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Native American Heritage month is a time to recognize the invaluable contributions that Native American tribes have made—and continue to make—to the diversity, arts, knowledge, labor, technology, science, philosophy and economy of this country.
Fife is located on the homelands of the Indigenous peoples of this region, the spuyaləpabš, also called the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. Their historical and cultural contributions have substantially shaped the character of the city, the region and the state. To learn more about the history of the “people from the bend at the bottom of the river,” visit their website.
Here are some resources and events to check out to learn more about Native American heritage and culture:
Native American Heritage Month website: Find virtual storytelling, cultural resources, activities, a celebration of Native American artwork, poetry, writing and virtual events at the Native American Heritage Month website here.
Tacoma Public Library: Find curated lists of books about Native American heritage for all ages on the Tacoma Public Library website's Native American Heritage Month page, along with links to digital resources (films, audiobooks, etc.) and details of special events (including family story times, story walks and an adult book club meeting) that will be held at various library branches throughout the month.
Pierce County Library System: The library system has created a recommended reading list, and its Overdrive digital resources site features a collection of fiction by Native American authors ranging from coming-of-age stories to horror novels.
Tacoma Community College: The college has a curated webpage with resources and learning materials about Native American heritage. Find it here.
We are saddened to share that Russ Blount, Fife's deputy city manager, passed away in a tragic accident the morning of Oct. 6.
Many of you probably recognize Russ’s name as he’s served the City of Fife, and our greater region, for over 17 years as our public works director and most recently as deputy city manager for the past four years.
He’s been involved in just about every project the city has worked on and completed over the last two decades and will be remembered for his love for Fife, his leadership, wisdom, generosity, loyalty and kind heart.
Fife City Council held a moment of silence at the start of the Oct. 11 council meeting to honor the life and legacy of our dear friend, colleague and leader, as well as the impact he’s made on all our lives, especially within our Fife community.
You can watch the recording of the council meeting online.
The moment of silence was held at the beginning of the meeting. Council, staff and public comments were shared after the break and throughout the meeting (min. 0:01:04, 0:08:26, 0:16:30, 0:32:16, and 1:16:50).
There is also a nice article about Russ online in the The News Tribune.
More recently, there was a story written by Matt Nagle in Tacoma Weekly about the impact Russ had on our community.
To share condolences, memories, photos or to support a cause Russ was passionate about, you can visit a remembrance page setup in honor of Russ here.
Dr. Phillips and his staff were nominated for supporting and providing free services for individuals in our Jobs Program. Their donation of time and services made a huge impact on many lives and demonstrated excellence in their field and our Fife community. Learn more about why they were nominated and selected for the award here.
Read more about the annual award here.
Here’s a reminder that Fife's safety cameras are back on. It’s so important as our students are out and about again that local drivers keep the speed down. There’s no question about the effectiveness of speed cameras in reducing the likelihood of a crash, but did you also know that speed cameras also reduce the likelihood of fatalities? (read more at https://www.iihs.org/topics/speed).
• Our school zone safety cameras are located along Valley Avenue East and 20th Street East
• Flashing lights are active between 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 2:20 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days
• A reduced speed of 20 m.p.h. is imposed during these hours
The USPS collection box usually located at Fife City Hall is temporarily unavailable. The city is working with USPS to replace the box. We are hoping to have a replacement box soon. In the meantime, to find another collection box near you, visit tools.usps.com/find-location.htm
The well-being of our community is important to our city council and the city manager's office. If you have any concerns or issues you would like addressed, we encourage you to complete a Citizen Action Form. This is the most efficient way for us to get all the necessary information we need in order to respond effectively and timely. You can complete the form here.
We have reached another milestone in our efforts to address homeless encampments that have spread onto WSDOT-owned properties within the city. At the June 14 council meeting there will be two resolutions on the agenda allowing the city to make progress in cleaning up these areas.
Public safety concerns and responding to the increase in homeless encampments in Fife are a priority for our staff and council. Because of this, the city lobbied our state legislature for funding to assist in these encampment clean-up efforts and was successful in securing $2 million through the Move Ahead Washington revenue package.
Resolution No. 2051 authorizes an agreement with WSDOT to allocate those funds to address homeless encampments on WSDOT property within the SR 167/SR 509 Gateway Project.
Resolution No. 2052 authorizes an agreement with a contractor to start encampment clean-up efforts, starting with the Hylebos nature area. Colin DeForrest, d.b.a. Innovative Impact Strategies Consulting, previously coordinated successful connections to housing and resources, and the setting of deadlines for individuals experiencing homelessness, leading to encampment removal and clean-up on WSDOT-owned rights-of-way along the SR 167/SR 509 Puget Sound Gateway project corridor in Fife. He has agreed to head up a similar effort by Fife, starting with the encampments in the Hylebos nature area and then extending to other areas of concern to our residents and businesses.
Approving these two resolutions is a significant step in addressing the risks to public safety and health related to homeless encampments on WSDOT rights-of-way.
You can find more information about these two resolutions in the June 14 agenda packet here: https://www.cityoffife.org/454/Watch-Now?clientID=4845477838&eventID=2022061004
Heads up: Over the next week, citizens will notice the placement of several ecology blocks north and south of the railroad tracks on 54th Ave. E. The maps below show the approximate locations of the blocks. These will include barricades and 'Road Closed' signs. They will be placed to still allow emergency vehicles access if necessary. The goal is to slow vehicles down and prevent anyone from striking the gates at full speed.
The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a new Pierce County Human Services program funded by the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services and is designed to pay off debts on water and sewer bills up to $2,500 for qualified Pierce County residents, including Fife residents. To be eligible for this program, you must meet the income guidelines below:
TO APPLY: Call Pierce County at 253-798-4328 to make an appointment for completing an application.
MORE INFO: Visit their website here or view the program flyer hereWater Assistance Program.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a U.S. government program run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help low-income households pay for internet service and connected devices like a laptop or tablet.
You are likely eligible if your household’s income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line, or if you or someone you live with currently receives a government benefit like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, Pell Grant, or Free and Reduced-Price Lunch.
If your household is eligible, you could receive:
For more information, to see if you qualify and to apply, visit their website here: https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/
At their regular meeting on April 26, Fife City Council presented House Transportation Chair Rep. Jake Fey with a plaque in recognition of his leadership and efforts during the 2022 Legislative Session on the Move Ahead Washington Package to benefit Fife, Pierce County, the region and people throughout Washington State.
The Move Ahead Washington Package provides Fife and partners with:
The Department of Corrections has proposed a work-release facility in Fife. It’s important to the City of Fife that the public is informed of this proposal.
Here is some background information: The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has identified Fife as an “underserved area” for expanding their state-operated work release program. They are considering placing up to a 120-bed facility at the SW corner of Pacific Highway and 65th Ave E (6416 Pacific Hwy E. Fife, WA 98424). The site currently has a vacant 3-story office building with access for up to 90 surface parking spaces. The DOC has not formally submitted any permit applications to the city at this time.
Fife, and our local legislative delegation and county council representative, jointly signed a letter expressing concerns about potential impacts on the community and whether 120 beds is a fair share for Fife, and our region.
At the Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 Fife City Council meeting, the city council unanimously approved a six-month moratorium prohibiting the permitting and establishment of a work release facility. The purpose of the moratoria is to:
- Research and talk with stakeholders, including the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, about potential impacts of the facility on neighboring properties, businesses and city services;
- Review our local and county-wide planning policies and the “essential public facility” regulations to ensure that they mitigate potential impacts and continue to serve the good of the community;
- Clarify “fair share” for Fife and Pierce County and mitigate disproportionate financial burdens
On Jan. 5, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) held a virtual public hearing to gather input.
On Feb. 8, the City of Fife held a public hearing for a moratorium passed by the Fife City Council to temporarily pause the permitting and establishment of work release facilities within the city of Fife. A public hearing is required as a follow-up to this emergency measure. The public can watch this public hearing by visiting cityoffife.org/meetings . Councilmembers asked for comment from the public on whether the temporary moratorium should be maintained, modified or rescinded by extending the public hearing for written comment until Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.
At the Feb. 22 Fife City Council meeting the council made the decision to maintain the moratorium through affirming Ordinance No. 2069. The ordinance prohibits the permitting and establishment of a work-release facility in Fife through June 14, 2022.
Due to the moratoria being affirmed by the Fife City Council, the next steps in the work program will include:
The work program anticipates potential staff recommendations presented to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing and formulate recommendations. The Planning Commission will forward their recommendations to the Fife City Council.
Recommendations on potential zoning code amendments, if any, will come back before the city council within 6-months of the original moratorium adoption, or by June 14, 2022; that date coincides with a regular council business meeting. The Fife City Council will review the staff and Planning Commission recommendations and the council will conduct a public hearing prior to taking any further action.
Alternatively, if the council determines that additional time is required to complete the work plan, the council may adopt an extension to the moratorium.
For more information from the Department of Corrections on this project, visit https://www.facebook.com/WACorrections/ and https://doc.wa.gov/about/business/capital-planning/capacity-work-release.htm.
All city buildings are currently open to the public. Masks are optional for all guests and employees inside city buildings.
Here are the normal schedules for when each building will be open:
Fife City Hall: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays by appointment only (To set up an appointment, call 253-922-2489)
Community Center: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aquatic Center: Hours vary depending on programs, please check cityoffife.org/aquatics for a schedule.
Public Works Counter: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Police Department Counter: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Municipal Court Counter: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Here are ways to reach the following departments to conduct city business by phone, email or web.
FINANCE/UTILITY BILL PAYMENT: The City of Fife's Finance Department offers online utility bill pay. Please click here for more information or click on this link https://fife.merchanttransact.com/Default.aspx. Have a question about utility bills? Be sure to check out our Utility FAQ here.
For assistance with online or phone payments, please call 253-922-2489 and press 1 for utilities during business hours. Payment by check may be mailed or put into the utility drop box located in the City Hall parking lot.
PERMITTING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: 253-922-9625 or email email@example.com. Check out the new online permitting features at cityoffife.org/onlinepermits.
PUBLIC WORKS: 253-922-9315 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNITY CENTER: 253-922-0900 or email email@example.com
AQUATIC CENTER: 253--922-7665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
POLICE DEPARTMENT: 253-922-6633 or email@example.com (for emergencies, please call 911)
MUNICIPAL COURT: 253-922-6635 or firstname.lastname@example.org
STAFF DIRECTORY: Don't see a department listed that you need to reach? Find a staff directory here: https://www.cityoffife.org/directory.aspx
Check out this tool from the National Weather Service that the city uses to monitor the Puyallup River water levels: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=sew&gage=puyw1
Did you know that WSDOT has a few traffic cameras in Fife where you can view traffic and road conditions? Check them out on a map here: https://wsdot.com/travel/real-time/map/. One of the cameras is at the Wapato Way East roundabout at SR 99. You can access that specific camera here: https://images.wsdot.wa.gov/orflow/099vc00089.jpg?a=164088206531
The City of Fife has finalized its legislative agenda for 2022. This council-approved agenda is a list of state legislative priorities identified by city staff and Fife City Councilmembers as important issues, programs and initiatives for the City of Fife and its citizens. This agenda informs the public about the priorities that Fife, its elected officials and city leadership, have identified for the upcoming legislative session, which begins on January 10, 2022, and is expected to adjourn on March 10, 2022. You can download a printable PDF copy of the Fife legislative agenda here.
The Puyallup Tribe of Indians and Amazon announced on Oct. 19, 2021 that the two are bringing a 520,000-square-foot sort center to Fife. The project is expected to bring 500 jobs to Fife. Read the Puyallup Tribe of Indians announcement here: https://www.facebook.com/PuyallupTribeOfIndians/posts/237723791726074
Good news for walkers and rollers! The City of Fife began a project that will make city sidewalks safer and more accessible. Residents will see Precision Concrete Cutting begin improving Radiance neighborhood sidewalks by eliminating trip hazards. After the concrete work is completed in the Radiance area, similar work will continue in the Saddle Creek area and then other neighborhoods around Fife. Construction crews at this time do not expect the work to interfere with residential street parking. However, watch for signs in case an area needs clearance at the curb. Most residents won’t see any impacts from this work other than safer sidewalks with fewer trip hazards. Thanks for your patience during this work!
An alert for pedestrians walking to the new 7-Eleven at the corner of 70th Avenue East and Valley Avenue East in Fife. After you grab a Slurpee and a Slim Jim and continue on your way, be sure to cross the street using the crosswalk at 70th/Valley. Walkers and rollers who continue down the south side of the street closest to 7-Eleven will run out of sidewalk at the railroad tracks. We want to make sure you arrive at your destination safely, so we added a sign to let you know that the sidewalk ends. Look for the sign!
The Canyon Road Regional Connection project held a virtual Town Hall Meeting on September 15. Here is some information that came from this meeting. You can view a recording of the Town Hall, a summary of the meeting itself, including lightly edited questions and answers and a pdf of the slides used in the presentation. Still have questions, please contact email@example.com.
Need to contact Union Pacific Railroad to report a signal issue? Here's how to do that. Call the UPRR Response Management Communication Center at 888-877-7267 or the UPRR Grade Crossing Hotline at 800-848-8715. Please make note of the address of the crossing you're calling about. Fife has three at-grade railroad crossings from UPRR - at 54th Avenue East, 70th Avenue East and Freeman Road East. If there is an emergency in progress, please call 911.
The Tideflats subarea planning process, a partnership between City of Tacoma, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Port of Tacoma, Pierce County and City of Fife, is intended to create a shared long-term vision and more coordinated approach to development, environmental review, and strategic capital investments in the Tideflats. Completion of the subarea plan will support the ongoing eligibility for and prioritization of transportation funding in the regional manufacturing and industrial center. The Tideflats is an area of over 5,000 acres of waterfront land providing vital saltwater and estuarian habitat for salmon, shellfish and other marine life, the Tideflats is an economic center that includes industrial and manufacturing and maritime activity in a world class port and is the ancestral lands of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The area is designated as the Port of Tacoma Manufacturing Industrial Center (MIC). The MIC is home to Tacoma and Pierce County’s highest concentration of industrial and manufacturing activity and is the work site for about 9,800 employees.
To learn more about community engagement opportunities with this important project, please visit https://www.cityoftacoma.org/tideflatsplan.
Join us on June 6 at 6 p.m. and learn more about the Tideflats Subarea Plan and upcoming Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) scoping process, including the overall process and timeline, recent accomplishments, and opportunities to participate in shaping the future of Tacoma's Tideflats at a virtual community informational meeting. Get the Zoom link and additional information at www.cityoftacoma.org/tideflats.
Did you know you can sign up for auto payments for utility billing? You can also make a one-time payment online. To do so, visit this page. For more information on utility payments, visit this page. For more information on recent utility rate increases for the City of Fife , please visit this page. Have another utility-related question? Visit this FAQ page.
Want to find out more about the SR 167 completion project that will add a bridge over I-5 at 70th Avenue East? Read more at our traffic page at cityoffife.org/traffic. Or, visit the WSDOT information page - https://wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR167/completion/default.htm
The City of Fife’s Community Development team has worked hard to make the city’s online permitting system more user friendly. You can apply for a permit from anywhere, so long as you have a computer connection. To learn more about the city’s online permitting features, visit cityoffife.org/onlinepermits.
Fife City Council holds their regular meetings the second and fourth Tuesday of each month starting at 6 p.m. They hold a study session on the third Tuesday of each month, also starting at 6 p.m. Currently, all regular council meetings allow for in-person attendance and also the able to participate remotely. All study sessions are being held remote only. For more information on city council meetings and to review the agendas, please click here.
To find out how you can participate in those meetings, visit cityoffife.org and select the date for the next council meeting. Citizens who would like to submit comments in advance of the meeting may do so by emailing the comments to the City Clerk’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org or sending via postal mail to 5411 23rd Street E, Fife, WA 98424.
Interested in getting involved and volunteering on one of our boards and commissions? Click here to learn more about the different opportunities available.
Read our most current city newsletter here. Want to receive a digital copy of the city’s newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.
Find out more about city communication at cityoffife.org/communications.
The City of Fife recognizes this is a stressful time for many due to the financial effects of COVID-19. We are offering a hardship payment plan for City of Fife utility customers. We are waiving late fees through January 27, 2022. For information on requesting a hardship payment plan, visit: https://www.cityoffife.org/utilitybilling.
Fife Residents may also have Tacoma Public Utilities and/or Puget Sound Energy utility bills. Both of these utility companies are offering utility assistance:
The City of Fife recognizes this is a stressful time for many due to the financial effects of COVID-19. If you’re a citizen in need, here are resources to help you through this tough time.
Calling 2-1-1 can lead you to resources to help with housing, childcare, food needs, basic legal help and more. Read more about the South Sound 2-1-1 resource line here.
Pierce County is offering help for those unable to pay their mortgage or rent. If you need housing assistance, read more about that here.
Pierce County is providing assistance to individuals who have fallen behind in their rent and utility payments as a result of COVID. For information about income eligibility and how to apply, check out the flyer here. For more details visit the website here or complete the application here.
If you’ve lost your job, here is the information you need about unemployment benefits.
Pierce County has allotted a portion of its CARES Act money to helping with childcare vouchers. Read more about that here.
If you’re an essential worker and need help with transportation, Pierce Transit has some options for you. Read about that here.
BUSINESS HELP AND RESOURCES
If you’re a small business looking for help and resources, here are resources for you.
The Fife, Milton and Edgewood Chamber of Commerce has a helpful resource page for the phased reopening of local businesses.
The Pierce County Economic Development Board is another helpful agency.
If you are a small, for-profit, business that has been negatively financially impacted by Covid-19 orders and related health and safety measures, you may be eligible for assistance through the state's Working Washington Grants: Round 4 Program. For more information or to apply click here.
If your business needs aid, please contact the Small Business Association and ask about Disaster Loan Applications.
Pierce County also is assisting small businesses that need aid. Here is information about the county program.
Pierce County allows emergency small business relief loans to be forgiven if certain conditions are met related to COVID-19 workplace safety practices. Click here for details regarding the process.
Impact Washington is inviting Washington based US Small-and medium-sized manufacturers (SME’s) to apply for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funds. These funds provide services that directly support a manufacturer’s ability to recover from the coronavirus.
You might have questions about the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19). Here are reliable sources to check for information.
The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. Phone volumes might mean a bit of a wait on that hotline.
Here are more reliable resources:
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department maintains a great database of resources at this website and they also provide deep background information and facts about the virus -- https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/human-coronavirus
The Washington State Department of Health is maintaining up-to-date information on the virus here -- https://www.doh.wa.gov/emergencies/coronavirus.
Pierce County offers the following advice for everyone:
• Increase handwashing and use of alcohol-based sanitizer• Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette – cover a cough or a sneeze• Keep distance from others (more than six feet, if possible)• Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces• Remain home during a respiratory illness