City Manager’s Weekly Bulletin: Dec. 23, 2021

December 23, 2021: Weekly Summary

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The City will convene an ad hoc committee to review existing code and recommend new measures to protect trees. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 20, 2022.

Freezing temperatures are expected over the weekend, which may mean snowfall or icy roads. Do not attempt to pass snowplows – leave plenty of room.

The City’s ending fund balance is its highest since 2007, a sign of healthy municipal finances. The Q3 Financial Report also indicated retail recovery and a construction boom.

The new bridge at Chambers Creek Regional Park was celebrated with a ribbon cutting last weekend. Pierce County will blaze an expanded trail system over the next two years.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tree Advisory Ad Hoc Committee to be Formed

The City of Lakewood will convene an ad hoc committee to review current tree preservation code and prescribe revisions to be considered by the Lakewood City Council. The Tree Advisory Ad Hoc Committee will be comprised of up to 13 members representative of diverse stakeholder perspectives.

Those interested may apply to join the committee on the City of Lakewood’s website. Applications will be accepted for 30 days through Jan. 20, 2022.

Brilliant fall foliage adorns the Chambers Creek Canyon in November.

Cold Snap, Hazardous Road Conditions Forecasted

National Weather Service forecasts indicate that temperatures will dip below the freezing point over the weekend. A white Christmas is a possibility this year.

City crews are ready to respond in case of snow. Drive patiently. If you see one of our plows, give them a thumbs-up and plenty of room to work. Do not pass plows as they are working – stay back.

City crews are ready to plow & salt your streets in case of hazardous weather.

Q3 Financial Report Published: City Finances in Good Health

The City has its highest ending fund balance since 2007 due to cautious financial management. The City reduced expenditures by about 9.1% in 2020 and observed only a 4.5% drop in revenue.

The City’s healthy financial picture has allowed capital investment projects like road and park improvements to proceed on schedule. Federal American Rescue Plan Act funds are being applied towards community programs rather than budget repair. 

Bridge Installed, Other Improvements Planned for Chambers Creek Regional Park

Representatives from University Place, Pierce County, and Lakewood got together last weekend to cut the ribbon on a beautiful new bridge spanning Chambers Creek.

Over the next two years, the park’s trail system will be further expanded. Good things to come!

Local leaders from Pierce County, University Place, Lakewood, and the State Legislature gather to cut the ribbon on the new Chambers Creek Bridge.
The bridge spans Chambers Creek. Pierce County staff mentioned they had spotted several salmon beginning to run.
Lakewood City Council members Elizabeth Farmer, Mike Brandstetter, Jason Whalen, Mary Moss, and Paul Bocchi.

New Program Connects First Responders to Vital Medical Information During Emergencies

South Sound 911’s new Emergency Health Profile system provides emergency dispatchers with potentially life-saving information the moment an emergency call arrives. When citizens with an Emergency Health Profile call 911, dispatchers may quickly communicate medical conditions, allergies, and other relevant information to first responders.

To sign up, citizens may create a profile on the South Sound 911 website or may authorize Medical ID on Apple iOS devices with the Health app installed.


Reel Life ’96 Film Competition: February 2022

Aspiring actors and directors are invited to join Lakewood’s upcoming film contest: Reel Life ’96. Participating groups in this fast-paced contest must create a 4-minute film in 4 days based on a theme. Participants of any experience level are invited.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (virtual): Jan. 15, 2022

The City will pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on Jan. 15, 2022 (the holiday is on Jan. 17). The City will premiere a video based on a theme of “The World Lives in Lakewood”, a nod to an inclusive mural made by Clover Park High School students.


  • Steilacoom & Lakewood: Sewer repair beneath Steilacoom Boulevard remains on schedule. The roadway is closed between Lakewood Drive and Gravelly Lake Drive. The roadway should reopen in February. All local businesses are open.
  • Steilacoom & Custer: Sidewalk installation between Weller and Phillips will begin in January once utility work concludes in the area.
  • Gravelly Lake & Nyanza: Gravelly Lake Drive is closed between Nyanza & Washington through February. Streetlights are now active above the new roundabout at Gravelly Lake and Nyanza.
Work continues beneath Steilacoom Boulevard on sewer repair. This photo shared by Pierce County illustrates the scale of the large manholes to be installed.

City Council

Monday, Dec. 20 (Regular Meeting)

The final meeting of the year began with public comment and approval of the consent agenda. Notable were the authorization for up to $12.2 million in bonds to be sold to finance capital improvement projects, and the approval of various capital improvements projects to be funded with Transportation Benefit District revenues.

The City Council approved the formation of a Tree Advisory Ad Hoc Committee. The committee will be tasked with the review and refinement of Lakewood Municipal Code rules for tree preservation. It will be comprised of up to 13 members representing diverse stakeholder perspectives on the issue of tree preservation. The council briefly debated on its composition to ensure balanced representation.

The council approved a series of expenditures of American Rescue Plan Act funds. Through Jan. 15, 2022, the City is applications from third parties for qualifying uses of these funds to address the economic effects of the pandemic. The City has a budget of approximately $13.8 million in ARPA funds.

Approved expenditures included:

  • Pre-eviction services (Tacomaprobono)
  • Services to disproportionately impacted communities (Rebuilding Together South Sound)
  • Services to disproportionately impacted communities (Boys & Girls Club)
  • Services to disproportionately impacted communities (Rebuilding Together South Sound)
  • Services to disproportionately impacted communities (YMCA)
  • Technology to support court operations during COVID-19 (Lakewood Municipal Court)
  • Improvement of Lakewood City Hall HVAC system to comply with new state legislation (City of Lakewood)
  • Installation of handwashing stations at Lakewood parks without bathrooms (City of Lakewood)
  • Study to reconfigure City Hall to free third floor for rent (City of Lakewood)
  • Issuance of retention bonuses for police officers (Lakewood Police Department)
  • Recovery of costs related to COVID-19 exposure protocols and procedures (City of Lakewood)

To conclude the meeting, individual council members reflected on the year’s achievements and the 25th anniversary of the City of Lakewood.

Next Meetings:

  • Jan. 3, 2022 (Regular Meeting)


  • Health Guidance: TPCHD implores residents to get vaccinated, mask up, and practice social distancing.
  • Booster Shots: Adults 18+ are eligible to receive a booster shot if 6+ months have passed since prior vaccination.
  • Vaccine Locations: The Towne Center Vaccine Clinic is open daily from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 10330 59th Avenue Southwest, STE B, Lakewood, WA 98499.
  • Vaccine Eligibility: Children ages 5-11 are now vaccine eligible, and the CDC encourages vaccination for this age group.