town in varying degrees of implementation: 

  • Construction permits are expected to be issued soon for the approx. 42,000 square foot “Latitude” medical office building to be built immediately south of the Children’s Therapy Unit in the 1700 block of 5th Street SE. 
  • Similarly, review is nearing completion for DaVita’s proposed 24,000 square foot clinic, and accessory site improvements, to be located on a currently vacant property at 802 30th Street SW.  
  • An application was recently submitted for a new approx. 15,000 square foot medical office at 1617 3rd Street SE.  This infill site is affiliated with MultiCare/Good Sam, is included in the Hospital’s Master Plan and sits between other medical buildings.    
  • City staff met recently with the owners of the “30th-Meridian” office complex consisting of three existing buildings containing mostly medical tenants located on the west side of S. Meridian at 30th Street (across from 7-11).  In 2016, they purchased and removed the Hilltop Auto Service building and an adjacent residence.  They now propose a fourth office building, to be about 22,000 square feet in size, on that location fronting Meridian.  An applicant-hosted pre-application neighborhood meeting will be held for this proposed office building at the South Hill Mall Community Room at 6:00 PM May 10, 2017. Interested parties are welcome to attend in order to learn more about that proposal. 
In addition to the four larger medical office building projects, we are seeing several smaller medical-related property upgrades, including a remodel to establish the Trinity Medical office in the 600 block of S. Meridian and several other tenant improvements around the City.

Cracked Crab Cruise & Tulip Festival

On April 20th, the Puyallup Activity Center coordinated a scenic adventure aboard the Viking Star in La Conner, WA.  This special excursion included a wonderful lunch comprised of cracked crab, BBQ chicken, salads, desserts, and more.  This two-and-half hour voyage took our trip-goers on a wonderful tour around Deception Pass, the San Juan Islands, and then back to the lovely La Conner Marina.  Once the cruise was over, our group headed over to the Roozengaarde field for a walk through the tulips.  This exploratory trip ended up being a fan favorite amongst all our participants!

Firearms Instructors Competition

Congratulations to Puyallup Police Department Range Master Officer Miniken and Range Instructor Reiber who recently finished second overall in a team shooting competition in Oregon. Officer Reiber finished first and Officer Miniken finished second overall in the individual shooting portion of this multi-state tactical shooting competition. They are doing a great job maintaining a very important skill.
  • Nation Building Safety Month

May is national Building Safety Month.  While we often take for granted our City building permit/inspection operation, May is a good month to highlight the value of this function to the community.  The ongoing usage of modern building codes in our city-wide construction has the following benefits: 

  • Energy conservation:  Nationwide, buildings account for about 40% of the total energy consumption and greenhouse gas generation.  In the last 15 years, continually updated building codes have increased overall building energy efficiency by more than 30%, a huge cumulative positive impact.   
  • Fire reduction: For several decades, there has been a downward trend in fire occurrences nationwide, with better building and fire safety construction techniques being a major contributing factor.   
  • Stronger structures:  Use of modern building codes in recent decades have resulted in structures - and cities – that are much more resilient to natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes and windstorms. 
We are proud of the role our Development Services Building Division plays in making Puyallup’s built environment a safer and more efficient place.  In 2016, we handled approximately 1,000 building permits and over 5,000 building inspections.  We are one of the only cities in the area that still offers same-day site inspections for requests submitted early in the morning.  Unlike most other cities, which have closed times for their permit function, the City Hall Permit Counter is open for service 8-5 each day, including lunches. 
Building Inspector

Summer Day Camp

Registration for summer day camp Yougottawanna (ages 5-13) opened April 10th. This program accepts a maximum of 100 kids per week and our first week filled up in only ten days! We have a fun filled summer planned with field trips scheduled to: Henry Moses Aquatic Center, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center and much, much more!

Mock DUI Collision at PHS

The Puyallup Police Department conducted a mock DUI collision at Puyallup High School on May 4th at 12:45 p.m. Students were able to view a mock fatality investigation, arrest and medical aftermath following a (simulated) impaired driving crash involving several well-known students from Puyallup High School. The objective of the program is to have the viewing strongly affect the students in hopes of preventing unnecessary tragic loss this year. Members of Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, PPD Traffic Unit, City of Puyallup Street Department, assisted to present this “real-life” simulated experience.

Shaw Road Partial Long-Term Closure

Shaw Road will be closed for construction from 23rd Avenue SE to Manorwood Drive for six to eight months.

The project, expected to begin in July, will facilitate left turns by those travelling north or south. This section of Shaw Road experiences more than 16,000 vehicle trips per day, and the addition of a center left-turn lane will ease traffic congestion and improve travel times, particularly during the morning and evening commute hours. The project will also add a sidewalk on the west side and a mixed-use trail on the east side.

The road will be closed for construction as keeping it open would extend the project’s timeframe and add more than $800,000 to its $6.95 million cost (80% of this project is funded by a grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board). Accommodations around the closure will be made for residents who have no other access to their properties.

For more information and updates, see www.cityofpuyallup.org/ShawRoad.

Pioneer Park Pavilion

The Pavilion’s audio/visual system upgrade was given its first test at the Master Builders Association meeting on April 6th. The organizers were very happy with the improvement in sound over our former system. The big test of our new system will be Puyallup’s Annual Memorial Day Event coming up on May 28th! 

Events at the Pavilion in April included the MBA meeting, the NW Sinfonietta, a 15th birthday party or Quinceanera, Emerald Ridge High School’s Spring Formal, Puyallup’s Relay For Life Fundraising Event, Puyallup Watershed Initiative’s Ice Cream Social/Community Event and three beautiful weddings! 

The popular Puyallup Farmers Market also started their season on April 15th. The Farmers Market will be held in Pioneer Park Pavilion on Saturdays, 9:00am-2:00pm, April 15th – October 21st.

Officer Tungsvik Graduates from the Police Academy

Officer Jordan Tungsvik was among 30 other officers from across the state that graduated from the Basis Law Enforcement Academy on April 20th. Officer Tungsvik has now begun his Police Training Officer (PTO) program as of April 24th. The PTO training takes approximately 16 weeks, so look for Officer Tungsvik to be assigned to solo patrol around the time the Washington State Fair starts in September.

Congratulations Officer Tungsvik!

Skate Park 

Officer Tungsvik
Maintenance repairs were made to the Skate Park during the week of April 17th.  The repairs occurred between the hours of 6:00 AM to 2:30 PM daily in order for the park to remain open for use every day after school.  One of the main “grinder” railing foundations required major repairs and reattachment.  In addition, approximately 20+ sheets of SkateLite materials were replaced as an on-going maintenance process to keep up with the aging skate structures.
Skate Park

Puyallup’s Outdoor Art Gallery Grows by Two Sculptures

Two sculptures were added to the city of Puyallup’s Outdoor Art Gallery at a dedication ceremony on Sunday, April 30th in Pioneer Park.

The sculptures, “Fat Tire #7” by Lance Carleton and “Ballerina” by Jim Johnson, had been displayed in the rotating collection of the gallery since 2015. Both pieces were determined to be the community’s favorites and have now joined the gallery’s permanent collection.

“Fat Tire #7” was purchased by Arts Downtown and donated to the city. The city purchased “Ballerina.” 

Fat Tire
Puyallup’s Outdoor Art Gallery was established by the local, all-volunteer organization Arts Downtown for the purpose of bringing quality art to the community. Today, more than 50 artworks are on full public display throughout the downtown. This free, year-round gallery features works by student, professional and emerging artists. More information about Arts Downtown and the outdoor art gallery can be found at www.artsdowntown.org.

Lance Carleton creates contemporary sculptures from found metal. He takes pleasure in functional creations, abstract, representational form and realism.

Jim Johnson works in sculpture, painting, jewelry and ceramics. His pieces have been displayed in both Oregon and Washington.

Hearing Examiner

The City Hearing Examiner will hold a public hearing on a proposed landscape buffer variance for the Pioneer Crossing retail project on May 30, 2017 at 10:00 AM.  Pioneer Crossing is a proposed commercial retail project at the SW corner of East Pioneer-Shaw Road. This request is for a reduction in the width of a required landscape buffer along the site’s southern perimeter.  

All Hearing Examiner hearings are held in the City Council Chambers on the 5th Floor of the City Hall (333 S. Meridian). Any interested party is welcome to attend the hearing and, if desired, offer testimony.  Please contact Senior Planner Chris Beale (841-5418) if you have any questions about this case. 

Spring Fling Health Fair

The Puyallup Activity Center’s April Pancake Breakfast featured an educational forum for our seniors, “Senior Spring Fling and Informational Fair!”  Topics included legal, financial and healthcare issues that are currently being faced by our seniors and/or soon-to-be seniors.  Representatives from Costco, Central Pierce Fire Department, Foot Care, Safety Line, Mary Kay, multiple home health agencies and other health service vendors where on site during the event to answer any questions visitors had pertaining to healthcare.

Mock Trial

Court will be hosting a mock trial event on the morning of May 9th. This event will include students from Emerald Ridge High School’s Business Law class and was coordinated by the Administrative Office of the Courts in Olympia, and Judge Beal. The exercise will allow students to test their skills by participating in a court trial, and provide them with the chance to learn first-hand about the legal system.  Two attorney evaluators will be present, one from the State Attorney General’s Office.

Spring Eggstravaganza

Over 300 kids and their families arrived at the Puyallup Recreation Center on April 15th for the annual Spring Eggstravaganza egg hunts and carnival.  Volunteers from throughout the community helped to run kids carnival games where participants could win prizes. Outside on the baseball field, two egg hunts were held for kids 4-7 years old and 8-12 years old. In the field, plastic eggs were spread out along with loose candy and prizes.  Shoes and pants were covered in mud, but completely ignored as kids showed off their haul. In addition to the games and egg hunts, pictures with the Bunny were extremely popular, as well as the bags of popcorn and cotton candy. The Spring Eggstravaganza continues to be a popular annual family event.
Spring Eggstravaganza