Paint to Learn
The Paint to Learn program is grant-funded in partnership with Pierce County Library. This program invites families to paint together on canvas, with a focus on school readiness and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Painters were encouraged to use shapes, numbers and colors to create their works of art. Approximately 50 people of all ages were in attendance for both event dates held in April.
Puyallup Activity Center volunteer instructor, Phil Bergh, leads a fun-filled Karaoke program on the third Thursday of each month from 12:30 – 3:00 p.m. His class has become so popular that participants have requested a second date. This fun filled class is now offered the first and third Thursday of each month. Beginners, talented singers, and everyone in-between are all welcome.
Utility Rate Increase
In the interest of attending to important maintenance and upgrades for our aging utility systems, Puyallup’s water, sewer and stormwater rates will increase by 3.4% in 2019. This means that the average residential utility customer will pay an additional $3.55 per month, starting February 1st.
These rate increases are tied to the Construction Cost Index (CCI) as reported by Engineering News Record. The CCI is determined by certain labor and materials costs.
According to current and future capital needs of the three utility systems, the revenues available to each utility are not sufficient to accomplish all or even most of the listed projects (see pages 96-99 of the adopted 2019 budget). As an example, in 2020 the city expects to have $2,210,000 in available capital funding for the water utility—yet we project $8,734,333 in capital needs. As projects go unfunded, they are moved out into future years, growing each subsequent year’s deficit.
Capital needs for the utilities come in the form of seismic retrofits, tank recoatings, water main replacements, lift stations and pump stations, sewer lines—even a wall to protect the water pollution control plant and ensure its continued operation during a major flood event.
The amounts needed for capital improvements are large simply because the systems are large. Puyallup’s wastewater and stormwater collection systems are composed of approximately 285 miles of pipe, 3,342 manholes, 12,000 lateral connections, 15,000 acres of drainage and 64 detention ponds. On the water side, nearly all of the city’s drinking water comes from two natural springs and five deep wells. Ground-sourced and of high quality, it’s collected and conveyed to nine sealed reservoirs which together can hold 19.3 million gallons. From there, the water is distributed on demand to residents and businesses via more than 200 miles of pipeline.
Because the provision of utilities is, like public safety, an essential public service, it’s critical that we responsibly invest in the infrastructure which allows us to safely and reliably provide these.
April 20th saw over 300 kids come to the Puyallup Recreation Center to race for candy and prizes during the annual egg hunt on field #1 of the sports complex. Three hunts were held for different age groups: 3 and under, 4 to 7 years, and 8-12 years. After the hunts, kids went inside the gym to find a dozen games and activities at the carnival portion of the event. The highlight for many families was the pictures with our bunny. This wonderful event would not have been possible without the help of volunteers from Puyallup High School and Emerald Ridge High School.
Minecraft Build Competition
Kids between the ages of 8 and 12 came to the library to play for fun or compete against other as Minecraft builders. A surprise theme—Haunted Train Station—was revealed on the day of this event. Participants were encouraged to bring their own device, but library computers were available for use if needed.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Activity Center patrons ventured to the Skagit Valley for the annual Tulip Festival. The tour provided a full day of beauty and festivities including a visit to the Roozengaarde’s, the Roozen family business of growing tulips, daffodils and irises, the largest in the world with more than 100 acres of field blooms and 16 acres of greenhouses. The excursion included a side trip to the infamous “Tulip Town” with plenty of time at the Mt. Vernon Street Fair where they enjoyed live music at two stages, a wonderful variety of food, artisans from eight states, and over 100 juried arts and craft vendors.
Possible Zoning and Sign Code Changes
The City’s Planning Commission held two public hearings on Wednesday, May 8th on separate proposed zoning code text amendments as follows:
1) Proposed zoning code text amendments relating to allowed uses for golf courses in multi-family residential zone districts. This code amendment was initiated by the Linden Golf & Country Club, which owns a private golf course off of East Main. City Planner Kendall Wals (253-841-5462) is the case planner for these amendments.
2) Miscellaneous revisions to the City Sign Code regarding sign standards on properties throughout Puyallup. These changes are intended to bring the Sign Code into conformance with a recent Supreme Court ruling regarding content restrictions on signage. City Planner Rachael Brown (253-770-3363) is managing these potential amendments.
All Planning Commission meetings are held in the City Council Chambers on the 5th Floor of City Hall (333 S. Meridian). Any interested party may attend the hearing and, if desired, provide testimony. Planning Commission recommendations on Code amendments such as these proceed to City Council for final action.
Boy Scouts and JROTC Work to Improve Loop Trail
Boy Scout Troop 679 from Spanaway came out to Puyallup on April 20th to work on the Hummingbird lane section of the Clarks Creek 5-Mile Loop Trail.
The group removed the old deteriorating steps and replaced them with landscape blocks, greatly enhancing safety for those using this part of the trail. Other improvements included the clearing of foliage and spreading of gravel from 15th to the cul-d-sac to the south. They also spread mulch from the community gardens north along the trail. Troop 679 was joined by members of Bethel High School’s JROTC. Approximately 30 youth worked hard to make this trail more usable and attractive, and they did a great job! Thank you!
Preschool Indoor Soccer
The Preschool Indoor Soccer league came to a close on April 27th as teams competed in their fourth and final game. Six teams of kids spent several weeks learning about the sport of soccer, good sportsmanship, and how to play on a team. A big thank you to our volunteer coaches who took on the job of teaching players how to dribble, pass, shoot and goaltend
Summer Day Camp
Registration for summer day camp Yougottawanna (ages 5-13) opened Monday, April 8. We max at 100 kids per week and after two weeks of registration, some weeks are almost full! We have a fun-filled summer with field trips scheduled to Dave & Busters, Henry Moses Aquatic Center, Tacoma Rainiers, Bullwinkles Family Fun Center and much, much more! For more information or to register please visit our webpage.
Downtown Design Guidelines
The City has been processing an update to the current Downtown Design Guidelines, which apply to building standards for downtown structures. In addition to revising the design guideline themselves, included will be a number of Municipal Code text amendments. Two separate public hearings are being held this month related to this project:
1) Design Review & Historic Preservation Board (DRHPB): Thursday, May 16th at 4:00 PM, the Board will hold a hearing to consider proposed changes to the Downtown Design Guidelines.
2) Planning Commission: Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:30 PM, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to review text amendments to Puyallup’s Municipal Code which would implement the Downtown Design Guideline update.
Interested parties are invited to attend and, if desired, provide testimony at either of these two public hearings. Both will be held in the City Council Chambers on the 5th Floor of City Hall. City Planner Kendall Wals is managing the Downtown Design Guideline update. Recommendations from both the Planning Commission and DRHPB will be forwarded to the City Council for final action.
Puyallup Municipal Community Court Participates in Site Visit
As part of the grant received for community court, Puyallup Municipal’s community court team participated in a site visit in New York City March 12th – 14th. The team from Puyallup consisted of Judge Andrea Beall, City Prosecutor Terra Moulton, Case Manager Liz Bruce, Court Bailiff Mel Allen, and Public Defender Will Gunderson. The team pictured below are at the offices for the Center for Court Innovation with the technical assistants who are overseeing the development of Puyallup Municipal Community Court. The Center for Court Innovation (CCI) also hosted the site visit. They kept our team very busy with a visit to Midtown Community Court, a meeting with members of Bronx Community Solutions, a strategic planning session at CCI, a visit to Red Hook Community Justice Center and a trip to Newark Community Solutions. The experience was interesting, educational and inspiring. Puyallup’s team looks forward to continued development and enhancement of our own community court.
Beginning Stretching and Strength Training
The Puyallup Activity Center provides a very popular fitness program called Beginning Stretching and Strength Training. The class was developed by Charles Brass, a physical therapist and certified Master Fitness Trainer through the US Army. Charles was a recent intern at the Puyallup Activity Center and remains very enthusiastic about sharing his unique talents in health and fitness. This class provides resistance training and aids in maintaining healthy bone mass and prevention of age-related muscle loss. Additionally, this program promotes conditioning that allows the performance of everyday activities like climbing stairs and exiting chairs with greater ease, along with less risk of falling. The benefits gained, along with newly increased freedom of movement, can have a considerable impact on one’s quality of life. This class is currently led by senior volunteers and is offered on Mondays and Fridays.
Puyallup Valley Sports Complex
Phase 1 of the Puyallup Valley Sports Complex field conversion project is now complete. Phase 1 included the addition of synthetic field turf to the outfield of Field 1 (Lacey Field) and Field 3 (Morgan Field) and the full conversion of the large baseball field (Kiwanis Field). The fields are now available for play and have been utilized already for youth baseball and adult softball as well as by the Puyallup Viking Lacrosse Club. Phase 2 of the project will see the addition of turf to the outfields of Fields 1 and 3 and the replacement of the existing sports lighting to a more efficient LED lighting system.
The fields are receiving rave reviews from the participants. The addition of synthetic turf to the fields will allow for year-round use for multiple sports to include baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and football.
The Puyallup Public Library staffed a booth at the YMCA’s annual Healthy Kids Day event. Attendees were informed of the amazing services and upcoming programs offered by the library. Best of all, they could sign up for library cards! It was a busy day as over 200 people visited and inquired at the booth.
Toddler Campus Preschool
The Seattle Reptile Guy visited Toddler Campus Preschool at the Puyallup Recreation Center in April. Students saw over 40 different animals, and many were brave enough to hold them! The students learned about different types of reptiles, their ecosystem, interesting characteristics of the species, and much more. Next up, butterfly life cycles! Registration for the 2019-2020 school year is going on now. Registration forms can be found at the Recreation Center or on the City website.