Pierce County News

1. Well sites sought for groundwater study

More than 700 property owners in the Graham area are receiving letters this week from Pierce County asking permission to use their wells to measure groundwater levels. The groundwater monitoring activity is part of a Water Programs study to evaluate the movement of groundwater between the Muck Creek and Clover Creek basins.

The information gained will help Pierce County Water Programs determine the design and location of a regional stormwater facility proposed to reduce flooding in the area. Water Programs and its consultant, Brown and Caldwell, are trying to identify existing wells that could be used in this study. Using existing wells instead of drilling new wells will save time and money.

“Property owners that are in those areas are receiving letters asking for assistance,” said Harold Smelt, Water Programs manager. “If the recipient of a letter has a well, we’d like to obtain permission to measure groundwater levels two to four times over the next year. The monitoring activity will not impact the wells.”

The Washington State Department of Ecology maintains a well database giving approximate locations of wells. Water Programs is using that generalized information to identify properties that may have wells. The letters went to property owners in the area generally bounded by 192nd Street East, 240th Street East, 70th Avenue East and 114th Avenue East.

The need for the study was included in the Muck Creek Basin Plan in response to citizen concerns expressed during public meetings conducted during the basin planning process. The Muck Creek Basin Plan is a surface water management document that will be used to guide capital improvement expenditures within the basin. Existing data suggests that groundwater in the Graham area of the Muck Creek Basin may flow north and surface within the Clover Creek Basin. If this is true, it could affect the way stormwater is managed in the area.

2. County Honors Catholic Community Services

Pierce County Aging and Long Term Care, a division of Human Services, has honored Catholic Community Services (CCS) with its annual Provider Appreciation Award for 2004. The award recognizes a community partner that has given exceptional service to the older adult population in Pierce County.

In June, Aging and Long Term Care awarded a contract to Catholic Community Services to provide both the congregate meal program and the home delivered meal program in Pierce County. The congregate meal program serves 17 meal sites throughout the county. Over 4,000 seniors receive hot, nutritious noon meals, primarily at senior and community centers. Meals are designed to increase the nutrient intake of participants who might not otherwise eat adequately, contributing to the individual’s improved health status. The meal sites also provide opportunities for seniors to interact in a social environment, thereby reducing isolation. The home delivered meal service delivers meals to residences of 700 elderly persons who are homebound by reason of illness or incapacitating disability. Service includes an assessment of the client to help determine the type and number of meals and the service delivery.

Sally Nixon, manager of Pierce County Aging and Long Term Care said, “We are delighted to have such a strong and dedicated provider of services to older adults and adults with disabilities in our community. We are very grateful to CCS for all of their work in Pierce County, especially for taking on this activity to assure good, healthy nutrition to seniors in our area.”

In addition to the congregate and home delivered meals, Aging and Long Term Care contracts with CCS to provide state-funded in-home care services and senior volunteer transportation services as part of the CCS volunteer chore services.

3. Heritage Recreation Center groundbreaking set for Jan. 14

Pierce County and Puyallup School District officials will kick off a partnership project Friday, Jan. 14 when they break ground for the Heritage Recreation Center. The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at the 38-acre site on 128th Street East between Rogers High School and Zeiger Elementary School.

Participating in the groundbreaking ceremony will be Puyallup School Board President Bruce Dammeier and Superintendent Tony Apostle, Pierce County Council members Calvin Goings and Roger Bush, County Chief of Staff Lyle Quasim and Parks and Recreation Director Jan Wolcott.

The $8 million project includes construction of a baseball field, four softball fields, six soccer fields, floodlighting for the four softball fields and one soccer field, a concessions/restrooms building, maintenance building and yard, children’s play area and 468 paved parking stalls.

The recreation center will be available for community use as well as school district activities. It is scheduled for completion in spring 2006. Pierce County will pay construction costs, and the school district will provide the land and share in the facility operational costs.

The site is within the South Hill Heritage Corridor, and a history marker at the site will describe its historical significance. The corridor was dedicated in October 2001 on the occasion of the 148th anniversary of the Longmire-Byles wagon train crossing over the Naches Pass Trail through South Hill. IMCO General Construction is the project contractor, and Bruce Dees & Associates is the landscape architect.

4. Council sets swearing-in ceremony for Jan. 11

The Pierce County Council will conduct a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 11 for new members Roger Bush and Tim Farrell and incumbents Calvin Goings and Dick Muri.

The public ceremony will be at 9:30 a.m. in Council chambers on the 10th floor of the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. S. A social time with refreshments will follow in the Council Office conference room.

Bush will be sworn in by Tacoma attorney Ron Heslop, Farrell by Court of Appeals Division II Chief Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall, Goings by District Court Judge Frank Dacca, and Muri by Superior Court Judge Linda Lee.

Bush represents Council District 3 (Ashford, Eatonville, Elbe, Elk Plain, Frederickson, Graham-west, Lacamas, Roy-east, South Hill, Spanaway-east and south, and Summit View). The Graham resident served four terms in the Washington House of Representatives.

Farrell represents District 4 (downtown, north end and Upper Tacoma), which was served for the last eight years by Harold Moss. He served eight years as senior legislative assistant to state Sen. Jim Kastama and is a former member of the Tacoma Planning Commission and North End Neighborhood Council.

Goings ran unopposed for his second four-year term in District 2 (Browns Point, Dash Point, East Tacoma, Fife, Northeast Tacoma, Puyallup, Summit View, Summit-Waller, Tideflats).

Muri won election last fall to his first four-year term in District 6 (Lakewood, Steilacoom, DuPont, Fort Lewis, McChord AFB and Ketron, Anderson and McNeil islands). He previously served the last year of Pat O’Malley’s term. O’Malley resigned to become a District Court judge.

The council’s other members and their districts:

– Shawn Bunney, District 1 (unincorporated east and south county, Bonney Lake, Buckley, Carbonado, Edgewood, Graham, Milton, Orting, South Prairie, Sumner, Wilkeson).

– Barbara Gelman, District 5 (Midland, Parkland, Spanaway-part, Tacoma-southeast).

– Terry Lee, District 7 (Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula, Fox Island, Fircrest, University Place, Tacoma-west).

The council will hold its first meeting of 2005 Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 3 p.m. The council’s business includes election of officers.