City Council Summary: March 21, 2022

Councilmembers Mike Brandstetter and Don Anderson pause for a moment of silence in honor of Ukraine.

The meeting began with a proclamation to recognize March as Women’s History Month. Councilmember Linda Farmer read the proclamation with Liupapa Laulu, a senior from Clover Park High School.

“We have ten daughters collectively as a council, and believe me when I say that we hope they all have the opportunity to become leaders and thrive.”
Mayor Jason Whalen

Liupapa Laulu, a senior at Clover Park High School, accepted a proclamation from City Council recognizing March as Women’s History Month

Public Works Engineering Director Paul Bucich discussed progress of Phase 2 the JBLM North Access Project, and the award of a construction contract to R.L. Alia Company. Despite competitive bids, the City encountered a budget shortfall. Construction costs are increasing nationally, and the City is confident that its present bidder remains capable and cost-effective. The City will use available capital funds to close the shortfall.

Assistant to the City Manager/Policy Analyst Michael Vargas reviewed the Pierce County Waste Management Plan. The plan’s core goal is to reduce the accumulation of waste. The plan prioritizes hazardous waste management and contamination reduction. The plan identifies 32 action items to achieve the vision of reduced waste and sustainable waste management for the next 20 years.

CDBG Program Manager Jeff Gumm reviewed the City’s 2022 Annual Action Plan for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. CDBG funds support affordable housing, down payment assistance programs, housing repair programs, and abatement programs. A recent federal omnibus package may result in a 5% reduction in available CDBG funds.

Public Works Engineering Director Paul Bucich reviewed a floodplain modeling study that identified flooding risks to I-5 and the Springbrook and Hillside neighborhoods. In the event of a 100-year flood, I-5 may be inundated by several feet of water. The City is beginning to consider engineering solutions to reduce the risk of flooding. The Tacoma News-Tribune published an article on this situation yesterday.

570 residents and businesses within the potential impact zone will be contacted by mail to inform them of the potential effects of flooding. The City will host several interagency meetings to consider engineering solutions such as retention and diversion. The City is available to property owners and tenants to answer questions.

City Manager John Caulfield informed the City Council that representatives from the Parks & Recreation Department met with the Nisqually Indian Tribe. The City and Tribe plan to incorporate the story of Chief Leschi at Fort Steilacoom Park, among other collaborative projects.

The Mayor and several City Councilmembers reflected fondly on the weekend’s short film contest: Reel Life ’96. The event was a tremendous success, attracting 33 filmmaking teams that each contributed a short film. The full selection of films is viewable here.