City Council Summary: Monday, April 11, 2022

Deputy Mayor Mayor Mary Moss presided over the meeting in Mayor Whalen’s absence this week.

Pierce Transit plans to expand Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Proposed BRT routes would better connect Lakewood to downtown Tacoma, Tacoma Mall, and South Hill Mall. Proposed route enhancements would improve transit access in the Tillicum and Springbrook neighborhoods. Pierce Transit is researching electrification with the goal of running a zero-emissions bus network.

Judge Lisa Mansfield presented Lakewood Municipal Court updates. Her court hears infractions, misdemeanors, and other lower-level offenses. Lakewood’s Vet Court helps veterans overcome lesser offenses and substance use disorder with supportive programming. New legislation will allow victims of domestic violence to testify at sentencing.

The City and Pierce County Library are entering an agreement to study improve local library service. Lakewood’s downtown and Tillicum library branches are in poor physical condition. The agreement will fund a process to consider investment in new facilities. Additionally, the parties will explore community or senior recreation facilities.

City Council discussed a proposed resolution to designate the Oregon White Oak as the official city tree. The Council deferred action to consider alternatives and implications. Alternatives might include designating landmark trees or participating in the Tree City USA program.

The City Council met for a retreat about homelessness in March. A follow-up session will be held on Tuesday, May 31 at 6:00 p.m. The City is considering improvements to Wards Lake Park. A Tuesday meeting will engage stakeholders and invite opinions on future designs for the park. The City hosted a Community Cleanup over the weekend in which 450 participating residents dumped trash and junk for free.

The City may pursue abatement of the Karwan Village mobile home park. The park is in disrepair and many hazards exist. The City may contribute nearly $520,000 in abatement funds to save the park. The City would remove a failing septic system, connect the park to sewer service, remove hazards, and make the park cleaner and safer. City Council will consider this abatement next Monday.

The City will host an open house on Tuesday night to discuss new floodplain data with residents and property owners in the Springbrook and Hillside neighborhoods. New mapping data revealed a flood risk in these areas and a threat to I-5.