Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Tillicum


Lakewood toughens stance on sewer fee

Lakewood city officials intend to initiate foreclosure proceedings against the owners of four apartment complexes for failure to pay a required sewer fee.

In spending $18 million to extend sewer service to Tillicum and Woodbrook, the city’s two poorest neighborhoods, the City Council in 2011 gave property owners five years to connect but required they pay a monthly “availability fee” if they chose to wait.

 The approach gave leniency to property owners who couldn’t afford the cost to connect immediately and revenue to the city to maintain the new sewer pipes. Too few property owners

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Neighbors ready for Friday opening of Camp Murray gate

Camp Murray will open its new gate Friday as some residents in neighboring Tillicum wait to see if their worst fears about the increased traffic are borne out.

Officials at the headquarters of the Washington Military Department said they’ve invested about $1 million in off-base traffic improvements required by the city to ensure the neighbors’ concerns aren’t realized.

“The new Camp Murray gate will provide a safer avenue to work for our employees, and will lessen some of the current traffic challenges in the surrounding community,” said Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, director of the Washington Military Department. “We believe the

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Feds approve project to reroute trains through Lakewood

The Federal Railroad Administration has approved the proposed rerouting of Amtrak passenger trains through DuPont, Lakewood and South Tacoma following a three-year review that determined the project would not result in significant adverse impacts on the environment.

The decision was announced Monday. The draft environmental study had been released for public review and comment in October.

With the most significant regulatory hurdle behind it, the Washington State Department of Transportation can now finish the design and complete construction using $89 million in federal stimulus funding. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 and the first trains are scheduled

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More booming times at Camp Murray this weekend

The Washington Army National Guard is alerting neighbors about the firing of cannon salutes on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14, on the north end of Camp Murray.

The first salute is for a change-of-command ceremony for the 81st Armored Brigade Combat Team scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. Col. Christopher Fowler will transfer command to Col. Michael Weitzel.

Sunday’s salute will accompany the retirement ceremony for Master Sgt. Joel Cournyer, who served the Guard and active-duty Army for more than 30 years. The retirement ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m.

The duration of the volleys

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A booming time at Camp Murray on Friday

The Washington Army National Guard will be firing a cannon salute at about 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, at the north end of Camp Murray’s parade field, according to an advisory.

The cannon salute is part of a retirement ceremony for Col. James Drago, inspector general of the Washington National Guard. The duration of the ceremonial cannon firing is estimated to be less than 20 seconds, but will be audible in the Tillicum neighborhood, on Camp Murray and on parts of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Questions or concerns should be directed to the Washington National Guard public affairs office at

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Fight over Camp Murray gate headed to Superior Court

Neighbors opposed to the new gate being constructed at Camp Murray have taken their fight to Pierce County Superior Court.

The Tillicum Action Committee filed an appeal Friday asking a judge to order the city to reconsider its decision to issue a permit that allows the Washington Military Department to complete the project.

The filing came after  the city hearing examiner, James O’Connor, denied last month a second appeal of the permit filed by the committee.

Here’s the petition along with the hearing examiner’s written decision:

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Ruling clears path for completion of new Camp Murray gate

Construction of the new gate at Camp Murray cleared a major hurdle Tuesday when a hearing examiner tossed out a challenge filed by residents in neighboring Tillicum who are opposed to the project.

A representative of the neighborhood group, the Tillicum Action Committee, said it would meet this week to consider whether to appeal to Pierce County Superior Court.

“We’re disappointed that the hearing officer didn’t see the same issues that we were concerned with,” Pat O’Brien said.

The examiner, James O’Connor, denied a second appeal of a permit that Lakewood city officials issued so the Washington Military Department can

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Decision means more study for Camp Murray gate permit

Thursday’s decision on the appeal of a permit needed to move the Camp Murray gate in Tillicum did little to settle the controversy.

Hearing Examiner James O’Connor remanded the permit back to Lakewood city officials for further study and action.

Concerned residents challenged the permit the city issued to the Washington Military Department so it can connect the new gate now under construction to public streets closer to their neighborhood.

Military department officials say the current gate is unsafe due to its proximity to the busy intersection of Berkeley Street and Union Avenue, an antiquated Interstate 5 interchange and a

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