City Manager’s Weekly Bulletin, November 20, 2020

To: Mayor, City Council
From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager

Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving safely

COVID-19 cases in Washington state, as well as around the United States, have rapidly increased over the past few weeks. In fact, more than one million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last 7 days.

We want everyone to stay safe this Thanksgiving.

Please see the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s information on Safe Gatherings and the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Guidance on holiday gatherings.

The CDC recommends that the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.

From all of us at the City of Lakewood, Happy Thanksgivings.

City services will be closed Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th for Thanksgiving.

New COVID statewide restrictions in place now through December 14, 2020

On Sunday, November 15, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee announced a four-week set of restrictions in response to the recent rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Washington and across the country. The restrictions aim to slow the spread of COVID cases and to help protect vital hospital and medical systems in the state from becoming overwhelmed.

The new set of restrictions are effective from midnight tonight Monday, November 16, 2020 through December 14, 2020 in all counties in Washington.

New restrictions include the following:

  1. Indoor Social Gatherings with people from outside your household are prohibited unless they (a) quarantine for fourteen days (14) prior to the social gathering; or (b) quarantine for seven (7) days prior to the social gathering and receive a negative COVID19 test result no more than 48-hours prior to the gathering. A household is defined as individuals residing in the same domicile.
  2. Outdoor Social Gatherings shall be limited to five (5) people from outside your household.
  3. Restaurants and Bars are closed for indoor dine-in service. Outdoor dining and to-go service are permitted, provided that all outdoor dining must comply with the requirements of the Outdoor Dining Guidance. Table size for outdoor dining is limited to a maximum of five (5) people. These modified restaurant and bar restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
  4. Fitness Facilities and Gyms are closed for indoor operations. Outdoor fitness classes are permitted but are subject to and limited by the outdoor social gathering restriction listed above.
  5. Bowling Centers are closed for indoor service.
  6. Miscellaneous Venues: All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely, as well as all court and judicial branch-related proceedings, are allowed. Occupancy in each meeting room
    is limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
    1. Miscellaneous venues include: convention/conference centers, designated meeting spaces in a hotel, events centers, fairgrounds, sporting arenas, nonprofit establishment, or a substantially similar venue.
  7. Movie Theaters are closed for indoor service. Drive-in movie theaters are permitted and must continue to follow current drive-in movie theater guidance.
  8. Real Estate: Open houses are prohibited.
  9. Wedding and Funerals: Ceremonies are limited to a total of no more than 30 people. Indoor receptions, wakes, or similar gatherings in conjunction with such ceremonies are prohibited.
  10. In-Store Retail shall be limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, and common/congregate seating areas and indoor dining facilities such as food courts are closed.
  11. Religious Services are limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, or no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. Congregation members/attendees must wear facial coverings at all times and congregation singing is prohibited. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service. Vocal or instrumental soloists are permitted
    to perform, and vocal soloists may have a single accompanist. Outdoor services must follow the Outdoor Dining Guidance, found here, applicable to the structure or facility.
  12. Professional Services are required to mandate that employees work from home when possible and close offices to the public if possible. Any office that must remain open must limit occupancy to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits.
  13. Personal Services are limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits.
    1. Personal service providers include: cosmetologists, cosmetology testing, hairstylists, barbers, estheticians, master estheticians, manicurists, nail salon workers, electrologists, permanent makeup artists, tanning salons, and tattoo artists.
  14. Long-term Care Facilities: Outdoor visits are permitted. Indoor visits are prohibited, but individual exceptions for an essential support person or end-of-life care are permitted. These restrictions are also extended to the facilities in Proclamation 20-74, et seq. All other provisions of Proclamations 20-66, et seq., and 20-74, et seq., including all
    preliminary criteria to allow any visitors, remain in effect.
  15. Youth and Adult Sporting Activities: Indoor activities and all contests and games are prohibited. Outdoor activities shall be limited to intra-team practices only, with facial coverings required for all coaches, volunteers and athletes at all times.

If an activity is not listed above, per the new COVID restrictions, it should follow its current guidance.

All K12/higher education, health care, and childcare are exempt from the new restrictions and will follow current guidance. The new COVID restrictions do not apply to courts and judicial branch-related proceedings.

For more information on these new restrictions click here.

Lakewood City Council adopts 2021-2022 Biennial Budget

The Lakewood City Council adopted the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget at its November 16, 2020 Regular City Council Meeting.  The full 2021-2022 Biennial Budget will be posted here once final updates are made.

Importantly, the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget is balanced and takes into account the impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic on the City’s financial resources.

The biennial budget is the most important document the City produces. It acts as a financial roadmap by outlining City spending and priorities for the biennium, which for the upcoming period runs Jan. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2022.

With the budget in place the City can allocate resources to a variety of programs necessary to move our community forward and meet the Lakewood City Council’s goals and objectives.

As was the case in the previous budgets, the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget represents the City’s continued commitment to prudent fiscal management, effective service delivery and providing the highest quality of life to our residents.

The full Lakewood City Council meeting at which the budget was adopted can be viewed here:

Goal Setting Retreat

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 emergency, the Lakewood City Council held a goal setting retreat for the 2021‐2022 biennium on March 7, 2020. Similar to the adopted 2019‐2020 Goals, at this retreat the Lakewood City Council identified Economic Development as the most critical goal area for 2021‐2022, followed by Public Safety, Dependable Infrastructure, Transparency, and Fiscal Responsibility.

For Economic Development, the Proposed 2021-2022 Biennial Budget proposes advancements in a number of areas identified by the City Council as priority areas, including continued efforts for targeted development in the Downtown and the Lakewood Station District and expanding building and code enforcement services.

At the retreat, the City Council also identified Human Services, Housing and Homeless Prevention as high priorities.  The 2021-2022 Biennial Budget proposes continuing and expanding 15 existing City programs and partnerships that support this area, including continuing the City’s 1% general fund commitment to human services, expanding the highly successful Behavioral Health Contact Team to include two mental health professionals, and working collaboratively with Living Access Support Alliance (LASA) to expand their facilities and programming.  LASA is a local nonprofit that provides emergency housing, rapid rehousing and transitional housing in Lakewood, in addition to case management, and a range of other services to prevent homelessness.

Budget Timeline

The2021-2022 Biennial Budget went before the Lakewood City Council for review as the following meetings:

  • Oct. 5: City Manager presentation of the 2021/2022 Proposed Biennial budget
  • Oct. 7: Department Budget Presentations: City Manager, Community and Economic Development, Parks, Recreation and Community Services, Legal
  • Oct. 14: Department Budget Presentations: Police, Public Works Engineering, Municipal Court, Administrative Services
  • Nov. 2: Public hearing on the 2021/2022 Proposed Biennial budget
  • Nov. 9: Review of 2019-2020 Proposed Biennial Budget at the City Council Study Session
  • Nov. 16: Adoption of the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget

Pierce County Council adds more relief for small business

Local businesses are struggling, and the Pierce County Council wants to help. That’s why Thursday, the Pierce County Council passed its second round of emergency legislation in a week aimed at getting money into the hands of Pierce County business owners.

Through legislative actions the Pierce County Council:

  • Waived the repayment requirement of the county’s emergency small business relief loan program for all pending and future applicants and set a Dec. 4, 2020 deadline to ensure applications are processed by Dec. 30, 2020;
  • Streamlined the process to forgive loans previously issued under the emergency small business relief loan program; and
  • Added a need-based grant program to assist Main Street and arts and culture-focused businesses to allow these businesses to receive a grant up to $10,000.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic Council has prioritized the nearly $158 million in federal CARES Act monies the county received to go where it is needed most,” said Pierce County Council Chairman Doug Richardson. “We know the latest round of restrictions this week will have devastating effects on our small businesses and we only have until Dec. 30 to expend the money, which is why this latest action is so critical.”

Pierce County Councilmember Marty Campbell proposed the legislation that targets in-store retail, arts and culture establishments like theaters, museums and entertainment venues, fitness facilities and gyms, restaurants, tap rooms and similar eating and drinking establishments that do not have a drive-thru and did not participate in the Pierce County Restaurant Rally program.

Eligible businesses can receive a need-based grant up to $10,000. Businesses that already received assistance from the county’s COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program can apply for this latest round of funding.

Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • Businesses with 20 or less full-time equivalent employees;
  • Demonstrate at least 25% reduction in revenues due to COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Located in Pierce County;
  • Independent business (no corporate chains or corporate franchises).

Earlier this week the Pierce County Council moved $2 million in CARES Act funds from a contingency reserve account to support expansion of this program. Businesses can request the need-based grant through the Economic Development Department. The emergency legislation now goes to the Pierce County Executive for signature. Additional information will be available soon on the Pierce County CARES Business Relief website.

Temporary outdoor seating application process for Lakewood restaurants

On Sunday, November 15, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee announced a four-week set of restrictions in response to the recent rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Washington and across the country. The restrictions aim to slow the spread of COVID cases and to help protect vital hospital and medical systems in the state from becoming overwhelmed.

The new restrictions close all restaurants and bars in the state for indoor dine-in service.

Outdoor dining and to-go service are permitted, provided that all outdoor dining must comply with the requirements of the Outdoor Dining Guidance. Table size for outdoor dining is limited to a maximum of five (5) people. These modified restaurant and bar restrictions went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

In August, the City created a process to accommodate temporary outdoor seating for existing restaurants and bars in Lakewood. The applications can be found here: Temporary Outdoor seating application.  

Here is an overview of the current review process:

Step 1: Please submit all application materials to [email protected]

Step 2: A member of the City of Lakewood’s development services team, as well as, West Pierce Fire and Rescue will review the proposal documents and respond within 14 days.  The City’s development service team will review the application for the following elements:

1. Parking spaces.

2. For all tents, planning will review that tents are 20’ from lot lines, that barrier free access is maintained, that sidewalk clearance exists, that there is a barrier in place to prevent cars from driving into tables. If all of the requirements are met, planning will approve.

3. For overnight structures, planning will complete review of abovementioned items and if all items are complete will forward the completed application to building to review the structural elements of the tent. Assuming the tent is structurally compliant, building will approve.

Step 3: Approval will be sent via email to the individual who submitted the proposal. Approved proposals will be stamped digitally.

For tents over 400 square feet, applicants must call West Pierce Fire and Rescue, 253-983-4583, to schedule an inspection of tent installation.

Step 4: Approvals are granted for 90 days, and are subject to renewal.

WARNING: The owner is responsible for adhering to the rules and regulations of all other agencies with jurisdiction, including: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and Governor of Washington. Additional requirements may be imposed by other agencies with jurisdiction. For additional information, please contact these individual agencies.

Fort Steilacoom Park gets a new parking lot on Angle Lane

Fort Steilacoom Park is the most popular park in Lakewood.  In the past, parking and access to the park at the south end of Angle Lane has been limited.  This often resulted in illegal parking and unauthorized access into the park.

To reduce illegal parking and increase access to the park, the City built a brand new parking that is anticipated to open this weekend. The lot includes over 30 parking spots and 3 ADA parking spots. Check it out:

This project also includes a new restroom and plaza near the Fort Steilacoom Dog Park.  These features currently remain under construction; it is anticipated that this work will be complete by the end of 2020.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe is providing benches, seating areas and other interpretive site improvements that celebrates the importance of the Nisqually’s culture and heritage in our community.

Speaking of parks, check out this great video on trial safety during COVID-19. From the video, you can learn a few ways how you can help stay safe and healthy while out enjoying the many trails (and parks) Lakewood and the rest of Pierce County has to offer.

November proclaimed Native American Heritage Month

On Monday, November 16, 2020 the Lakewood City Council virtually honored indigenous peoples with a proclamation making November Native American Heritage Month.

The full proclamation can be read here. 

The proclamation by the Lakewood City Council recognizes that the Nisqually and Steilacoom people were the first inhabitants of what is now the city of Lakewood and that a history of dispossession has allowed for the growth of the Lakewood community throughout the years.

The proclamation also recognized Lakewood’s commitment to respect and preserve the traditions and culture and to honor the unique heritage of the City’s first inhabitants.

The City is currently working with the Nisqually Tribe on an interpretative project in Fort Steilacoom Park that celebrates the importance of the Nisqually’s culture and heritage in our community.

Every community owes its existence and vitality to generations from around the world who contributed their hopes, dreams, and energy to making the history which led to this moment.  The City would like to recognize that we are on the lands of the Nisqually People, and acknowledge the history of dispossession that allowed for the growth of our community. We offer respect to the Nisqually People and their Elders, past, present, and emerging.  We recognize our responsibility to value all people, and are committed to equitably serving all people in our diverse community.   

City of Lakewood’s Indigenous people and lands acknowledgement

Planning Commission Hearing on Proposed Lakewood Station District Subarea (LSDS) Plan extended to December 2

The Lakewood Station District Subarea (LSDS) is an area of opportunity for future growth and development within Lakewood’s Urban Center. Home to the terminus of the Sounder, which provides passenger rail service to Tacoma, Seattle, and Everett and located adjacent to I-5, this area has an opportunity for employment growth. It already has a strong employment base that provides jobs in medical services, hospitality, retail, and restaurants. Proximity to high capacity transit and employment also make this a feasible area for compact residential development that can take advantage of such amenities. These factors make this a desirable area for a portion of Lakewood’s future growth.

Over the years, Lakewood has continued to prioritize the Station District as an important area for economic development, housing diversification, and transportation demand management. In 2019, the Department of Commerce awarded Lakewood a grant to prepare the LSDS Plan, SEPA-based planned action, and hybrid form-based code to implement the LSDS Plan.

On November 18, the Lakewood Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposed LSDS Plan and Hybrid Form-Based Code.  This hearing was extended until December 2. As a result, you can submit written comments as part of the Planning Commission’s public hearing about the proposed LSDS package until December 2, 2020 at noon.  Please submit to Karen Devereaux, Commission Clerk, at [email protected]  

You can always view the latest on the package at

What’s the latest?

Watch the November 4 Planning Commission study session that featured a deep dive into the proposed LSDS Plan, Hybrid Form-Based Code and SEPA Planned Action here.  Materials from the meeting are available here.

Happening Sunday morning: I-5 rolling slowdowns in Pierce and Thurston counties

From WSDOT: Early morning travelers who use Interstate 5 near DuPont in Pierce County and Lacey in Thurston County will see minor delays on Sunday, Nov. 22. 

Crews working for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are removing an aerial utility line that crosses the interstate just south of Mounts Road.

Beginning at 7 a.m., crews will perform a rolling slowdown on southbound I-5, starting near 41st Division Drive at Joint Base Lewis McChord. During the slowdown, traffic will be stopped at the southbound I-5 on-ramps of Steilacoom-DuPont Road, Center Drive and Mounts Road.

Once work is finished in the southbound direction, crews will perform a northbound rolling slowdown starting near the Carpenter Road overpass. The Marvin Road and Nisqually on-ramps to northbound I-5 will close during the rolling slowdown.

Crews expect to finish the work by 9 a.m. Travelers are advised to plan for extra travel time.

Pierce County I-5 Closures:

  • Sunday, Nov.22 at 7 a.m. – rolling slowdown on southbound I-5 starting at 41st Division Drive to Mounts Road. The southbound I-5 on-ramps at Steilacoom-DuPont Road, Center Drive and Mounts Road will close to traffic during the rolling slow down.
  • Monday, Nov. 30 through Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 9:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.:
    • Southbound I-5 exit to Berkeley Street will close.
    • Thorne Lane on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close.
  • Monday, Nov. 30 through Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.:
    • Northbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane from 41st Division Drive to Gravelly Lake Drive.
  • Monday, Nov. 30 through Thursday, Dec. 3 from 11:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.:
    • Southbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane from Gravelly Lake Drive to 41st Division Drive.
  • Thursday, Dec. 3 from 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4:
    • Southbound I-5 exit to Berkeley Street will close.
    • Thorne Lane on-ramp to northbound I-5 will close.
  • Thursday, Dec. 3 from 11:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4:
    •  Northbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane from 41st Division Drive to Gravelly Lake Drive.

Before heading out the door, travelers can also find the latest information on the Pierce and Thurston County travel planner, the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.

I-5 JBLM Vicinity Congestion Relief Project Online Public Meeting

WSDOT invites you to participate in an online open house for I-5 improvements at Steilacoom-DuPont Road/Exit 119.

Comments via the online open house will be accepted now through Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Want to participate, visit: invited to online open house for I-5 improvements at Steilacoom-DuPont Road/Exit 119

Lakewood honors Veterans & proclaims November Veterans Appreciation Month

Due to COVID-19, this year there was no in-person Veterans Ceremony held at City Hall. However, the Lakewood City Council virtually honored and remembered the valor and sacrifices of current and veteran members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine during its November 2, 2020 Lakewood City Council meeting.

At this meeting, the Lakewood City Council proclaimed November 11, 2020 as Veterans Day and November 2020 as Veterans Appreciation Month. The full proclamation can be read here. The City Council meeting can be watched below.

Colonel Jonathon Chung, the Combat Team Commander of the 2/2 Stryker Brigade, was present for the proclamation.

“On behalf of all the soldier and veterans of 2/2 Stryker Brigade, along with all those soldiers that live within this great Lakewood community, thank you for this presentation of the proclamation by the Lakewood City Council. It’s truly an honor.

You know as we approach Veterans Day the Lancer Brigade is grateful for all communities across the nation for recognizing those that have served in the military. And although the call to serve may come from different reasons, make no mistake about it, every soldier shares that same responsibility of building trust with the American people. And Lakewood itself embodies the community that understands that shared responsibility of trust, safety, and security.

The community connector relationship between 2/2 Stryker Brigade and the city of Lakewood has been tremendous and impactful.”

Colonel Johnathon Chung

Lakewood is a proud host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), the largest military base on the west coast and the only Army Power Projection Platform west of the Rocky Mountains. The Joint Base employees over 40,000 active duty service members and 17,000 civilians. In addition, there over 86,000 veterans living in Pierce County and 8,739 veterans living in Lakewood.

Lakewood is a member of the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP), which services as a regional partnership that focuses on the nexus between South Sound communities and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The Partnership consists of over 50 member organizations spanning a broad range of interests from local government with the Nisqually Tribal community, Pierce and Thurston counties, 12 cities, various county and state agencies, several chambers of commerce and numerous non-profit organizations working in collaboration to resolve cross-jurisdictional regional concerns.

2021 City Days at McGavick Conference Center

The City is currently accepting applications for the use of a 2021 City Day at the McGavick Conference Center. Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2020 and applicants will be notified as to the approval or denial of the application by December 11, 2020.

Complete applications can be emailed directly to City Clerk Briana Schumacher (preferred) or delivered via postal mail to Lakewood City Hall, Attn: City Clerk, 6000 Main Street SW Lakewood, WA 98499.

If you have any questions regarding the application or process, please City Clerk Briana Schumacher at 253.983.7705 or [email protected].

Business Showcase – November 2020: 253 Strong

At the Lakewood City Council meeting on November 2, 253Strong, a CrossFit associated gym, was recognized as the City’s November Business Showcase.

253Strong is helping building a better future for the Lakewood community by focusing on positive changes, family values, and supporting healthy and fit lifestyles.

Read the full November Business Showcase article on 253Strong here.

City’s CARES Act funds update

In March 2020, the federal government passed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).   The purpose of the CARES Act was to provide fast and direct economic assistance for individuals, businesses, and local governments.  Specific to local governments, CARES Act funds were designed to be used to cover expenses that meet all three of the following criteria:

  1. Necessary expenditures caused by the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.
  2. Expenditures not accounted for in a budget approved as of March 27, 2020.
  3. Expenditures incurred from March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020.

For local government, CARES Act funds were provided directly to jurisdictions across the country with populations over 500,000.  Given this population threshold, the City of Lakewood, with a population of around 60,000, did not directly receive CARES Act funds from the federal government.

However, in May 2020, Governor Jay Inslee announced that the State of Washington would share a portion of its CARES Act funds with Washington cities and counties that did not meet the 500,000-population threshold.  To these cities and counties, the state ended up providing to a per capital distribution of $30 with a minimum distribution of $25,000 for cities and $250,000 for counties. As a result of this allocation, the City initially received $1.79 million. 

In late August, Governor Inslee announced an additional $126 million of state CARES Act funds would be distributed to these cities and counties.  The City received an additional $895,050 due to this second round of funding for a total of $2,685,150 in CARES Act funds from the state.

In June, the Lakewood City Council adopted a set of principles to guide the allocation of this funding.  Specifically, these principals established that funding would go to the following areas:

  • Individual and Family Economic Resilience
  • Business Assistance
  • Vital Government Services

As of November 16, the City had allocated $2.32M of the state funds. It is expected that all funds will be expended.  The City will know the exact amount used by each program by the end of this month. The following provides a breakdown of how the City used the CARES Act funding it received within each of these categories as currently known/anticipated. Again, the final amount expended by each program will be available at the end of November. As a result, the breakdown below is subject to change between now and the end of November to some degree.

Individual and Family Economic Resilience

In total around 925K (around 35%) of the City’s CARES Act funds from the state was allocated to programs and entities that supported individual and family economic resilience.

The City provided $685,640 of these funds to Living Access Support Alliance (LASA) to create a rental assistance program for Lakewood residents. For this program, LASA directly paid landlords and lenders rent for households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  To qualify for these funds, a household’s total combined income had to be $60,000 per year or less (120% of the area median income).

The City also provided funds to the following community partners: Communities in Schools Lakewood, Greater Lakes Mental Health, Pierce County AIDS Foundation, Rebuilding Hope! Sexual Assault Center, Tacoma Community House, YMCA, YWCA, and the Pierce County Library. These funds were used for providing additional case management, food and basic needs, virtual and in-person programming and services, facility safety and technology improvements, and personal protection equipment.

The City also created the Child Care Provider Grant, allocating $68,927 of its CARES Act funds to provide grants to licensed child care providers in Lakewood to increase safety measures and help maintain healthy environments.

Business Assistance:

Just over a $1M (around 39%) of the City’s CARES Act funds from the state was allocated to programs created under the area of Business Assistance.

One of the programs created was the Small Business Relief Fund Grant. This grant was available to independently owned Lakewood businesses with 20 or fewer employees.  Businesses were allowed to apply for up to $10,000 in grant funds for COVID-19 related expenses.  In total, the City allocated $667K in grants to Lakewood small businesses. With the second round of funding from the state, the City created the Lakewood Commercial Landlord Coronavirus Relief Fund Grant and allocated just over $370K to this program. This grant program provided rental relief to Lakewood commercial landlords that lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provided up to $5,000 per month per location and up to six and a half (6.5) months of assistance for a maximum of $37,500 for each tenant that a landlord has within a property.

In addition to CARES Act funds from the state, the City also received two special allocations of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds totaling $807,337 for COVID-19 related expenses. In May, the Lakewood City Council designated these funds to a Small Business Emergency Services Program by providing zero‐interest, deferred (forgivable) loans up to $10,000 to Lakewood businesses with 10 or fewer employees. The Lakewood City Council then changed this program to a grant program in August. This grant program will provide money to sustain local business operations and to retain employees that may have otherwise be laid off as a result of the current economic climate.  

Vital Government Services – External to the City:

A total of $245,872 (around 9%) of the City’s CARES Act funds from the state were provided to public partners, including West Pierce Fire and Rescue, Pierce County Library, Lakewood Water District for covering residents’ utility bills, and Nourish Pierce County (food bank).  

Vital Government Services – Internal City Uses:

Just over 434K (just over 16%) of the City’s CARES Act funds from the state are anticipated to be used for COVID-19 related payroll reimbursement, facility safety improvements, acquiring new technology to expand the City’s remote capabilities, and for personal protection equipment.  

Visit the City’s CARES Act Funding Dashboard for up-to-date information on CARES Act allocations and expenditures.

Additional COVID-19 related resources:

Pierce County Phase Status

Pierce County remains in Phase 2 of the “Safe Start” plan.    Pierce County is still well above the State Department of Health (DOH) threshold of 25 cases per 100,000 with a 14-day case rate of 322.1 per 100,000. To access the TPCHD’s COVID-19 in Pierce County dashboard click here.

Phase 2 reopening guidelines

The Tacoma Pierce County Chamber and the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County have shared resources for business to assist in re-opening and recovery. View more.

Washington Listens supports people affected by the stress of COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, Washington has launched Washington Listens, a support program and phone line to help people manage elevated levels of stress due to the pandemic. People who call the Washington Listens support line will speak with a support specialist and get connected to community resources in their area. The program is anonymous.

The Washington Listens support line is 1-833-681-0211. It is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. TTY and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or their preferred method.

Resources and self-help tips are available on

“Reverse” Parade of Lights

The City is excited to announce we are having a “Reverse” Parade of Lights on December 12, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lakewood Towne Center.

What is a reverse parade? We’re glad you asked!

Typically, the City’s Parade of Lights features a variety of floats, local marching bands, and classic cars that travel on a parade route through Downtown Lakewood with spectators lining up on the streets to view the procession.

Due to COVID-19, to ensure social distancing, we are turning the Parade upside down or more aptly in “reverse.” The “Reverse” Parade of Lights will feature a stationary display of floats and vehicles lined up along Lakewood Towne Center. Spectators will drive-thru the perimeter of Lakewood Towne Center to view the floats and vehicles. The City will provide music and Santa will be there!

Want to be a part of the “Reverse” Parade?

Help LIGHT up Lakewood! Businesses, clubs, organizations, and individuals are all invited to light up the holiday with a stationary float or vehicle. The entries must comply with the COVID-19 phase for Pierce County that is in effect at this time.  Show your community spirit! Blue lights are recommended, however lights are optional.

•    Each entry is encouraged to ‘go all out’ in decorating their vehicle/float and wearing festive clothing, making it fun and exciting for participants and spectators alike.  Prizes will be awarded (see contest details below).

•    The Lakewood “reverse” parade is a stationary display of floats and vehicles.  In this reverse scenario, it is the viewers who will drive by while the floats and displays remain stationary in one place.

•    Businesses, clubs, and organizations can have signage on their vehicle, but lighting and decorations should reflect the Holiday Season.

“Reverse” Parade of Lights Application is available here.

To enter fill out an application and mail or email to Sally Martinez ([email protected] ) by Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Please mail applications to:

Lakewood City Hall

Attn: Sally Martinez – Parade of lights

6000 Main Street SW

Lakewood, WA 98499.

Applications received after November 16 will be considered if space is available.

Transportation updates

Onyx Drive: The Onyx Drive Improvement Project is rebuilding 1.55 miles of roadway from Onyx Drive from 97th Avenue to 87th Avenue and from Garnet Lane to Phillips Road. To date (11/2/2020), the City’s contractor has completed paving the roadway, sidewalks, and adding stormwater drainage upgrades. The contractor is now working on the installation of raised crosswalks and raising utilities. Key features of the project include:

  • 12 foot travel lane in each direction.
  • 8 foot wide shared sidewalk on the south side of the road with a two foot roadside buffer.
  • 6-foot wide sidewalk on the north side of the road. Street lighting suitable for the residential setting.
  • Realignment of the Onyx Drive/Phillip Road intersection. Raised crosswalks at the intersections of:
    • 97th Avenue
    • 78th Street
    • Coral Lane
  • Radar feedback signs.
  • Locking cluster mailboxes.

As of November 13, the contractor completed paving as well as installing the raised crosswalks.  The contractor is now working on property restoration behind the new sidewalks and miscellaneous concrete curbing.  It is anticipated that street lights along this stretch will be operational later today.  Final striping and pavement markings will be completed as soon as weather permits.

It is anticipated that this project will be substantially complete by the end of 2020.

Read more about the Onyx Drive project and see overhead shots of the project on the project website.

Veterans Drive: This project rebuilds 1.63 miles of Veterans Drive into a two lane road with curb, gutter, sidewalk, bike/pedestrian path, streetlights, and landscaping. The project adds roundabouts to three key intersections.

To date, the contractor has completed the road reconstruction from Gravelly Lake Drive to Highland Avenue and completed the roundabouts at Lake City Blvd and Vernon Avenue.  The contractor continues to work on property restoration behind the new sidewalks. 

The contractor removed the old roadway from Highland to Nottingham and completed the installation of the storm drainage infrastructure along this stretch. Weather permitting, curb and gutter will be poured along this section the week of November 30th. 

Veterans Drive is closed to all but local traffic between Edgewood and Nottingham.  North Lake Drive will be used for west bound access to the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital and American Avenue SW will be used for east bound traffic.

In September, the contractor also began work in the American Lake Park parking lot. This week the contractor continued to grade the parking lot.  When completed, in addition to improving traffic flow through the parking lot, this project will add 6 ADA parking stalls to the lot and create a ADA walkway from the road to the park restroom. The restrooms at the park will remain closed due to this work. Parking at the park is currently limited to the boat launch area. The work in American Lake Park is scheduled to take place through early November. 

It is anticipated that the base lift of asphalt will be laid and sidewalks, curb and gutter will be installed along this corridor by the end of 2020.  The final asphalt lift will be performed by spring of 2021. All work is weather permitting. To read more about the Veterans Drive project and see overhead shots of the project on the project website.

City Council November 23, 2020 meeting preview

The Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) waiver by the state legislative leadership was extended through December 7 for jurisdictions not in Phase 3 of the “Safe Start” Plan.  Pierce County is currently in Phase 2.  As a result, City Hall Council Chambers will not be open for City Council meetings.

Residents can virtually attend City Council meetings by watching them live on the city’s YouTube channel:

Those who do not have access to YouTube can participate via Zoom by either calling by telephone: Dial +1(253) 215- 8782 and enter participant ID: 868 7263 2373.

To learn more about how to provide public comment and/or public testimony at City Council Regular Meetings, click here.

Items on the November 23, 2020 City Council Study Session agenda include:

  • Joint Youth Council meeting
  • Review of the 2021Comprehensive Plan amendments
  • Review of 2018 Washington State Building Code amendments
  • South Sound Housing Affordability Partners (SSHAP) Update
  • Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Grant Funding Status Update

A City Council Special Meeting is scheduled for December 2, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.  The meeting will include the review of the State Legislative Agenda and Policy Manual with the City’s State Legislative Delegation.

Items tentatively scheduled on the December 7, 2020 City Council Regular Meeting agenda include:

  • Proclamation expressing appreciation to Congressman Denny Heck for his exemplary accomplishments and for setting the standard for which quality leadership should aspire to emulate, as well as to extend our best wishes for continued success in all of his future endeavors
  • Proclamation recognizing and commending South Sound 911 first responders for their extraordinary work during the State Route 167, Graham and Sumner Grade Fire events – Ms. Deborah Grady, Executive Director
  • Lakewood City Council Virtual Tree Lighting and Holiday Message 
  • Youth Council Report
  • Clover Park School District Report
  • Awarding a bid for the 100th Street SW and Lakewood Drive SW Traffic Signal Replacement project
  • Awarding a bid for the Lakewood Drive Sidewalk – Steilacoom Boulevard to Flett Creek improvement project
  • Awarding a bid for the 111th/112th Street SW – Bridgeport Way to Kendrick Street improvement project
  • Authorizing the execution of an interlocal with the City of University Place regarding the Transfer of Court Services
  • Appoint Community Services Advisory Board members (tentative)
  • Appoint Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board members (tentative)
  • Appoint Planning Commission members (tentative)
  • Appoint Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members (tentative)
  • Amending Title 15A of the Lakewood Municipal Code to reflect the adoption of the 2018 editions of the International Code Council (ICC), a member of the International Code Family and other related codes pursuant to Chapter 19.27 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
  • Establishing the 2021 docket of Comprehensive Plan Land Use and Zoning Map policy amendments

Join a community advisory board

Do you like to give back to the community? Are you looking to get better connected to Lakewood? Have some free time you want to fill? Consider joining one of the city’s community advisory boards. Board members often have experience or expertise they can lend, can meet on a monthly basis and can commit to serving a full term, or longer.

Boards with openings:

  • Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board: up to 5 vacancies. Open until filled.
  • Community Services Advisory Board – 5 vacancies – Open until November 25, 2020

Board and commission descriptions, meeting schedule and application form can be found online. 

Stay up to date with MyLakewood311

Did you know Lakewood has its own free mobile app? All you need to know about the city is at your fingertips. Updates on road projects and detours around the city and other city announcements can be found under the “Public Announcements” header.

Contact the city using the “submit a new request” button and select from the appropriate category. The app allows you to track city staff’s response to your request and follow it through the process.

Please only submit one request per item – submitting multiple requests for the same item slows the review process. Note: This app is not monitored 24/7. If you are reporting an emergency that needs immediate assistance, please call 911.

Download it now in the iTunes App Store or on Google Play.

Stay connected with e-mail notifications

Get the latest news and updates from the city of Lakewood delivered directly to your inbox. To subscribe click here.

You can subscribe to the following city newsfeeds:

  • City Manager’s Weekly Bulletins (Weekly)
  • City Council Agendas and Meeting Schedules (Weekly)
  • Lakewood Connections and Recreation Brochures (Quarterly)
  • Public Notices
  • Coffee with the Mayor (Monthly)
  • Bids, Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Request for Qualifications (RFQs)