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The on-deck site supervisor can let you know what level your child is on as well as answer any questions pertaining to your child’s progress that you may have.
Please view Swim Lesson Information to view our videos detailing all of our levels and skills.
Once a swimmer has passed level 10 in our swim lesson program they are eligible to try out for FAST. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes! Requests can be made at the front desk or during the registration process. Instructor requests are not guaranteed and are dependent on instructor availability.
Private lessons are 30 minutes of one-on-one instruction. These lessons can be beneficial in helping swimmers that are stuck on a specific skill or those who are overcoming a fear of the water.
Swimmers can continue to take lessons after level 10 to work on endurance and technique. Pre-competitive private lessons are also available. Another option is to schedule a tryout for our competitive swim team, FAST.
Partial passes are recorded when a swimmer passes some but not all of a level. Partial passes are carried over for swimmers who are registered for consecutive sessions.
Anyone age 2 and under, and those who are not yet toilet trained must wear a swim diaper with a protective covering.
Here at the Fife Aquatic Center we use a salt cell to generate chlorine for our hot tub and pools. The Health Department mandates that all public pools maintain a certain chlorine level. We achieve this through use of a salt cell rather than traditional chlorine.
The Aquatic Center offers additional classes such as Paddle Board Yoga, Aquarobics, Adults Boot Camp, LAFF and Adult Swim Lessons.
Email aquaticcenter@cityoffifeorg if you have any questions.
Yes, we have scholarship opportunities available for low-income families. Applications are available at the front desk.
Yes, for lap swim and rec swim there is a discounted military rate.
The hot tub is kept at about 102o, the lesson pool at 89o and the lap pool at 85o
25 yards or 75 feet
Block Watch is a national program that is based on the principle of neighbors working together as the first and best line of defense against crime. Block Watch has been shown to be an effective deterrent to crime at the neighborhood level. Fife has always been recognized for its Block Watch program.
Block Watch organizes and extends what you are probably already doing on an informal level. We tend to know and watch out for our neighbors next door, but neighbors at one end of the block may not know the neighbors at the other end of the block. Organizing a Block Watch makes this attitude of watchfulness more systematic, and provides a block map with neighbors’ names and telephone numbers that can be used in case of an emergency.
Block Watch is simple to create and can improve the security of your neighborhood while also increase your sense of community.
Block Watch doesn’t require you to perform any special tasks, attend lots of meetings or take on extra responsibilities. You don’t have to patrol the neighborhood or tell your neighbors every aspect of your business. Block Watch just involves being alert and vigilant as a part of your everyday life.
All it requires is that you and your neighbors be familiar enough with each other to know who belongs in the neighborhood and who doesn’t, which cars are a part of the neighborhood and which aren’t, recognize when something suspicious is going on and be a little more observant of changes in your surroundings. Block Watch is simply watching out for one another!
If you are interested in starting a Block Watch, please contact Crime Prevention Coordinator Steven Van Zanten for more information.
Check out the Zoning Map to see how your property is zoned.
For major development of a lot, it is recommended that you schedule a Development Review Committee (DRC) meeting. Visit the DRC page for instructions and meeting request form. What you are able to build on your property depends on the intended use. First, determine how your property is zoned. To do this, refer to the City of Fife Zoning Map and to Title 19 of the Fife Municipal Code, to determine if your use is allowed in that zone.
Use the Building Permit Estimator spreadsheet (XLS) to estimate the approximate cost of your building permit fees based on square footage, type of construction, and occupancy of your location. The fees calculated here are estimates only. Actual fees due for your project will be reviewed and finalized at application submittal. Building permit fees do not include other fees, charges or permits such as general facility charges, impact fees, mechanical permits, plumbing permits, etc. Please see the Community Development Fee Schedule (PDF) for a detailed list of other fees.
If you have any questions, please email the Community Development Department or call them at 253-922-9625.
Permits are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. If the applicant fails to provide a complete application, the permit cannot be reviewed until all necessary information is received. Permit Coordinators will make sure the application is complete at the time of application.
If further information is needed for review, the applicant will be notified. As soon as the permit is reviewed and approved by staff it is given to the permit coordinators, who will contact you. If there are any additional fees that need to be paid, the permit coordinators will notify you at this time.
Inspections are scheduled weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To schedule an inspection, call 253-922-9624 by 4 p.m. the day prior to your preferred inspection date.
Inspections can also be requested online at the City of Fife’s Online Permit Center. In order to request an inspection online, you must be a registered user in the Online Permit Center. Create an account by clicking the “Sign Up” link. Please contact support at 253-922-9625 if you need any assistance using the new Online Permit Center or need to acquire your personal access code.
A parcel number is the most useful item on a permit application. Therefore it is extremely helpful when you can supply it to the permit coordinators on your permit application. To find your parcel number, use the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer website. There you can enter a house number and street to find your parcel number.
Make sure the parcel type is a “real” parcel and the parcel status is “active”. Also, by clicking on your parcel number you can find all sorts of handy information such as:
There are a lot of reasons to apply for and acquire a building permit. A building permit ensures:
Section 105.1 of the 2015 International Building Code regarding required permits reads; Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.
Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.
View a list of exceptions from the International Building and International Residential Codes (PDF).
Many changes are coming to the Puget Sound region, and Fife needs to be ready when they arrive. In the next 25 years, regional transportation will change significantly. SR 167 is to be extended to meet with I-5 and the Port of Tacoma. Some parts of the I-5 interchange system in Fife will also be redesigned and rebuilt. And if the voters approve, the regional light rail system will extend from South King County all the way to Tacoma, with a station in Fife. If implemented, that will connect Fife to a regional light rail transportation system to Seattle and possibly going as far north as Everett.
The update to the City’s long-term Transportation Plan provides the City of Fife with an opportunity to build upon, reinforce, and refine certain land use principles supportive of these transportation improvements. These land use principles are adopted in the City’s existing land use plan documents.
In 2006, the City of Fife updated its Comprehensive Land Use Plan to encourage the development of a downtown area as the center of commercial, civic, cultural and recreational activities. This was encouraged by:
In 2011, the City of Fife Comprehensive Plan land use map was amended to identify a downtown district center along the Interstate 5 Corridor. This includes both the north and south sides of Interstate 5. Existing zoning is supportive of a downtown district. Certain zoning districts seek to accommodate a range of well-designed retail, service, civic, entertainment, recreation and high-density residential uses to create a new focal point of community activity. Existing zoning also provides opportunities for people to live in close proximity to employment, shopping and recreational activities.
Preliminary analysis shows that future transportation improvements lend themselves to additional refinement of these land use principles to establish a City Center on the north side of Interstate-5, near 54th Avenue, along with more convenient pedestrian access on 54th between the north and the south side of Interstate-5.
How people use land and how people use transportation are closely linked. Land use patterns in Centers often are based on a concept called Transit Oriented Development (TOD).
Transit Oriented Development
TOD establishes a compact mixed-use (residential and commercial) land use pattern which gives people an opportunity to live and work in a well-planned environment that is close (about a 1/4 mile radius) to high capacity transit systems, be they bus, rail or other forms of transit.
TOD works best in geographic areas rather than an entire city. But on a broad level, TOD serves the entire community even if the individual doesn’t live or work in the TOD area. Many of the features that make living and working in a TOD attractive, such as great shopping and popular parks can be used by everyone. A TOD encourages businesses and visitors to come to the city, which also benefits everyone.
At the end of the visioning process, the city will adopt a City Center Plan to serve as the blueprint for development in Fife over the next few decades. The Plan will be reviewed by the City Planning Commission and then brought to the City Council for consideration, where there will be additional opportunities for public comment. This plan will:
From there, more detailed planning work will begin in the form of changes to zoning and other regulations.
Benefits of this process include:
The four-county (Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Snohomish) Puget Sound Region is guided by a regional planning document called VISION 2040. VISION 2040 sets forth the Puget Sound region’s growth management strategy and calls for an efficient land use pattern based on a hierarchy of centers connected by a network of many kinds of high capacity transit, such as light rail, bus, and commuter rail.
Many cities have either adopted or are now planning for, centers to allow for an efficient and sustainable land use pattern that takes advantage of this regional high capacity transportation network. This land use will lessen the region’s reliance on single occupant vehicle use and reduce the negative effects of those vehicles, on air quality and traffic congestion. These centers feature very similar characteristics
A Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) is a proposed change, addition or deletion to the City’s Comprehensive Plan (text or map).
A proposed amendment of the comprehensive plan and/or map may be initiated by the City, or a private individual, organization, business, agency or other group.
The City of Fife Community Development Department provides application forms.
Proposals may be submitted at any time. However, to be considered in the same calendar year, they must be submitted by January 31 of the proposed year.
No fee is charged at Step 1 (the preliminary review). City staff will contact you if the City Council decides to consider, or not consider your proposal. If the Council decides to hear your proposal, staff will let you know what the actual costs will be.
If you have not already reported the fraudulent activity, make a police report. Return the checks to the bank and provide the bank with a forgery affidavit and the police report number. The bank will then return the checks to the bank/business/merchant who accepted the check.
Each check passed or presented for passing is a separate offense. That incident will be investigated when the merchant reports the offense. If video images of the offense are available, the merchant should provide the evidence to the police. Keep in mind, there must be some means of establishing the identity of the suspect in the video
Frequently, offenders will assume stolen or fake identities when cashing a forged check. Often, offenders use fake identification with either fictitious information or another person’s information.
Contact the merchant and advise them that someone is forging your checks and supply them with the police report number and have the merchant send the original check to the police department.
We have to be able to tie the suspect to the forged check. This is often done by processing the prints on the forged check and comparing them to the suspect. No charges can be filed if the suspect can not be linked to the check.
Yes, however, you must report this to the U. S Postal Inspector at 206-442-6300. They have jurisdiction for investigating thefts involving the U.S. mail.
If your checks are stolen from anywhere other than the mail, you should call 911 or call your local police business line to make your report. A detective assigned to that division will work the offense.
You may reduce your risk of being victimized and minimize the loss if you do the things listed below.
Immediately contact the issuer of the credit, the credit card company, such as American Express or Visa, a department store, or a bank. We also recommend contacting someone who works in the Loss Prevention department for the company, instead of someone in their customer service department.
When your American Express, Visa, or any other card is used to purchase merchandise, you should also contact the store where the card was used. Again, contact someone who works in Loss Prevention for the store and not someone in customer service.
Contact all 3 of the credit reporting companies and report the incident to each of them. See contact information for the credit bureaus.
Make all your notifications by telephone, and in writing.
You can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud by following the following advice:
If your driver’s license number is compromised you must contact the Washington Department of Motor Vehicles. Their phone number varies depending on where you live. You can find their phone number in the white pages of the telephone book under State of Washington. You should call the office nearest to your residence.
State of Washington
That depends on the offense. Often, documentary evidence is required. The nature of the evidence depends on the crime, but in all cases, original documents or certified copies are required. In credit card/debit card abuse cases, original receipts or computer records documenting the transaction are required. In instances where identifying information has been used, the original or certified document, completed by and upon which the offender used the identifying information, must be provided to the police.
A witness or evidence must be obtained to identify or lead to the identification of a suspect. There are several means of establishing the identity of the offender. They are as follows:
Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone’s identifying information, such as the name, address, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, biographical attributes, or electronic addresses and numbers, in order to impersonate them. Identity thieves obtain this information primarily to commit various forms of fraud and obtain money, goods or services. In Washington State, the Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information is a Felony.
The investigation of identity theft crimes is a time-consuming process. Many of the investigations require documentary evidence, which can take time to compile. For victims of identity theft, the immediate priority is to prevent and minimize further harm. In the Financial Crimes section, there are a number of resources to assist victims in this long process.
The Fife Police Department and the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office must work within the guidelines set forth by the Washington Revised Statute; therefore, investigators can only file charges on a suspect(s) if your case has sufficient evidence to establish the elements of the offense and the identity of the offender.
As a general rule, and provided you act with due diligence, no. In most cases, the account holder is not held financially responsible for losses as a result of fraudulent activity. Normally, the business who accepted the fraudulent transaction is the loss victim. However, if you become aware of fraudulent activity or should have been aware of the activity and do not report the fraud to the bank or credit card company within a reasonable period of time, the bank/credit card company may hold you responsible.
First, advise the business/merchant that the transactions involved were fraudulent and encourage the merchant to report the incident to the police. If they don’t call us, you should call your local police department.
The individual who lives at a reported address cannot automatically be charged with the offense. We must prove that the person living at the location was the individual who used your information. A witness must be able to make a positive identification of the suspect from a photo array. Frequently, the addresses to which fraudulently ordered packages are delivered are vacant residences; often the driver leaves packages at the residence, and the offender later recovers the packages.
The current 100-year Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain impacts about 10% of Fife’s community. This is based on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) prepared and adopted by FEMA going back to the 1980s.
FEMA determines the areas with a 1% potential of flooding from storms throughout the year. These areas are called the 100-year floodplain. FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps detail the 100-year floodplain areas.
Since many FIRM’s across the country are old, FEMA has been engaged in a nationwide Map Modernization process in updating the floodplain maps in Pierce County. However, FEMA has yet to adopt new maps.
Pierce County is working toward recertifying the Puyallup River levees, but this may take years. Meanwhile, you should think about preparing to protect yourself and your property for a potential flood.
To find out if you are located in a floodplain, Fife Residents can contact the City of Fife Community Development Department at 253-922-9624 or visit at:5411 23rd Street EFife, WA 98424
Non-Fife Residents should call Pierce County Public Works Surface Water Management at 253-798-2725.
The City of Fife has taken steps to be a part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which means the City of Fife agreed to manage flood hazard areas by actively adopting minimum regulatory standards as set forth by FEMA. As part of the City’s participation in the NFIP, individuals are eligible to obtain flood insurance.
Water, sewer and storm drainage.
We do not have an online option to begin service. Please call 253-922-2489 to speak with an employee to initiate service.
Currently, City Hall is closed due to pandemic restrictions, but when City Hall reopens, customers can pay in person at 5411 23rd St. E. Fife WA 98424. City Hall hours, when pandemic restrictions are lifted, are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For your convenience, a 24-hour utility drop box for utility payments is located in front of Fife City Hall at 5411 23rd St. E. Fife WA 98424.
To make a payment or check your balance, call our automated phone system 253-922-2489, press 1 for utility billing, then 1 to manage your Utility account.
Register with your Fife account number at https://fife.merchanttransact.com/. Your account number is located on the top of your invoice. You will need to provide an email address and set up a password. Once logged into the system, you can pay your bill or schedule a payment.
Yes. However, it can be situation dependent. Please contact the city at 253-922-2489, select Option 1 for utilities.
Typically, irrigation accounts are billed in July and September for water usage in May, June, July and August. Depending on water usage during the dry season there may be billing in May and November. If there is no water usage you will not receive a bill.
Customers are charged the flat rate for water, whether or not there is any usage on the property. You can request to have your water shut off if the property will be vacant, but that means you won’t be able to run water, flush the toilet, etc. This will reduce the water portion of the bill. There is a $50 reconnection fee to turn the water back on.
Please contact the City of Fife Public Works Department at 253-922-9315.
Visa, Mastercard or pay by electronic check. These can be used with both our online and automated phone systems.
One CCF is equivalent to 748 gallons. To determine the number of gallons of water used during a billing period, simply multiply the number of CCFs (the number is shown on your bill under the usage column) by 748.
The sewer charge is a flat rate for all residents. It is a shared cost across the city to have access to the sewer system.
Fife’s geography, and its sewer system is flatter than other surrounding cities, so we have to build, maintain and operate more pump stations per capita than surrounding cities. We pay Tacoma to process our sewage, so we are bound by the rates they charge us for that service. We also use the sewer charges to service and maintain our 13 sewer pump stations and to ensure we have enough funds set aside for any future maintenance and infrastructure needs.
One other factor that affects the sewer rates is the need to update the Sewer Comprehensive Plan. It is through the Sewer Comprehensive Plan that the rate impacts of major capital repairs to the sewer system are calculated.
We bill the first of every odd month for the previous two months. For example, we bill the first of January for usage in November and December.
We pull auto-pay on the first business day after the due date to ensure all payments made on time are processed before auto-pay. This prevents duplicate payments for residents who are enrolled in auto-pay, but choose to mail in a check.
Our statements do not indicate if they are set up with auto-pay status. You may login online to check if you are signed up for auto-pay or you may call us and we can verify.
We pull auto-pay from all enrolled residents the first business day after the bill is due. It will appear like you are paying the bill after the due date. If you’d like to have your payment auto-drawn, you’ll need to wait for the auto-pay draw date. We do not draw funds from accounts with a $0 balance.
Call for assistance at 253-922-2489 or email us at email@example.com.
Water shutoffs are done towards the end of each even month, a few weeks after the bill’s due date. Customers can expect a water-shutoff notice when shutoffs are nearing. A red tag will be left at your door a day or two before the actual water cut-off date.
By state order, late fees for missed bills are on pause at least through April 30, 2021 (and could be extended. Check the state’s website for updates). Late fees are applied approximately nine days after the due date. Late fees are $10, or 10 percent per utility service, whichever is greater - $30 minimum if you have water, sewer and storm drainage. All late fees are approved in the Fife Municipal Code by the Fife City Council.
Late fees may be waived one time in the history of the account. To determine if the fee can be waived, contact 253-922-2489 and select Option 1.
The full amount due, plus a $50 water turn-on charge.
Yes, please call the city at 253-922-2489, select Option 1 for utilities. Or, you may send a request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, please call the city at 253-922-2489 and select Option 1. Or, you may send a request via email to email@example.com.
On average, our typical single-family residential bi-monthly bill (every two months) is $311.86 for water, sewer and storm drainage. Your water bill is calculated based on your household’s water usage. Your sewer and storm drainage are fixed fees. If you call us, we can look up the billing history of your property to help you estimate your bill. Please call us at 253-922-2489 and select Option 1.
The city is not able to reverse your transaction. However, you may request a refund check by calling 253-922-2489 and selecting Option 1 for utilities. Or, you may send a request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The city bills on a bi-monthly basis and auto-pay is collected at that time. We are not able to change the billing cycle to a monthly basis. However, if you would like to make a payment on a monthly basis, you are welcome to send a half payment before you receive your bill. When the city collects auto-pay, it will pull whatever amount is still owed on your account. You are welcome to add a credit of any amount to your bill at any time with any of our payment methods.
It depends on the circumstances. Contact the Public Works Department at 253-922-9315 to have the leak inspected. Water leaks that are not caused by the city cannot be written off as this would be a gift of public funds. In some instances, billing arrangements may be made to avoid shut offs and late fees. Please contact 253-922-2489 and select Option 1.
Yes, please contact the Public Works Department at 253-922-9315 for both emergency and non-emergency assistance.
You can find more information in our Fife Municipal Code , section 13.08.540.
From our city code:
Sewer service rates, fees, connection charges, permit fees and inspection fees for connections outside the corporate limits of the city shall be at the same rates, fees and charges as within the corporate limits of the city, plus a 50 percent surcharge, except when sewer service is provided by the City of Fife to property within another city pursuant to an interlocal agreement (ILA); then the sewer service rates, fees, connection charges, permit fees and inspection fees may be set in accordance with the terms of the interlocal agreement. Check with the city in which you reside to determine if your utility falls under an interlocal agreement.
For more information, please contact the City of Edgewood at 253-952-3299. Local utility providers in that area include the Lakehaven Utility District, Mt. View Edgewood Water Company and Milton Water.
The sewer rate is a flat rate charge to all customers while water varies with usage.
Single family sewer flows are not metered, as solids would clog any meters. Businesses are required to separately meter their irrigation systems, so that sewer flows can be charged based on domestic water use. Many homeowners do not have separately-metered irrigation systems and irrigate their lawns and gardens using hose bibs fed by their domestic water lines. If domestic water usage was used as the basis for sewer charges, such homeowners would be charged sewer rates for water sprayed onto their roses, and that would not be fair. In recognition of the impracticality of metering sewer use, residential sewer customers are charged a uniform flat rate.
The City of Fife encourages its customers to monitor and reduce water usage. Practicing water conservation is the only way to reduce your water bill. The water flat rate cannot be further reduced. Here are resources to help you reduce water usage. Read this water conservation page at the Washington State Department of Ecology. There are also handy water conservation tips in our annual consumer confidence report, which is published every summer. You can read the most recent report here.
The City of Fife purchases water and sewer-treatment services from the City of Tacoma. Rate increases are necessary to ensure that the city keeps pace with the costs charged by Tacoma. The City of Tacoma sets its rate at the end of every November. We then use that rate information from the City of Tacoma when we calculate our annual utility rates.
One other factor that affects the sewer rates is the need to update the Sewer Comprehensive Plan. It is through the Sewer Comprehensive Plan that the rate impacts of major capital repairs to the sewer system are calculated.
The City of Fife purchases water and sewer-treatment services from the City of Tacoma. Rate increases are necessary to ensure that the city keeps pace with the costs charged by Tacoma. The City of Tacoma sets its rate at the end of every November. We then use that rate information from the City of Tacoma when we calculate our annual utility rates. After receiving the City of Tacoma rate details, our finance employees calculate the new rate for Fife customers and then staff members present the information for Fife City Council approval. After those steps are complete, rate information is immediately shared with the public. You can find that rate information on this web page.
The City of Fife buys nearly all its drinking water from Tacoma Public Utilities and pays Tacoma Environmental Services for the treatment of nearly all its wastewater. That means that the City of Tacoma has substantial control over the cost of our water and sewer services.
The increase in sewer rates addresses sewer costs charged to the City of Fife by the City of Tacoma, which treats the City of Fife’s sewage at its Portland Avenue Treatment Plant. These charges from the City of Tacoma have been increasing annually since 2010 and an increase is necessary to “catch up” to Tacoma’s charges to Fife. To keep pace with Tacoma’s future utility charge increase to Fife, the city council has indexed annual sewer rate increases starting January 1st and on the first day of January in each successive year thereafter. All rates shall be increased from the previous year based upon Tacoma’s treatment cost increase and inflation. From 2020 to 2021, City of Fife sewer rates increased by approximately $10.91 per bimonthly (two- month) period for a typical single-family residence.
The City of Fife purchases its water from the City of Tacoma. The rate increase addresses the costs of purchasing water from the City of Tacoma and also costs associated with providing ongoing system improvements. From 2020 to 2021, City of Fife water rates decreased by approximately ($4.68) per bi-monthly (two- month) period for a typical single-family residence.
From 2020 to 2021, City of Fife storm drainage rates increased by approximately $3.52 per bi-monthly (two- month) period for a typical single-family residence. The exact amount of the increase depends upon the size of the property and the amount of impervious surface. The increase in storm drainage rates is associated with more stringent federal standards for stormwater management (under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program), as well as a need to finance a series of drainage improvements throughout Fife to address localized flooding.
The City of Fife continually evaluates operating costs and future capital expenditure needs of each utility. In many cases, the capital facilities needs are based on comments from our customers about improvements they would like to see, especially on matters related to stormwater to address isolated flooding.
Based upon the identified needs and other information such as utility rates of other jurisdictions, potential rate adjustments are discussed with the city council, staff and the public. This process culminates in a public hearing on rates which is advertised in advance in our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter), E-newsletter and on our website.
Following the public hearing, a utility rate ordinance is passed based upon the information provided and citizen comments. All revenue from utility bills goes directly to support the operation and maintenance of that utility. It does not go to fund other city services or programs.
As mentioned above, utility rates have been indexed to provide for future rate increases to address anticipated needs for the next few years. These increases are as follows:
Sewer and water rates have been indexed to increase from the previous year based upon Tacoma’s treatment cost increase and inflation, starting January 1 and each successive year thereafter.
Storm drainage rates have been indexed to increase annually. Click here for a copy of the Fife Municipal Code. The rate is expected to increase from the previous year based upon inflation, starting January 1 of each year.
Please click here to see the formula for how your water bill is calculated.
Please click here to see the formula for how your sewer bill is calculated.
Please click here to see the formula for how your storm drainage bill is calculated.
Please contact Patty Luat, Finance Director, at 253-922-2489 for more information.
Jury trials are generally held on Thursdays. You will need to call the Court each Wednesday after 5:30 p.m. during the month you are to serve. The number to call is 253-922-6635. There will be a recorded message that will either direct you to report for jury duty or will indicate that the jury trial has been cancelled.
You may be excused from jury service due to a medical exemption. Attach a letter from your physician to the juror questionnaire and return it to the Court.
A job related exemption requires a letter from your employer. Since jury service is for a very limited amount of time, your employer must show that your presence is vital and that your absence would create an undue hardship.
You are eligible for jury duty, even if you do not live in Fife, as long as you live in Pierce County. However, if you are now living a great distance away and travel is a hardship, you may request in writing to be excused.You can request a postponement of jury service by writing to:
Fife Municipal Court3737 Pacific Highway EFife, WA 98424
Yes, jurors are compensated at a rate of $10 per day plus mileage. Checks for jury services are mailed within 30 days of jury service.
Municipal Court jurors hear testimony and view evidence regarding misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases such as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while license suspended, theft, and assault. More serious felony cases such as robbery and homicide are handled in Superior Court. Jurors will not be hearing civil cases.
Potential jurors are randomly selected and mailed a questionnaire to determine their eligibility. To be eligible for jury service a person must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age, a resident of Pierce County and able to communicate in English.
Eligible jurors are placed in a jury pool for six months. Each month, Fife Municipal Court calls a number of jurors from the pool to serve. Jurors receive a Jury Summons from the Court. Jury service is for a period of one month. Jurors are required to serve on only one trial during this time. The average trial is one day in duration.
Learn more about what to expect.
In general, gross misdemeanors are offenses punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $5,000. Misdemeanors are those offenses punishable by up to ninety days in jail and a fine of $1,000.
All persons accused of any crime that might result in a jail sentence have certain rights. The accused is advised of these rights at an arraignment, which is generally the first appearance in court on the citation or charge. It will be confirmed that the accused understands his/her Constitutional rights as explained in the court session. The accused may hire private counsel to provide legal assistance. If the accused is financially unable to hire a private attorney and qualifies, a Public Defender may be appointed.
The first hearing you will attend is called an arraignment. At the arraignment, the Judge will advise you of your rights, tell you what charge(s) have been filed against you, and ask you to enter a plea of not guilty or guilty to each charge. As a general rule, another hearing requiring your presence will be scheduled after your arraignment.
The Court has to be able to contact you to tell you about hearings scheduled on your case. Usually this is done by mail but sometimes you will be told in person. You must attend all hearings. If you move and do not notify the Court of your new address, the Court will not be able to send you notice of hearing dates. You can notify the Court of your new address by calling 253-922-6635.
Showing up for court is mandatory. The Judge may issue a warrant for your arrest. If you have missed your hearing call the court at 253-922-6635 for further instructions.
Suitable attire is required. Shoes and shirts are necessary. Halter tops, tank tops, and shorts are not permitted. Hats are to be removed upon entering the Courtroom.
No smoking, food, or drink will be allowed. Children may be present in the Courtroom, but if they disturb the proceedings you may be requested to remove them. The Court does not provide child care.
Upon your arrival, find your name on the calendar on the Courtroom door, then have a seat in the Courtroom until the session convenes. You do not need to check with the Clerk unless your name is not on the list. When your case is called, come forward and stand behind one of the counsel tables until instructed otherwise by the Judge.
The Washington State Bar Association can refer you to a lawyer who is experienced in the type of law you need. Additionally, the following agencies can assist with lawyer referral: Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association or the King County Bar Association.
Previously, many traffic and criminal charges were crimes. The Legislature has decriminalized many traffic, parks, wildlife and fisheries offenses. These offenses are now called infractions and are civil cases.
Start by reading the entire back side of your notice of infraction (ticket). If you follow the instructions you can’t go wrong! You should note that you must respond within fifteen days of the date that the ticket was issued. An infraction is not a crime, but failure to respond can result in the suspension of your driver’s license and you may be charged with a misdemeanor.
You can respond by either mailing the green ticket to the Court or bring it in person to the Clerk’s office. Select one of the boxes on the back of the ticket and verify your address. If you select box one, you are electing to pay the amount of the penalty as shown on the front of the ticket. If you need to have the ticket cleared quickly, please pay by cash or money order. A personal check will not close your case and adjudicate the ticket until the check has cleared (approximately 14 days).
Upon your arrival, find your name on the calendar on the Courtroom door, then have a seat in the Courtroom until the session convenes. You do not need to check with the Clerk unless your name is not on the list. When your case is called, come forward and stand behind one of the counsel tables until instructed otherwise by the Judge.
A mitigation hearing is where you admit you committed the violation, but wish to explain the circumstances of the infraction. To request a mitigation hearing you should check box two. The Judge, depending on the explanation and your record, may adjust the penalty. However, the Judge will not dismiss your ticket. As the Court is required to forward all committed traffic tickets to the Department of Licensing, it will appear on your driving record.
You may present your circumstances to the Court by mail. Please use the Declaration for Mitigation form (PDF). The Court must receive your written statement before the date of your mitigation hearing. You will be notified by mail of the Court’s decision, the penalty amount, and the date that the penalty is due.
If you believe you did not commit the violation then you should select box three and have a contested hearing. Unless you request the officer to be subpoenaed, the procedure at the hearing will be for the Judge to read the sworn statement of the officer. Then you may testify or present any evidence or witnesses that you wish.
If you want to have the officer or any technician present, you must advise the Clerk at the time you present your ticket or as soon thereafter as possible so the hearing can be appropriately scheduled. As a result of a contested hearing, the penalty may stay the same, be reduced, or the ticket dismissed. In the event you have subpoenaed witnesses you may be required to pay court costs. A contested infraction hearing is a civil case and the Judge will decide the case based on the preponderance of the evidence.
You may present your circumstances to the Court by mail. Please use the Declaration for Contested form (PDF). The Court must receive your written statement before the date of your contested hearing. If the infraction is found committed, you have no right to appeal the court’s decision. You will be notified by mail of the Court’s decision, the penalty amount, and the date that the penalty is due.
A deferred finding allows for the dismissal of the infraction. Not all cases are eligible for a deferred finding and dismissal. If eligible, the infraction will be dismissed at the end of the time period imposed by the judge if you do not commit any traffic violations and you pay the costs imposed to monitor your case by the due date.
A person is only allowed one deferral in a seven-year period for moving violations and only one in a seven-year period for non-moving violations. A finding of committed will be entered with the Department of Licensing if you receive a new violation during the deferral period or you fail to pay the costs by the due date.
You may, at your own expense, have a lawyer appear and represent you at your hearing. If you are to be represented by counsel, the lawyer is required to file a notice of appearance with the Court, and the prosecutor, prior to the hearing date. A separate hearing is held when lawyers are involved and it is necessary to have sufficient notice for scheduling.
If you do not win at a contested hearing you have the right to appeal to the Superior Court of Pierce County. The notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the judgment. There will be various appeal costs, payable in advance, including a $230 Superior Court filing fee, a $40 record processing fee, and the possibility of an appeal bond. If you appeal, the Superior Court will review the record that was made at the Municipal Court, but there will not be a new trial. The Clerk’s Office will provide you with the information about the appellate process and the forms necessary to fill the appeal.
When you pay the penalty, mitigate, or if the Judge finds you have committed a traffic infraction at a contested hearing, the state law requires that the infraction be reported to the Department of Licensing. The infraction will then appear on your driving record. Neither the Court Clerk, nor the Judge, has the authority to keep the infraction off your record. If you win at a contested hearing and the infraction is dismissed, it is not reported to the Department of Licensing and will not appear on your driving record.
A failure to pay or respond to the ticket within 15 days results in an order that the infraction was committed and you may be charged with a misdemeanor. If you asked for a hearing and do not appear, your payment is due immediately. When an infraction is not paid in a timely manner or a hearing is missed, a $52 late penalty is added to the amount shown on the ticket. Your license may then be suspended if the penalty is not paid following a notice to pay the increased penalty, and the account may be assigned to a collection agency.
If you receive a ticket for no insurance and you had insurance at the time of the ticket, you may file proof of insurance with the Court Clerk, pay $25 administrative costs, and the charge will then be dismissed and not go on your driving record. If you obtained insurance after you were given the ticket, you may file proof of the insurance with the Court Clerk and your penalty will be reduced to $250 or you may request a mitigation hearing (box 2) to explain the circumstances and show your policy to the Judge. However, you must do either within the 15 day response time.
Yes, you can! Simply visit our online payments page secure server where you can pay your financial obligations to the Court online.
The City of Fife currently does not allow signs within the right-of-way except signs required by a governmental authority (see Fife Municipal Code (FMC) 16.03.120 and 16.09.030). Only private property (see 16.03.110 “each private lot”).
In reference to political campaign signs, the size is not regulated. The definition of a political sign (see 16.02.360) does not include a size allowance, as well as 16.03110, but the code does state that political signs shall be limited to one sign per candidate per street frontage for each private lot. Political signs are not allowed on vacant lots without permission from the property owner (see 16.03.120).
Other signs, like freestanding or wall signs, size is regulated by zone and lot or business size.
Political signs shall be removed within seven days after the election, except that a candidate who wins a primary election may continue to display political signs until seven days after the general election (see 16.03.110).
Once the scope of a request has been determined, and research completed to identify responsive records, we will notify you of any copying charges, if any.
The fees for paper or electronic copies are in accordance with the City’s Administrative Fee Schedule [PDF].
Please note, the City only has the capability to copy, print, or scan documents up to 11”x17”. Larger documents will need to be sent to an outside vendor and the requestor shall pay the actual cost of reproduction.
For large requests, the City may require a 10% deposit before making copies. The City may also provide the records in installments and require advance payment before providing further installments.
Payment can be made:
Arrangements can be made to visually inspect records in-person either at City Hall or Fife Police Department at no cost. During your appointment, you can identify records you would like copied (administrative fees will still apply).
We process requests in the order in which they are received as closely as possible. Once the records have been collected, we will notify you of any copying charges. Any records or portion of records that are exempt from disclosure will be withheld or redacted. We will specify the exemption that applies to any documents withheld or redactions made. We may provide you an estimate of time for further response or provide documents in installments.
Within five business days of receipt of the request, the Public Records Officer or designee will do one of the following:
If a requestor does not receive a response within five business days, he or she should contact the Public Records Officer to ensure the request was received by the agency.
The five business day count does not include the day of the request. In the event a request for public records is received after 5:00 p.m., the request shall be deemed to have been received on the next business day.
Each record must be reviewed to determine whether it is exempt from production. Most exemptions are listed in RCW 42.56. However, certain statutes outside public records laws also provide exemptions from disclosure or prohibitions on disclosure of particular records. When the City denies a request for production of a public record, the specific statutory exemption on which the denial is based must be identified along with a brief explanation of how the exemption applies.
In 2007 the City recognized the value of implementing an automated traffic enforcement program in furtherance of City goals and created a safer environment for its citizens by enacting Ordinance Number 1629-07.
Fife Municipal Code 10.60.020 Authorized use of automated traffic safety cameras in the following manner:
automated traffic safety camera
Red light cameras help communities enforce traffic laws by automatically photographing vehicles whose drivers run red lights. The cameras are activated by sensors which are located at the intersection. The cameras are only activated when a vehicle is detected by the sensors after the light has turned red. The camera takes two digital photos which document the infraction.
The program operates 24 hours a day seven days a week and operates in all weather conditions. The system is only activated when a vehicle runs a red light and all intersections with red light cameras are clearly marked. The Fife Police Department reviews every infraction before the infraction is issued. Infractions contain images of the infraction vehicle before it enters the intersection, while it is in the intersection, and the license plate.
Red light running is one of the major causes of collisions, deaths and injuries at signalized intersections in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 20% of drivers do not obey intersection signals. Crashes caused by red light running result in more than 800 fatalities and 165,000 injuries each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The economic impact of red light running on society is estimated to be $14 billion annually. Other motorists and pedestrians account for nearly half the deaths caused by red light running crashes.
No, infractions are only issued when a vehicle enters the intersection after the light has turned red. If you enter the intersection on a green or yellow light, you will not be photographed by the camera system.
Yes. The City of Fife sets its signal timing in accordance with International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) and Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) guidelines. Fife’s signal control hardware is individually tested and approved by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) laboratories.
No. The red light camera system has no effect on the speed of the signal cycle.
You only need to stop once, before the stop bar and wait until the traffic light turns green and there is no crossing traffic before you move ahead. If you are turning right, you may turn after coming to a complete stop if it is safe and if there is no sign prohibiting the turn on a red light.
After coming to a complete stop you can proceed right if it is safe to do so and there is no sign prohibiting the turn on a red light.
The City of Fife has established a public safety fund to segregate monies derived from the photo red light enforcement program. Expenditures from the public safety fund may only be used for the purpose of paying for costs of the red light enforcement program, including the City’s administrative costs; provided, however, if there are surplus monies in the fund then the surplus monies may only be expended for the following purposes:
Yes, please see below:
The Washington State Department of Licensing publishes the Washington Driver Guide.
Page 24 contains the information on red traffic lights. It reads:
A steady red traffic light means stop. You must wait until the traffic light turns green and there is no crossing traffic before you move ahead. If you are turning right, you may turn after coming to a full stop if it is safe and if there is no sign prohibiting the turn on a red light.
You can read about automated traffic enforcement in Title 10 - Vehicles and Traffic in the Fife Municipal Code.
Read the How Red-light Cameras Work and Running the Red Light articles.
How Red-light Cameras Work
Running the Red Light
Read How does a traffic light detect that a car has pulled up and is waiting for the light to change?.
How does a traffic light detect that a car has pulled up and is waiting for the light to change?
If you were making a right-hand turn at the time of the incident, the videotape shows that you failed to come to a complete stop before making the turn as required by R.C.W. 46.61.055.
Free right turns are permitted only after coming to a complete stop before the white stop bar, and if it is safe, you can then proceed if there is no sign prohibiting the turn on a red light. If you were ticketed while making a right turn, the police officer who reviewed the video and issued the ticket determined that you did not come to a complete stop before making the turn, as required by law.
An infraction detected through the use of an automated traffic safety camera is a noncriminal offense for which you cannot go to jail. Like a parking ticket, the infraction is not part of the violator’s driving record. Therefore, a finding that the infraction was committed, either by payment or after a hearing, will not be reported to the Department of Licensing. However, failure to respond to a Notice of infraction, failure to appear for a requested hearing, or failure to pay a penalty imposed after a hearing will be reported to the Department of Licensing and may result in a hold being placed on your vehicle registration and license tabs.
State law provides that the registered owner of a vehicle is presumed to have operated the vehicle at the time an infraction was detected by an automated traffic safety camera unless the registered owner overcomes the presumption by a statement, under oath, in writing to the court or in testimony before the court that the vehicle involved was, at the time, stolen, or in the care, custody, or control of some person other than the registered owner.
You may submit a sworn statement to the Fife Municipal Court to rebut the presumption, established in RCW 46.63075, that you were driving the vehicle at the time of the infraction. A Declaration of Non-Responsibility is located on Coupon B of the options page with your ticket. Return the completed form to the Fife Municipal Court at:3737 Pacific Highway EFife, WA 98424
You must return the declaration by the due date shown on the front of the Notice of Infraction.
You may submit a sworn statement to that effect to the Fife Municipal Court using coupon B on your notice.
The photo red light fine in Fife is $136. If your payment is not received or a hearing is not set prior to the due date indicated on your notice, a $25 late fee may be added to the $136 fine amount.
No. Drivers who receive photo red light infractions are cited for red light infractions only.
Pay your ticket online. You will need to know the registered owner’s:
Mail check or money order payments to:Fife Municipal Court3737 Pacific Highway EFife, WA 98424
Payments can be made in person by credit/debit card at the Fife Municipal Court kiosk Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A convenience fee will be assessed. A payment box is located in front of the Fife Municipal Court building for after-hours payments by check or money order.
Your payment must be received on or before the due date shown on the front of your Notice of Infraction.
View the video and images online. The recorded video and images of this incident will be submitted as evidence in the municipal court proceeding for the prosecution of this infraction. You will need:
Videos may also be viewed on the kiosk in the lobby of the Fife Municipal Court during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, Monday through Friday.
The optimum connection speed for infraction videos is anything in excess of 54 megabytes per second. For best results, if you are experiencing intermittent stop/start of the video, run the video through one time and then restart the video after it has had an opportunity to play all the way through. This will help to even out the streaming when problems surface with slower connection speeds. Generally, you will be able to watch the entire video the second time it is played without interruption.
To request a hearing, use the coupon on your notice of infraction. Your hearing options include:
You may present your circumstances to the Court by mail. Please use the Declaration for Mitigation form (DOC). You can mail it in with your hearing request. You will be notified by mail of the Court’s decision, the penalty amount, and the date that the penalty is due. Make sure to respond timely, according to the due date on your infraction.
Whenever an infraction is photographed by an automatic traffic safety camera, a notice of infraction is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle within 14 days of the infraction, or to the renter of a vehicle within 14 days of establishing the renter’s name and address.
Under federal guidelines, the City of Fife is responsible for all water discharged into natural water bodies. This includes “interflow” that is intercepted by storm systems, (“interflow” is water that soaks a short distance into the ground and then moves laterally before returning to the surface.) In fact, many potential pollutants reach surface waters through this path, as the water that soaks into lawns picks up pesticides or fertilizers and carries them to waterways. The city’s storm utility will fund the monitoring of such pollutants.
The city’s storm utility will also fund future improvements that may include construction of storm drains near your property. Like many governments and private parties, the City of Fife funds projects through a combination of cash financing and borrowing. It must put aside funds in advance of building projects in order to pay cash for project costs or for a down payment towards borrowed funds.
The City of Fife has created a storm drainage utility because Federal law requires cities establish programs and funding capabilities to address cleaning and controlling storm water. The City Council set rates that it believed fair and appropriate in order to fund programs that are necessary to meet local needs and comply with federal regulations. The programs will improve the environment and reduce flooding; the specific balance of work, funding, and rates involved compromise, and no compromise can leave every party fully satisfied.
Impervious area is the area in which runoff does not soak directly soak into the ground. The City of Fife storm rates vary for five classes of property, based on the percentage of impervious area: 0-20, 20-40, etc., so unless a specific property is right at the break in category, a few square feet more or less doesn’t impact the rate.
The three levels of government are paying for three parts of the storm drainage system, not for the same system three times. It could be compared to a restaurant and seeing the menu with separate prices for appetizers, entrées, and a desserts. A la carte pricing does not mean that the diner has to pay three times for the same meal, but it does mean that the final bill will show three separate charges for food. With respect to the drainage district assessments, if district 21 or 23 charges a property, it is because the district commissioners have determined that the property receives a benefit from district activities. In most cases, for property that is not directly adjacent to a district-maintained main-line stream or ditch, it is because runoff from the property reaches the stream or ditch through either a private or municipal pipe or ditch or it is determined to reach the ditch through interflow.
The City of Fife is charging for water quality monitoring, for funds to construct improvements to the local collection system, and for programs to support the legal mandate of the Federal Clean Water Act. Pierce County Surface Water Management has a variety of programs; the one with the greatest benefit to Fife is the maintenance of the Puyallup River levee system.
The City’s storm drainage billing is not expected to end, though it may be adjusted as projects are completed, environmental regulations change, or inflation reduces the value of revenues. The City of Fife’s rates, which are based are impervious area, do not have the “built in” inflation adjuster of the drainage districts’ rates, which are based on assessed value.
The City of Fife is committed to completing the capital program as described above, and to updating that to address other problems in the future. The City is prohibited from providing improvements on private property unless such improvements benefit the general public. The long range goal is to provide an effective drainage system throughout the City of Fife.
Yes, if you have tenants at your property, or if you use a real estate or financial management company, the City of Fife is willing to bill an alternate address. It will be necessary that the property owner fill out and sign a form directing the City of Fife to bill an alternate address and acknowledging that the property owner is responsible for ultimate payment. You may get the form by calling Fife City Hall at 253-922-2489.
Please Note: You must sign and return the form to Fife City Hall – faxed, mailed or dropped off at the City Hall front counter. Electronic copies are not acceptable.
The Finance Department wants you to know that there are a few standard procedures in paying your utility bills that will make the process more efficient for everyone.