City Manager’s Weekly Bulletin: Sept. 3, 2021

A Lakewood family poses for a “first day of school” photo. Image courtesy of Clover Park School District.

Attention, Class! School is Back in Session in Lakewood

Students have returned to classrooms and school buses have returned to the roads – drive safe!

Clover Park School District welcomed students back to classrooms this week. The return to in-person education has been long-awaited. Masks are required by all students and staff per state law.

Drivers will encounter students and school buses on our roads again. LPD has posted a guide to all local school speed zones, and Graham Fire & Rescue posted a helpful guide about stopping for school buses.

On a two-lane road, both directions stop. On a three-lane road, the opposite direction may proceed (carefully). If you’re behind a bus when it stops and activates its lights and safety bar, do not overtake.
Image courtesy of Graham Fire & Rescue

Lakewood Averts Placement of Level III Sex Offender into Adult Family Home

Legislators prevent export of offender from eastern Washington; City objects to placement practices

DSHS has cancelled plans to place a Level III sex offender released from Eastern State Hospital into a Lakewood adult family home. The City of Lakewood and local legislators insisted on the cancelation. Representative Mari Leavitt, Representative Dan Bronoske, and Senator T’wina Nobles negotiated with DSHS to arrange an alternative.

The City is thankful for their leadership on behalf of the residents of Lakewood to prevent this placement.

The City of Lakewood opposes the placement of high-risk sexual predators into inappropriate care settings intended for vulnerable persons. The City also objects to the placement of potentially violent patients into distant communities in which they have no history or support network.

Read our detailed situational analysis of this issue here.

DSHS Answers Residents’ Questions about Western State Hospital

DSHS plans to build a new 350-bed forensic hospital; residents have expressed concerns

DSHS plans to build a new 350-bed forensic hospital on the Western State Hospital campus in Lakewood to replace outdated facilities. DSHS hosted a community event to discuss the project earlier this week, and will host a virtual open house on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 6:00 p.m.

This is a state project, directed by the Washington State Legislature. The City’s role is to review the plan for community & environmental impact and prescribe mitigations.

Celebrate Lakewood’s 25th Anniversary on September 18th at Colonial Plaza

A community festival will be held at Colonial Plaza on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 2:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Join us on September 18, 2021 as we celebrate a quarter-century since the incorporation of Lakewood. Have a bite to eat, have something to drink, share your favorite Lakewood stories, enjoy live entertainment, rub elbows with City leaders and VIP guests, and celebrate with your community as we honor this milestone.

City of Lakewood 25th Anniversary Celebration Saturday, September 18, 2021 from 2:00 – 8:30 p.m. Colonial Plaza – Downtown Lakewood
6108 Motor Ave SW, Lakewood, WA 98499

Lakewood Chamber CEO Recognized as “2021 Main Street Mentor of the Year”

Award bestowed by, an online referral network for small businesses

The Lakewood Chamber is a membership-based organization comprised of businesses and organizations united to advance local business interests. CEO Linda Smith was recognized as a “2021 Main Street Mentor of the Year” by, a credit to her work to support commerce and entrepreneurship in Lakewood.

“It’s really more appropriate to accept this recognition on behalf of Lakewood’s business community, as all of us play a role in keeping our local economy going.”
– Linda Smith, CEO of Lakewood Chamber of Commerce

Upcoming Events:


  • Virus Activity: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging in Pierce County and throughout the nation. COVID-19 is again a serious public health threat.
  • Vaccine Locations: Vaccination is the best defense against COVID-19, and the fastest way for us to return to normal. The Towne Center Vaccine Clinic is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 10330 59th Avenue Southwest, STE B, Lakewood, WA 98499.
  • Mask Mandate: Masks are now required in all indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccine status.
  • Relief Programs: Rent, mortgage, and utility bill relief is available under the City of Lakewood program and another by Pierce County.


  • Steilacoom & Lakewood: Steilacoom Boulevard will reopen today (9/3 by 2:00 p.m.) after being closed for the last week. Sewer repair work is ongoing.
    • Repair Progress: Pierce County crews have established a bypass and will begin work on a permanent repair “in a few weeks”. The permanent repair will require another full closure, so expect future disruptions in this area.
    • Odors: The sewer system was opened a few times as crews installed equipment, but Pierce County reports that odors should diminish significantly now that bypass work is complete.
    • Waterways: The health department reports that bacteria levels in local waterways have diminished. Most local advisories have been lifted.
  • Maple & Union: Crews have re-paved Maple Street after installing a sewer main extension. Maple Street has reopened, although workers will apply some finishing touches in the next week or so.
  • Bridgeport & Custer: We’ve made a slight adjustment to the traffic signal at Custer & Bridgeport. As you drive East on Custer, the left (North) turn arrow onto Bridgeport allows left turns during green arrows only. Left turns are no longer permitted between turn arrow cycles.
  • Steilacoom & Custer: TPU continues to perform utility work. Occasional lane closures will be required; typically in the evening.
  • Gravelly Lake & Nyanza: Gravelly Lake Drive SW will be closed between Nyanza and Veterans until next February.
A roller rolls over the new asphalt placed along Maple at Portland
Sewer & street improvements in Tillicum are speeding along. Maple Street has reopened – paving was completed just in time for the first day of school. Crews will apply finishing touches over the next few days.