February 2020

St. Valentine’s Day Party

The Activity Center hosted its annual St. Valentine’s Day party on February 14th at the Pioneer Park Pavilion. Approximately 250 seniors were in attendance and festively dressed in red and white attire.  Entertainment was provided by the ever-popular performance group, The Fun Singers, and the Activity Center’s very own belly dancers– the “Sa’Diyah Dancers”.  The party included a catered lunch, a large assortment of beautifully decorated cakes and everyone received a Valentine’s Day box of chocolates. In addition, 315 pounds of food was collected at the party for the Puyallup Food Bank.

2020 Census – Why be Counted?

Washington state’s growing population helps fuel our economy, but it also adds traffic and impacts our schools and other public services. 

Federal taxes paid around the country are returned to states, counties, and cities based on population. That means the more residents we can account for, the more money we may receive for our schools, roads, parks, and libraries. The more federal funding we receive for public health programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, the less strain is put on resources here at the local level. 

Approximately, $675 billion will be distributed based on the new population figures. (For the sake of context, a million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is 31 years.) It’s critical that every person be counted so that Washington state, Pierce County and the City of Puyallup receive our fair share of these public funds.

And it’s not just about money. The weight of our voice in Congress—Census results determine how many representatives each state has in Washington D.C.

Remember, the Census is more than just about counting people, it’s about how many people live where. Being counted is an easy way to benefit our community. It’s fast, it’s confidential, and it matters.

To learn more, visit https://2020census.gov/.

Brunch with Storyteller Debbie Dimitre

On February 26th Puyallup seniors enjoyed a brunch outing at the Tukwila Community Center and were entertained by N.W. Storyteller/Actress Debbie Dimitre. This very entertaining storyteller played Mrs. Bertha Knight Lanes, who was not only Seattle’s first woman mayor in 1926, but the first woman mayor of any major metropolitan city in the United States.  Debbie has been entertaining, inspiring, and educating audiences of all ages with her historical and dramatic storytelling presentations.

Night of Delight: Farm 12

Once a month, the Puyallup Activity Center offers an opportunity to join friends and experience one of the great restaurants Pierce County has to offer.  This opportunity not only allows trip-goers to spend time with old friends, but also allows individuals an opportunity to enjoy a meal together.  For the month of February, participants enjoyed Puyallup’s newest restaurant, Farm 12, located at the old Van Lierop’s Farm in east Puyallup.

2020 Utility Rate Update

In the interest of attending to important maintenance and upgrades for our aging utility systems, Puyallup’s water, sewer and stormwater rates will increase by 1.8% in 2020. This means that the average residential utility customer will pay an additional $1.91 per month, starting February 1st.

These rate increases are tied to the Construction Cost Index (CCI) as reported by Engineering News Record. The CCI is determined by certain labor and materials costs.

According to current and future capital needs of the three utility systems, the revenues available to each utility are not sufficient to accomplish all or even most of the listed projects (see pages 74-83 of the adopted 2018 budget). As an example, in 2021 the city expects to have $2,020,000 in available capital funding for the water utility—yet we project $3,474,350 in capital needs. As projects go unfunded, they are moved out into future years, growing each subsequent year’s deficit.

Capital needs for the utilities come in the form of seismic retrofits, tank re-coatings, water main replacements, lift stations and pump stations, sewer lines—even a wall to protect the water pollution control plant and ensure its continued operation during a major flood event.

The amounts needed for capital improvements are large simply because the systems are large. Puyallup’s wastewater and stormwater collection systems are composed of approximately 190 miles of pipe, 6,500 manholes, 10,000 lateral connections, 15,000 acres of drainage and 32 detention ponds. On the water side, nearly all of the city’s drinking water comes from two natural springs and five deep wells. Ground-sourced and of high quality, it’s collected and conveyed to nine sealed reservoirs which together can hold 19.3 million gallons. From there, the water is distributed on demand to residents and businesses via more than 200 miles of pipeline.

Because the provision of utilities is, like public safety, an essential public service, it’s critical that we responsibly invest in the infrastructure which allows us to safely and reliably provide these services.

22nd Annual New Year Celebration Featuring Vietnam

On February 8th, the Activity Center provided a trip to the 22nd Annual New Year Celebration featuring Vietnam coordinated by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center. This event brought to life the beautiful culture of Vietnam, featuring live entertainment and highlighted important aspects from Japan, China, Hawaii, Indonesia, Guam, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Cambodia, and many other locations around the world.  This experience also provided the opportunity to explore many food and drink booths from the featured locations, along with cultural arts, games, crafts and much more. This small glimpse into the wonderful country of Vietnam, was a cultural delight and one they will not forget.