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Community Connection

Dog’s Incredible Journey Home for the Holidays Zach the dog will really enjoy the holidays with his family since he’s wrapping up quite an incredible journey of his own. Zach lives with his family in Everett, but he got lost at the airport a few months ago. He had just been microchipped, and his family immediately registered the chip and reported him missing. And then, nothing. Two months later, Metro Animal Services received a stray dog. Officers scanned his microchip and contacted his family, who were surprised and elated to hear about Zach. They have no idea how he ended up in this area, but they came immediately to pick up a happy dog who seemed a bit heavier from his adventure but otherwise unscathed. One of the best presents owners can give their pets is a valid license and a microchip. Even strictly indoor pets can find themselves on an adventure, especially with the extra travel and visitors around the holidays. A valid license not only helps work with the microchip to locate owners, but it also funds the shelter and officers who can receive stray pets like Zach and search for their owners. To license your pet or support homeless pets, visit

Coffee and Cats Go Together? Sumner has a new, home-grown coffee company called Mount Rainier Coffee Company. And, just in time for the holidays, they’re teaming up with Metro Animal Services, offering you the chance to buy once and give twice. Buy bags of Rhubarb Valley, Daffodil Valley, Silver Falls, Longmire or Paradise blends and 10% of the sale price will be donated to Metro Animal Services to help care for lost and homeless pets like Zach (see related story above). That means that you can buy a unique, local gift and help local animals all at the same time. To order, go to Your “cart” will ask you to select a charity. Please select Metro Animal Services to help homeless pets in Sumner and our area.

Issue 65

City of Sumner Newsletter

Winter 2011

Sumner’s Dispatch Service Gets Major Upgrade While Sumner is a place where change doesn’t happen often, it does happen. There are people in town who remember when Wood Avenue was a gravel road. They also remember a time when there was a light at the corner of Main & Alder. If a citizen had an emergency, someone in City Hall would flip the light to change color and alert the officer on duty. Sumner is now experiencing yet another upgrade to the services that answer police 911 calls and dispatch officers. By partnering with the City of Puyallup for police dispatch service, Sumner citizens will have more dispatchers available to answer calls plus the benefits of an improved radio system that is currently used by our neighbors to dispatch police officers. Sumner’s fire and medical calls were contracted with Lakewood eight years ago for many of the same reasons. Why change? After all, Sumner citizens have enjoyed quality service when they call 911 for years. For one thing, the industry has changed around Sumner. The technology used now will soon seem

as antiquated as the light on Main Street. Neighboring cities like Auburn, Puyallup, Bonney Lake and Pacific, have already switched to a common radio system that allows officers to communicate across a three-county network (Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties). Because Sumner was not on the network, officers could experience delays getting needed help. Now, being on the same system, when Sumner officers need help the most, neighbors are able to listen and respond before even being asked. Another reason is that a study showed Sumner needs more than one dipatcher on duty at one time. This is an active community that encourages residents to call 911 when they think something isn’t right. With only one dispatcher on duty at once, one person must answer all those calls (which often come in all at once when something large happens), in addition to dispatching the officer(s) and keeping them up to date with new information. Sumner’s dispatchers have been doing an incredible job making it work on their own, but it’s not

a long-term solution. By teaming with Puyallup, Sumner will always have multiple dispatch officers on duty, meaning that calls for police service will continue to be answered promptly and professionally, and officers can continue to respond quickly to citizen’s needs. In these days of making every dollar work, partnering also means no need for additional taxes to pay for dispatch service. For example, buying the upgraded equipment alone would have cost over $1 million and not even dealt with the issue of having only one dispatcher on duty at a time. For years, the City has been watching the changes in dispatch service in Pierce County and studying how Sumner could best benefit its citizens and officers. That study has led us to the City of Puyallup. Puyallup’s dispatchers are currently learning Sumner landmarks and details while Sumner dispatchers are learning about their new call center. Soon, both will be working together to provide Sumner, Puyallup and Bonney Lake with the next generation of excellent dispatch service.

The Different Ways You Can Contact Police NEW! TIPLINE Call 253-299-5678 and leave a message for Sumner Police Detectives if you think you have information that may help solve an investigation. Call 253-863-6384 for the Police Department’s business line, good to use if you have a ques-

tion for an officer, want to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting, etc. Go to if you prefer the Web to report a nonemergency crime such as lost property or vandalism. Call 911 if you see or are experiencing a life-threat-

Sumner Police and City Offer More Connections to Neighbors Are you looking for ways to help your neighbors during the cold winter months? Sumner Police and the City may be able to help you find the options you like best. First, Toys for Tots returns! Individuals and businesses donate new unwrapped toys to the Police Department lobby of City Hall by December 9. Officers and other “elves” match the toys with local kids’ wishes to make sure all the kids in our community get their wish fulfilled. They wrap the gifts and get them ready to go for the kids. If you’d like to be an “elf” and help wrap and sort the gifts, ring the buzzer at City Hall on December 11 or 12. Wrapping will be done both days from 9 am to noon and 2-5 pm. In addition, Sunset Chev is also collecting toys for St. Francis House at their showroom on Traffic Avenue. Drop off new toys there by December 15, and they’ll be delivered to St. Francis House. In January, Sunset Chev will keep the warm feeling alive by collecting coats, blankets, mittens, warm clothes and hats to help keep everyone warm this winter. Officer Backus, Tom Bachman and Officer Schmelzer unload toy donations from local businesses for Toys for Tots. Donations from businesses and individuals help kids at the Sumner Family Center get a holiday gift.

ening situation or need an officer to arrive quickly.


Winter 2011

Sumner Community Connection

Mayor Column A very popular New Year’s Resolution is improved health. It’s the same for a city. Of course, a city can’t literally go on a diet, take up new activities and start exercising more, but there are similarities. The financial diet. Instead of eating one fat burger, healthy eating calls for a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and dairy. Sumner also needs a diversified funding base. We can’t continue to rely on a few major retailers to fund our city services. Unless

we want to greatly increase our property taxes (which I doubt), we need to balance our sales tax base, which the Orton Junction project and increased efforts in tourism will do. Strength training. A city can’t take up yoga, but it can try new things that make it stronger: next year, we’ll be partnering with Puyallup for 911 service. Like anything new, it’s a bit scary at first, but we’re going to find very quickly that our services are enhanced by this new system. Exercising. Next year,

we’ll be running the marathon process to ask Pierce County to consider reducing our urban growth area by changing the boundaries to make more sense. The process will go on, and we’ll get our collective heart rates up, but no matter what the outcome, exercising our ability to question the status quo builds a healthier city. Like any person, the real danger to a city is letting our community “go” by sitting back and letting fear of change take over. Instead, Sumner will continue its fiscal diet, will begin new activities and will exercise its civic processes to build a stronger community. Have a wonderful new year.

Mayor Enslow joining Santa himself in the annual Santa Parade

Council Column As one of you, I would say to you that I believe we have come a long way in this town. There are many things in the past that we wish were still here; however, that was not possible. It seems that with each new challenge, we find it harder to decide. But, as long as we’re all working together and finding ways to listen and hear everyone out, we are able to make some good decisions for the town. Keeping taxes down and still providing good services has been a large problem. At the November 15th Council Meeting, we passed a biennial budget doing just that.

The staff, the public, and the Council all worked together to make it happen. I believe the future will get much better, and as the economy turns, we will do even greater things together. We have so many good things here. Think about it: we have a great school system where the students have a lot of opportunities and great teachers to help them. We have a charming downtown and many great businesses—so many things it would take too much room to print, but we are truly blessed with a great community. Volunteer workers are much more prevalent as we trim

spending, which is a good thing. We all enjoy the special events that are presented by the Sumner Downtown Association and those sponsored by the City and Rotary. Many people are out of work yet and are having a hard time making ends meet, so there is a large demand at the Food Bank. If you can, please donate to them. To Citizens of Sumner, keep testifying at the council meetings, e-mailing or phoning your councilmembers to keep us advised of your feelings. Together, we will make this an even greater community. Councilmember Leroy Goff

Preservation Means Profit for All Have you noticed the difference in the building on Cherry & Kincaid and Main? The owner has done a lot of work to bring the building closer to its original roots plus open it up to better storefront use. The improvements benefit his tenants as well as all of Main Street and Sumner. Owners of historic buildings, both commercial and residential, often qualifty for special grants and tax credits, saving owners thousands of dollars and encouraging the restoration and reuse of old buildings. Sumner has been ready to start this process for two years, and the Sumner Downtown Association is putting more emphasis on historic preservation. So what’s keeping us from seeing more projects like the building on Cherry and Main? People. To qualify for these benefits, a building must be designated historic by the Sumner Historic Preservation Commission. So far, the City doesn’t have enough volunteers to serve on the Commission in order to begin. Volunteers would commit to about one meeting per month, and while experience in history or architecture is preferred, it’s not required. If you love old buildings, or even just love Sumner, make a New Year’s Resolution to apply and help save Sumner’s character through its buildings. Applications are online at or call Sally Abrams at 253-299-5520. A volunteer is also needed to serve on the Planning Commission, which helps plan Sumner’s future land use.

Recent upgrades take the building on Main & Cherry (shown above before and after renovation) closer to its roots as a car dealership. Serving on the Historic Preservation Commission gives residents like you the chance to help reuse and keep Sumner’s old buildings.

City Council Action September-November 2010

City of Sumner

Approved the settlement agreement between the City and Calvary Community Church

1104 Maple Street, Sumner, WA 98390 253-863-8300 253-863-2850 FAX MAYOR Dave Enslow

CITY STAFF 299-5790

CITY COUNCIL Steve Allsop Curt Brown Cindi Hochstatter Randy Hynek Ed Hannus Leroy Goff Matt Richardson

299-5793 299-5796 299-5795 299-5792 299-5791 299-5797 299-5794

CITY OFFICES Administration 299-5500 Cemetery 299-5510 Finance/utilities 863-8300 Golf course 863-8198 Inspection line 299-5530 Recreation 891-6500 Permit Center 299-5530 Police (non-emergency) 863-6384 Senior Center 863-2910

MUNICIPAL COURT Timothy A. Jenkins 863-7635 Judge, Court Offices Cathy Pashon, 299-5621 Court Administrator

Diane Supler City Administrator


Terri Berry City Clerk


John Galle Police Chief


Carmen Palmer 299-5503 Communications Director Bill Pugh 299-5701 Public Works Director Paul Rogerson 299-5521 Community Development Dir. Brett Vinson City Attorney


Beth Anne Wroe 299-5541 Financial Operations Director EAST PIERCE FIRE & RESCUE Main Number 863-1800 Jerry Thorson, Fire Chief

Authorized an interlocal agreement for the Puyallup Water Main Upgrade at Fryar and Main Authorized Mayor to execute a contract with Westmark Construction for the Wastewater Treatment Facility Building C furnace replacement Adopted Resolutions 1305 and 1306, authorizing acquisition of surplus property from Pierce County Adopted Findings of Fact in support of Ordinance 2334, renewal of interim development regulations Adopted Resolution 1307, extending the negotiation period for the Wastewater Treatment Facility annexation agreement Confirmed mayoral appointments of Cindi Hochstatter, Tammy Blount, Gerald Garcia and Shelly Schlumpf to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Adopted Ordinance 2335, amending special events code

Authorized the mayor to execute a professional services contract with R.L. Alia Company for the 24th Street Storm Crossing

Adopted Resolution 1310, authorizing the mayor to enter into an interlocal agreement with City of Puyallup for emergency dispatch services

Accepted completion of the 2010 chip seal and asphalt fog coating project

Authorized the mayor to execute the three-year 2010-12 Collective Bargaining Agreement with International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 286

Adopted Resolution 1308, expressing opposition to Initiatives 1100 and 1105 Adopted Ordinance 2336, authorizing the mayor to execute a subrecipient agreement with Pierce County for the Elm Street Sidewalk Project and issue a secured promissory note Adopted Ordinance 2337, amending zoning code to permit battery distribution businesses to the M1/M2 industrial zones Adopted Ordinance 2338, authorizing Parker Road Pump Station property acquisition/ condemnation Adopted Ordinance 2340, amending the 2009-2010 budget Accepted the street striping project Adopted Resolution 1309, setting the 2011 Ad Valorem Property Tax Levy

Authorized the mayor to execute the three-year 2010-12 Collective Bargaining Agreement with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union No. 483 Approved Ordinance 2339, amending water and sewer system development charges Approved Ordinance 2341, adopting the 2011-2012 biennial budget Approved Ordinance 2342, adopting the 2010 Comprehensive Plan amendments Approved Ordinance 2343 amending the zoning code and Sumner Municipal Code to implement the 2010 Comprehensive Plan Amendments

Winter 2011

Sumner Community Connection

Council Passes 2011-2012 Budget

$ $ $ $ $$ $ $ $ $

In November, the City Council passed the City Budget for 2011-2012. Because the budget was so tight, there are very few additions, but because the City has been cutting and saving for a few years already, there were also few new reductions. While the budget incorporated the merging of the Communications Center with Puyallup’s (see page 1), it did not include layoffs. This new budget continues to leave positions open, which still means reduced staffing and thus, reduced service, but it does not include significant tax increases. Starting in January, the full budget will be available to view online at

More Savings Examples

The last edition of Community Connection included a few examples of how much of your money the employees saved in the 2009-2010 budget. When the full list was tallied for the budget, it totalled over $3.2 million in 2009-2010. The employees are already on track to save another $1.2 million in 2011-2012, and that list is just beginning. What are some of the other things on the savings list? • • • •

• •

• • •


Three Ways to Save Water in Winter Winters in the Northwest seem to be more about avoiding water rather than saving it, but there are things you can do indoors to reduce your water use...and your water bill. 1. Install WaterSense showerheads and aerators on sink faucets. With both, you’ll use a lot less water without a noticable difference in water pressure. The WaterSense designation tells you which showerheads reduce water use but not water power.

2. Check for leaks. It’s a great time to make sure you’re not paying for costly leaks somewhere in your house. Make sure all faucets are off and washers are not in use. Look at your water meter. If the dial is still moving, you likely have a leak somewhere in your system.

3. Choose shower instead of bath. A full bathtub can take 70 gallons of water while a 5-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons. For more tips, go to

Here’s a Thought: Instead of running the tap continuously while washing dishes, you could fill the sink with a few gallons of wash water and rinse all the dishes at the end, saving 10 gallons of water. Doesn’t sound like much? If every U.S. household saved 10 gallons on Thanksgiving alone, it would save more than 1 billion gallons of water.

$9,000 saved in utility costs by automatically shutting down computers at night.

$27,050 recovered by billing individuals who damage City property. Over $20,000 saved by using electric home monitoring instead of incarceration when appropriate.

$7,800 recovered by charging locations to which police respond to more than three false alarms within one calendar year. $6,000 saved by streamlining the public works bid process and putting it online.

Frozen Pipes? Grab the Phone, Not the Wrench

$12,000 saved in public works crew time by using thermoplastic markings on streets instead of paint, lasting seven times longer.

1. Take precautions to keep your pipes from freezing when the temperature drops. (Cover your outdoor faucets, leave cupboard doors open under sinks to expose pipes to heat, etc.)

$24,000 saved by using local FFA sheep to clean out vegetation in stormwater detention ponds.

2. If your pipes do freeze, don’t panic!

$20,000 saved by building own sandbagging machine out of spare parts instead of renting or buying one. $70,000-$100,000 saved through leak detection program and unyielding persistence that stopped leaks of 100-150 gallons per minute (52.68-78.84 million gallons in a year).

3. Call a licensed plumber. 4. Call City Shops at 299-5740 to shut your water off until the pipe is fixed. (It’s free!) Too many Sumner homeowners try to turn off the water themselves and end up breaking the meter, making a bad situation worse.

ASK DR. SUMNER: Why is Sumner getting new directional signs? If you’re like me, you’ve had friends and family get lost trying to find the downtown. Maybe they missed Sumner altogether! If you’ve ever given directions to the golf course or hotel, you know it’s not easy. Instead of following the old joke of replying “Oh you can’t get there from here,” Sumner is working on making it easier for visitors to find the city as well as all its great amenities. New directional signs will point out the main routes to key visitor destinations. How are we paying for it? Thank the people who stay at the hotel and motel as this project is using their dimes from the hotel-motel tax. Up until two years ago, Sumner sent its small collection of hotel-motel tax to Pierce County. Two years ago, the money stayed home

and went to the Sumner Downtown Association. In the 2009 audit, the State auditor pointed out that Sumner now received enough money to follow the State rules for using it, including a competitive grant process and reporting back to the State how the money used increased visits from more than 50 miles away or overnight. Sumner’s lodging tax committee formed this past fall and reviewed applications, selecting projects that best fit the State’s guidelines. Projects recommended for funding this year include these directional signs, a billboard on the freeway, support for the Chamber of Commerce’s new visitor center in The Old Cannery, a series of rhubarb events, a full page in the regional visitor guide, and more. One last question I get a lot: why put such empha-

sis on tourists? In Washington State, the money is used to promote the industry that created the funding in the first place. Plus, locals like us get the benefit of other people’s dollars spent in our city. All of that shopping, eating, playing golf and spending the night keeps our businesses healthy and helps fund our City services through sales tax. In a report prepared for the Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau, Dean Runyan Associates reported that in 2009, $25.5 million of travel spending was generated in Sumner alone. So, watch for new directional signs pointing toward increased prosperity for Sumner’s citizens and businesses! You can ask Dr. Sumner a question at drsumner@ Sample design for directional signs that will guide drivers new to Sumner.

Council Approves 2010 Comprehensive Plan Amendments On November 15th, after many public meetings, public hearings and reviewing thousands of pages (literally) that studied all possible impacts--from traffic to groundwater--the City Council approved the 2010 Comprehensive Plan Amendments. These amendments include amending the Urban Growth Area (UGA) south of SR410 by 188 acres as well as removing 255 acres from the current UGA on East Hill for a net reduction of 67 acres from Sumner’s UGA. Thank you again to everyone who participated in the very long process. Next, the proposed Urban Growth Area changes will go to the Pierce County Council to begin their process in 2011. The next issue of Community Connections will include more details, but in the meantime, you can still view the impact statements, review comments and responses, and watch the meetings online at

Trivia Question: How old is Sumner’s designation as the Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World? Find out the answer--plus other up-to-date Sumner information--in next month’s e-news version of Community Connections. Sign up to receive it at


Sumner Community Connection

Winter 2011

SAFETY SALLY SAYS: Be Prepared for Winter

Routine Siren Tests


This winter, Mother Nature is giving us the gift of La Niña, promising a greater chance of extreme conditions including heavy rain (which could mean river flooding) as well as snow and ice and all the “fun” that brings. This is a good time to take stock and make sure you have everything you and your family need in case you experience unwelcome winter incidents such as heavy rain, snow and ice, power outages or the flu.

q Three-day food and water supply (consider foods that don’t need electricity to prepare) q Seven-day supply of prescriptions. Also check other medicine for expiration dates. q Outdoor faucet covers

Take Winter by Storm: our friends in King County have great checklists and emergency cards available at

q Sturdy shoes

Watch the Weather: there are many ways to hear the weather forecast, but you may want to also check the National Weather Service at

Pierce County’s Department of Emergency Management wants to routinely make sure the valley’s lahar sirens are working. To that end, they will now audibly test the sirens, including the two in Sumner, on a regular schedule on the first Monday of every month at noon.

q Flashlight and batteries

The checklist on the right will help you get started, but there’s more you can do. Here are some website that can help you further prepare:

American Red Cross: this website offers more ideas for being prepared at

First Monday of the Month at Noon

q Snow shovel for sidewalks

Please mark this schedule down on your calendars and PDAs so that when you hear the siren at its scheduled time, you know it’s a test. If you hear the siren at any other time, tune into weather radios or check your Alert! messages from Pierce County for more information.

WORK q Warm blanket q Emergency contact card VEHICLE q Rain ponchos

To sign up for Pierce County Alert! messages, go to

q Traction devices q First-aid kit

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~Sir Winston Churchill Sumner City Council INSIDE: Upgrade to 911 system A dog’s journey home for the holidays Ways to save water in winter The profits in preservation Council passes 2011-2012 budget

Steve Allsop

Leroy Goff

Curt Brown

Randy Hynek

Matt Richardson



Postal Customer

City Hall Calendar

JANUARY 3. City Council Meeting, 7 pm 6. Planning Commission, 7 pm 10 City Council Study Session, 6 pm 11 Parks Commission, 4 pm 12 CD/Parks Committee, 4:30 pm 13 Forestry Commission, 4 pm 13 Design Commission, 6:30 pm 17 Holiday--City Offices Closed 18 City Council Meeting, 7 pm 20 Public Safety Committee, 4:30 pm 24 City Council Study Session, 6 pm 25 Finance Committee, 5 pm 27 Arts Commission, 6 pm

Cindi Hochstatter

City of Sumner 1104 Maple Street Sumner, WA 98390

GET THE MONTHLY CONNECTION Keep updated monthly with the e-newsletter. Sign up on the City’s website at

DECEMBER 6 City Council Meeting, 7 pm 8 CD/Parks Committee, 4:30 pm 9 Forestry Commission, 4 pm 9 Design Commission, 6:30 pm 13 City Council Study Session, 6 pm 14 Parks Commission, 4 pm 16 Public Safety Committee, 4:30 pm 24 Holiday--City Offices Closed 28 Finance Committee, 5 pm 31 Holiday--City Offices Closed

Ed Hannus

Community Events

FEBRUARY 3 Planning Commission, 7 pm 7 City Council Meeting, 7 pm 8 Parks Commission, 4 pm 9 CD/Parks Committee 10 Forestry Commission, 4 pm 10 Design Commission, 6:30 pm 14 City Council Study Session, 6 pm 15 Public Works Committee 17 Public Safety Committee 21 Holiday--City Offices Closed 22 City Council Meeting, 7 pm 24 Arts Commission, 6 pm 28 City Council Study Session, 6 pm

DECEMBER 10-12 It’s a Wonderful Life,, Performing Arts Center 11-12 Wrapping for Toys for Tots, 9 am - noon and 2-5 pm, City Hall 15 Deadline to bring toys for 5th Annual Toy Drive for St. Francis House, Sunset Chev showroom 19 Ride Sounder from Sumner to the Seahawks, 10:37 & 11:02 am January Keep the Warm Feeling, donate blankets, gloves, hats & coats to Sunset Chev showroom 4 Lahar Siren test, noon February 5-20 Cinderella,, Performing Arts Center 7 Lahar Siren test, noon 13 Sweetheart Wine Walk, Downtown,

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town! December 18 Santa is hitching a ride with his friends at East Pierce Fire & Rescue to come visit the neighborhoods in Sumner and say hello.