Fund key infrastructure projects
IMMEDIATE NEED: Fund the Rivergrove Pedestrian Bridge capital request for $350,000 to complete design.
This was an unfunded Capital Budget request in 2022. The Rivergrove Pedestrian Bridge would cross over SR 410, reconnecting thousands of residents in the isolated Rivergrove neighborhood with schools, transit, and downtown Sumner amenities. Because of the freeway and highway, their current access is only via congested SR 162, which offers no safe pedestrian or bicycle options. This request finalizes design that started with Sound Transit funding. The City’s is also seeking additional funds from Federal sources for construction. Visit the Rivergrove Pedestrian Bridge project page.
IMMEDIATE NEED: Fund Heritage Capital Projects recommendations, including Ryan House for $314,433.
Funding for rehabilitating Sumner’s historic Ryan House is included in the Washington State Historical Society’s capital budget request. Originally a pioneer cedar cabin with later additions, Ryan House has been owned by the City of Sumner for nearly 100 years and needs critical work to be saved, to add safety systems and to be made more accessible to the public per the family’s original intent. Visit the Ryan House Rehabilitation project page.
PARTNER NEED: Fund Pierce County Library System’s request in Commerce’s Library Capital Improvement Program, including $1,049,293 to help build the new Sumner branch. The current, well-used branch, is in a City-owned building that is inaccessible and past useful life.
Support local decision-making authority
Recent legislation attempted to tackle challenges like affordable housing and environmental sustainability by shifting control from local government to State level. Such a trend delays success in cities like Sumner who are already proactively taking steps, and removes local engagement options with residents. Future legislation should require action from cities falling behind without supplanting local authority and further adding “red tape” delays to cities like Sumner who are already making strides in these areas.
IMMEDIATE NEED: Foster Task Force Recommendations to improve water rights permitting.
Build on the task force’s work for lasting legislation that includes statewide flexible water right mitigation standards and sensible use of groundwater models when evaluating groundwater applications and their effects on instream flow rules. The City of Sumner’s Foster Pilot Project is an example of a water right permitting and mitigation proposal that provides water supply while also improving habitat conditions.
IMMEDIATE NEED: Restore Public Works Assistance Account to full funding.
Allow the revenue diversions from the Public Works Assistance Account to sunset as scheduled in 2023. All our cities have huge infrastructure needs. In Sumner, it’s our roads, stormwater, and other basic infrastructure. The Public Works Assistance Account revenues must be used for their original purpose of basic infrastructure, and the revolving loan fund will rebuild over time – but only if the Legislature stops the diversion of funds.
ONGOING: Support increase in affordable housing without preempting local land use authority.
Past proposed housing bills sought to transfer local planning to the State. Sumner’s plans have prompted over 750 new units in the permit pipeline, with our population growing by 25% around multi-modal transit options. With our Housing Action Plan, we have partnered with the community to expand ADUs, zero-lot line subdivisions, senior housing and multi-family tax exemptions. We also partner regionally with South Sound Housing Affordability Partners (SSHAP). State efforts should support and urge local action rather than supplant local success.
Continue police reforms that improve safety
IMMEDIATE NEED: Recriminalize drug possession to provide access to necessary treatment.
The 2021 legislation essentially legalized the possession of harmful, destructive drugs. Sumner has seen an increase in property crime and even worse, a rise in overdose deaths among teenagers. Please enact a simple possession criminal offense statue that incentivizes treatment and accountability. Individuals need accountability and treatment, not
incarceration, but they’re often unable to access/remain in treatment on their own, due the highly addictive nature of these substances. The legal system already has such options through therapeutic court/community court, which show great success. People can only access these support systems if they face criminal consequences in the first place.
IMMEDIATE NEED: Improve safety with revised pursuit laws.
Clarify the ability for law enforcement to conduct vehicle pursuits using a reasonable suspicion standard in specific circumstances. This is essential to allow for effective and safe pursuit of suspects when there is an immediate threat to public safety. Sumner continues to uphold strong safety standards and training for officers who engage in vehicle pursuits.
ONGOING: Continue to work with WASPC for effective reform.
As an accredited law enforcement agency for 17 years now, Sumner’s vision remains to set the standard of excellence for policing in a small city. We continue to improve training and policies and added body-worn cameras in 2021. There is more work to be done. Please continue to work with Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs (WASPC) and Association of Washington Cities (AWC) to make sure legislative intent aligns with the impact on the streets. We look forward to working together to increase safety for both officers and the public.
Your work benefiting Sumner:
THE THREE SR410 INTERCHANGES
We continue to partner with WSDOT for all three SR 410 interchanges in Sumner. Traffic Avenue is fixed; last year’s State transportation package included partial funding for the SR 162 interchange; and your investment of $500,000 is currently helping design a safe fix to the 166th interchange. None of these will function correctly until all three are safe and operating. There is no further funding ask at this time.
WHITE RIVER RESTORATION
The Habitat Project, one of four companion projects for Sumner’s White River Restoration, received full funding with your investment in 2021. Construction continues this year to provide over 170 acres of habitat restoration and flood protection for the adjacent Manufacturing Industrial Center. Thank you to partners Pierce County, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Forterra, BNSF, Puget Sound Partnership, Cascade Water Alliance and others.
Mayor Kathy Hayden 253-299-5790
Jason Wilson, City Administrator, 253-299-5501
Carmen Palmer, Communications Director, 253-299-5503