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- Most Parks & Recreation programs are open to all, regardless of residency. Youth sports leagues are geared toward Tumwater School District students but out of district youth are accepted if space is available on teams. Tumwater Youth Program middle school late nights are open to TSD students only. For more details, please call the Parks and Recreation Department: (360) 754-4160.
- City parks are open from sunrise to sunset.
The Washington State Patrol (WSP) Collision Records Section is proud to announce the release of
the Online Motor Vehicle Collision Reporting (OMVCR) website. This new web based program will allow
citizens involved in a collision that was not investigated by law enforcement to complete and
submit their collision report online.
This new program will allow users involved in a collision to easily navigate through the web based
program, complete the report and receive a collision report number upon completion. The collision
report number is a key piece of information as involved parties make efforts to get vehicles and/or
property repaired. This new program will also allow users to print and/or save the completed report
for personal records.
The website can be accessed by following the link https://fortress.wa.gov/wsp/wrecr/OMVCR/
The website will offer a help selection to assist with detailed instructions and frequently asked
questions about completing a collision report. Additional questions can be directed to the
Collision Records Section at the following email address: CollisionRecords@wsp.wa.gov.
Are volunteer hours required for the neighborhood match, or would monetary contributions or in-kind donations meet the criteria?
The goal of the Community Matching Fund is to help build more connected neighborhoods in Tumwater. A volunteer match is required for Neighborhood Project Grants to be considered for funding. Projects that only including monetary contributions or in kind donations will not be considered for funding.
For Neighborhood Event Grants, groups utilizing volunteer hours in their neighborhood match will be given priority but volunteer hours are not required to be included in the match.
Proposition 1 is a ballot measure asking the voters of the City of Tumwater to increase the sales tax rate from 8.7 percent to 8.9 percent to fund street and sidewalk maintenance in an election on April 28, 2015.
City street infrastructure is aging and significant funding is needed for street and sidewalk maintenance. Transportation infrastructure is one of the City’s most valuable investments and deferred maintenance drives repair costs higher.
The state Legislature created a section of law (RCW Chapter 36.73) allowing local governments to establish a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) as a way to maintain local streets. The Tumwater City Council has designated the City limits as the Transportation Benefit District boundary. That enables money raised through the sales tax increase to be spent on maintenance of streets and sidewalks throughout the City. By law, the money raised under this proposition must be used within the City (district) for transportation purposes only.
- The revenue raised through the two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) sales tax increase in this proposition can begin to make a significant difference in funding street maintenance. To improve the City street system to an optimal condition over a ten-year period would require $31.8 million, not including sidewalk maintenance. Over the same ten years, revenues from this proposition are projected to provide about $11.9 million for street and sidewalk maintenance needs in the City. Where possible, Transportation Benefit District funding will be matched with other City revenues, utility construction, new development, and state and federal grants to extend the impact of sales tax revenues. While this proposition will not fully fund the City’s transportation maintenance need, it will help to preserve and maintain transportation infrastructure into the future.
- State and Federal funding for maintenance and preservation of the City’s transportation infrastructure has been reduced in recent years. While these revenues have decreased, the ongoing annual cost continues to rise, making it difficult for the City to adequately preserve and maintain streets and sidewalks.
- The State law that authorizes Cities to create a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) provides authority to raise revenue from a variety of means, including toll roads, vehicle license tabs, or sales tax. A license tab of $20 per vehicle would raise $280,000 annually, which is insufficient funding to keep up with maintenance and would put the entire burden on owners of vehicles registered within the City. A sales tax increase of two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) equates to 2¢ per $10 purchase, raises more funds, and spreads the cost among those who shop within the City and use the streets.
The streets and sidewalks that would be worked on each year would be designated by the City Council, acting in its role as the Board of the Transportation Benefit District. The City’s Public Works Department has identified portions of the following streets as the greatest need for major repairs (paving) and preservation work (chip sealing) today.
Priority streets for paving projects include portions of:
- Custer Way SW
- Capitol Boulevard SE
- RW Johnson Blvd SW
- Trosper Road/54th Avenue
- Old Highway 99
- Deschutes Way SW
- Crites Street SW
- 29th Avenue SW
Priority streets for chip sealing include portions of:
- Kirsop Road SW
- Black Lake Belmore Road
- 66th Avenue SW
- S 2nd Avenue SW
- Black Lake Blvd SW
- Cleveland Ave SE
- Israel Road SW
- Littlerock Road SW
- Linderson Way
Because this is a 10-year revenue package and street conditions will likely change over time, additional streets will be identified in future years as the needs evolve. Projects completed will depend on the amount of revenue available and the ability to pair that revenue with other sources.
With proper maintenance, life expectancy of a new road is 30 years. It is better to maintain streets with lower-cost, preventative treatments than to wait until the street condition deteriorates to the point that major rehabilitation or reconstruction is required. In general, the longer maintenance is delayed, the more expensive the repair.
Maintenance measures like crack sealing costs about $1 per square yard and chip seals costs roughly $6 per square yard.
Crack Sealing is the filling of moderately-sized cracks with hot liquid rubberized asphalt. It is the lowest cost of all treatments and is used to extend pavement life at the earliest possible time. It seals out moisture and chemicals and can be applied to any street, new or old.
Chip Seals (or seal coating) are the application of a special protective wearing surface to an existing pavement. In this method, gravel chips and liquid asphalt are spread on the existing pavement and rolled in place to seal the road surface. This is a low-cost preventative maintenance method that extends pavement life, seals and re-establishes surface traction. These are generally performed on a 7-8 year cycle on well-traveled roads.
Asphalt Overlay costs approximately $35 per square yard. If large areas of a roadway are showing signs of structural failure such as potholes or alligator cracking, these areas are ground down to the good pavement base. This is followed by a new hot-mix asphalt pavement layer (overlay) using a paving machine, extending the life cycle of the original pavement. Asphalt overlays are generally performed on a 15 to 20-year cycle.
Pothole Repairs and Asphalt Patches. When a small isolated section of a street fails, it forms a "pothole." Potholes typically form when water has seeped under the pavement surface, creating pockets of water that fracture the surface when traffic passes over the road. Individual potholes are temporarily repaired by filling them with a cold-mix asphalt. If a section of roadway has repeated and numerous potholes, it is a sign that the sub-base under the road surface has failed and the road needs to be reconstructed. When a street is generally in good condition but there are isolated sections that show signs of failure, asphalt patching is performed to improve the overall condition of the street. This process is similar to asphalt overlay (above), but on a smaller scale. Failed sections are saw cut, removed, and repaved. Cost varies depending on the extent of patching and repairs needed.
Reconstruction of a street costs roughly $100 per square yard. When a roadway has reached the end of its life cycle and can no longer be rehabilitated using the above methods, a new road must be constructed. First, all existing pavement is removed. Then this pavement is ground up and mixed with the remaining road base soil, and re-graded and compacted in place. Lastly, new pavement, consisting of hot-mix asphalt, is applied with a paving machine. Reconstructing a street is the most expensive method, but necessary when paving and base material have failed.
- The authority to create a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) is one of the tools that the state legislature has provided cities to raise funds to support maintenance of our streets and sidewalks. Under this law, the Tumwater City Council has designated the City as a whole as our Transportation Benefit District and the City Council as the Board of Directors for that District. That enables money raised through the sales tax increase to be spent on maintenance of streets and sidewalks throughout the City. By law, the money raised under this proposition must be used for transportation purposes only within the City limits (district).
- Proposition 1 is intended to provide a reliable and dedicated source of funds that can only be used for the purposes specified in the ballot measure (street and sidewalk maintenance). The Board has proposed that the TBD be funded by a two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) sales tax increase, which equates to two cents (2¢) for every $10 in taxable sales, to be collected for a period of 10 years.
- The two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) sales tax increase would initially raise an estimated $810,000 per year for Tumwater street and sidewalk maintenance projects. These funds are anticipated to grow over time as Tumwater’s economy and retail sales grow, helping keep up with inflation.
Because Congress has not increased the gas tax in over 30 years, federal grants have been steadily shrinking over time. The State of Washington largely funded local transportation projects through the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET), levied from 1937 to 1999 when it was repealed by a voter initiative. At the time of the repeal, the City received about $169,000 (1999) in revenue annually (that’s equivalent to $283,000 today, factoring in inflation). That money was used to fund some projects, but it also paid for a major street maintenance program that included repair, replacement, repaving, and preservation of the streets. That lost revenue has never been replaced. **This means more local revenue is used to fund street maintenance.
- By state law, this sales tax increase is limited to 10 years. It would require another public vote to extend beyond the 10 years.
- Olympia is 8.8% and Lacey is 8.7%. Tumwater's sales tax rate is 9.3%. This includes a 0.002 or 0.2% increase approved by Tumwater voters on April 28, 2015, to fund street and sidewalk maintenance in the City. The new tax rate went into effect on October 1, 2015, for a period of ten years.
- Sales tax in Washington State is not paid on food items. If you spend $150 per week on groceries and twenty percent of that went to purchasing taxable items (soap, paper towels, deodorant, etc.), then your taxable amount would be $30. If approved, this proposition would increase that $150 grocery bill by six cents (6¢).
- For many tax payers, sales tax is a deductible on your federal taxes. You should consult your tax advisor or the IRS for applicability to your situation.
- The State law that allows cities to create a Transportation Benefit District specifies how the District must be governed. In Tumwater’s case, the City Council serves as the Board of Directors for the District. The Board must be chaired by a councilmember. By law, the Mayor is not a member of the Board. When you elect Councilmembers, you are also electing the District board members. The board members do not receive any additional compensation for that service.
The Board (made up of the City Council) has designated that its regular meetings will occur at 7:30 P.M. on the 3rd Tuesday of the first month of every quarter (January, April, July, and October). The meetings follow a regular City Council meeting and are broadcast on TCTV. Agendas and minutes for these meetings are available. Please see the City’s website at www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/transportation for additional information.
- Last year, the City held a number of worksessions and Council meetings to study the conditions of our streets and options available to pay for street maintenance. City staff also attended several community events, including the Artesian Festival and Community Day, to provide information to the public and gather input. Both a paper and online survey was conducted to ask the public about preferred funding options. Most people surveyed preferred the sales tax option over the license tab fee option.
- The sales tax revenue from this proposition is intended to improve street and sidewalk maintenance and conditions and preserve them to last longer. It will not be used to fund construction of new roads. Transportation impact fees and mitigation fees on new development, improvements made by developers, grants, and other City funds will be used to pay for new road construction.
- None of this money can be used for maintenance or improvements to I-5.
- Good street maintenance helps prevent potholes. Maintaining street surfaces keeps water from getting into cracks and under the road and damaging the asphalt and road base. That damage is what causes potholes to form, leading to costly repairs. Improved street maintenance, should reduce the number of potholes forming in our streets.
- This revenue will be used for both street and sidewalk maintenance. Federal regulations require that curb ramps be upgraded to improve accessibility whenever a road is repaved. And in some cases, even when it’s not required, it makes sense to fill in missing pieces of sidewalk during a street maintenance project. This funding will also allow other sidewalk repairs to be made such as fixing trip hazards and broken sidewalks when combined with street maintenance.
- The City intends to balance the repair of the worst streets with lower cost preservation projects on streets that have yet to fall into disrepair, reducing the need for future repairs. The City Public Works Department has completed a street inventory that identifies the conditions and needs for most streets in the City. This will be used as a starting place to set priorities.
Some maintenance and repairs will be paired with utility work to maximize investments. For example, a sewer replacement project could be combined with a resurfacing project on the same street to get better construction value for both. Where possible, projects will be distributed geographically across the City. Ultimately, the City Council, acting as the Transportation Benefit District Board, will approve the annual plan of improvements.
Over time, streets become more and more expensive to repair as their condition deteriorates. Thus, the amount it costs to repair a street depends on the current condition of the street. Preservation measures are relatively inexpensive, while a total reconstruction of a street can be very expensive.
Based on previous experience, and using the $810,000 projected initial revenue, the following amount of street repairs could be done, assuming a typical two lane City street. It is likely in any given year there would be a mix of these types of repairs.
- Chip sealing to preserve the pavement surface: - 7.7 miles
- Paving a street plus sidewalk repairs – 1.3 miles
A recent example of a paving project is the south end of Miner Drive in the Gold Creek neighborhood, which cost $23,000 to pave 575 feet of City street.
- Total street and sidewalk reconstruction – 0.46 miles
A recent example of street reconstruction is North Street, which was totally reconstructed, with sidewalks and street lights added in 2010, at a cost of $2.45 million.
- The City has received federal grants to pave the northern part of Capitol Boulevard between Southgate (“M” Street) and the Deschutes River Bridge. The work will begin this summer (2015). Revenue from this proposition will be used to repair other parts of Capitol Boulevard. The City will seek grants and other funds for a major reconstruction of the street and sidewalks along Capitol Boulevard, including upgrades to the Trosper Road and Capitol Boulevard intersection.
The City of Tumwater receives one penny (0.84 cents) for every dollar spent in Tumwater to provide general services. Tumwater voters approved an additional 0.2% (two-tenths of one percent) sales tax increase for a period of ten years in an election on April 28, 2015. These new funds are reserved for street and sidewalk maintenance in the City. As of October 1, 2015, the sales tax rate in Tumwater is 8.9%. Sales tax revenues are distributed across eight different categories. The State of Washington receives 6.5%, and the remaining 2.2% is distributed among seven categories, by rate:
1. City of Tumwater - 0.84% (eighty-four one-hundredths of one percent), plus 0.2% (two-tenths of one percent) for street and sidewalk maintenance
2. Thurston County - 0.16% (sixteen one-hundredths of one percent)
3. Intercity Transit - 0.8% (eight-tenths of one percent)
4. Criminal Justice - 0.1%(one-tenth of one percent) (0.01 to County/0.09 to Cities by population)
5. Juvenile Facility 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent)
6. Emergency Communication (911/emergency system) - 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) (administered by County)
7. Mental Health - 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) (administered by County)
The special election is April 28th. For additional information about the election, please contact the Thurston County Auditor at (360) 786-5408 or visit the website at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/auditor/.
- Private well owners will not be required to connect to the City of Tumwater water system because of annexation; however, if your well fails in the future, you may be required connect to the City’s system.
- Private water systems will not be required to transfer to the City as part of annexation.
- Newly annexed residents who already receive City water, but who have not signed an annexation agreement with the City, will no longer be billed a monthly water surcharge, resulting in a savings of approximately 40% monthly.
If you reside in Fire District #15, the City of Tumwater is already your first responder for fire and medical emergencies. If you live in Fire District #6, following annexation the City of Tumwater Fire Department would be your first responder for fire and medical emergencies, after a transition period. If you reside in any of the other surrounding fire districts then following annexation, the Tumwater Fire Department would immediately assume primary fire protection and emergency response duties. The City provides career staff, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The existing mutual aid agreement with neighboring fire districts would remain in effect and whoever is closest and available would respond to an emergency first, followed up by the primary service provider.
After annexation, primary response is provided by the Tumwater Police Department instead of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department. Tumwater has nearly 4.5 times more officers per thousand residents than Thurston County. The City of Tumwater provides 1.4 commissioned officers per thousand residents. Thurston County provides 0.3 commissioned officers per thousand residents. (Source: Crime in Washington: 2015 Annual Report, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs)
The City will take responsibility for the maintenance and electricity costs for County-owned streetlights. Existing street Light systems owned by Homeowner’s Associations that are located within public right-of-way, and which meet City standards, can be dedicated to the City upon the request of the Association. These systems would be maintained by the City and monthly electric bills would be paid by the City.
Outdoor burning is not affected by annexation. State law has prohibited outdoor burning in urban growth areas and cities since 2007. For more information on burn bans contact the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency.
You can keep your farm animals, they will be “grandfathered” in. In fact, certain livestock are actually allowed in some zoning districts under the term “agriculture” within the City limits. Call the Community Development Department at (360) 754-4180 or visit the Urban Agriculture page for more information.
You can continue to use your current well and septic system after annexation. Annexation does not trigger any hookup requirements. In the event your well or septic system does fail, being part of the City may allow you to connect to City water or sewer service as necessary.
Yes. Tumwater also has several citizen advisory boards. As a City resident, you would be eligible to serve on several Tumwater boards and commissions, including the Planning Commission, the Board of Parks and Recreation Commission, the Tree Board, the Library Board, and the Historic Commission.
In Tumwater, there are eight elected officials, including the Mayor and seven Councilmembers, for 23,000 residents. This means there is an elected official for approximately every 2,900 residents in Tumwater. In contrast, there are three County Commissioners for 272,700 County residents. That means there are 90,900 people vying for each County Commissioner’s attention. (Source: 2016 population estimates from Office of Financial Management)
You can still vote for the Thurston County Commissioners, even if your property is annexed into the City. You will be also be able to vote in the elections for the seven Tumwater City Council positions and the Tumwater Mayor.
There are several methods by which annexations are done. The most common method is the Petition Method of Annexation. It starts with the property owner and is based on the tax assessed value of property. Any area that is to be annexed must have property owners representing at least 60% of the tax assessed value of the area requesting annexation. A rough analogy would be that a property owner “votes” with their tax assessed value. A super majority (60%) in favor of annexation is required for the annexation to be successful.
For more information:
- Annexation Handbook on the Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) website
- Visit the City's Annexation web page
- See RCW 35A.14 for annexation laws
- For information on tax assessed values visit the Thurston County Assessors Office web page
- Contact Community Development staff at (360) 754-4180 or at email@example.com
No effects have been reported or observed. Most insurance companies base auto insurance rates on zip codes and an individual’s driving record, not city limit boundaries.
In most instances, homeowners insurance rates have been observed to stay the same or decrease slightly. A homeowner's insurance policy is partially based on the rating of the fire district/department in which the home is located. The Tumwater fire department has a better rating than any of the surrounding fire districts. The lower the number the better the rating; Tumwater has a rating of 4 whereas East Olympia Fire District has a rating of 6 unless you are near a fire hydrant then it is a rating of 5. The Munn Lake Fire District has a rating of 4 because the City of Tumwater provides fire response coverage within that district. The Eastern urban growth area is evenly split between these two districts. (Rating Source: Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau)
Property taxes are generally about the same. A 2014 analysis of property tax rates showed that an average homeowner in the East Olympia/Munn Lake fire districts would pay roughly $11 more per year after annexation. However, the City does have utility and B&O taxes so business and large consumers of electricity/gas would be affected differently.
- Annexation Handbook on the Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) website
- Visit the City's Annexation web page
- See RCW 35A.14 for annexation laws
- For information on tax assessed values see either the Thurston County Geodata Center or the Thurston County Assessors Office web page.
- Contact Community Development staff at (360) 754-4180 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Denial of an annexation does not affect whether or not a development can continue. In the event of a denial, a developer will be required to sign an annexation agreement for access to City water or sewer.
Zoning stays the same. The County has already adopted the City’s zoning for the entire urban growth area. See Joint Plan element of the Tumwater Comprehensive Plan for more information.
The urban growth area (UGA) is the area surrounding the City where urban development is to occur. This is to contain growth and prevent development from sprawling into the rural areas of the County. The boundaries of the urban growth area were set in 1983 and reaffirmed in the early 1990s through a public process that involved the citizens and property owners of both Tumwater and Thurston County. The boundaries of the Tumwater urban growth area stretch from Black Lake to the Deschutes River and down to the vicinity of 93rd Avenue.
Zip Codes: Zip codes are not affected by annexation.
Schools: There is no effect on schools. School district boundaries are independent of city boundaries.
Common reasons include:
- Better access to elected officials
- Smaller and more responsive local government
- A highly-rated fire department
- More police officers per citizen as compared to the County
In Tumwater, the clinic is held at Tumwater Fire Department Headquarters on the first Tuesday of the month, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Lacey Fire District #3 hosts car seat clinics on the third Tuesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
There is a drop off bin located in front of the Tumwater Police Department at Tumwater City Hall. Learn more at Prescription Drop Box.
Some pharmacies will accept used needles. In Tumwater, contact Southgate Pharmacy at (360) 943-4043.
Outdoor burning is not allowed in Tumwater or the Urban Growth Area.
Call O.R.C.A.A. at (360) 586-1044 or to report illegal burning, call the 24-hr fire reporting line at (360) 789-3652.
KNOX boxes can be ordered online using the System Code for Tumwater/www.knoxbox.com /Sys Code PS-10-0060-09-89. Alternately, forms are available at the Tumwater Fire Department Headquarters front desk during business hours.
You must complete a Request for Public Records form. After form is completed and incident report is located, Approval of release must come from the Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief in order to ensure City, State and Federal law compliance on release of information.
Blood pressures checks are available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Learn more at Blood Pressure Checks.
The Thurston County Food Bank Satellite Distribution at Tumwater Fire Department Headquarters is on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 3:15-5:15 p.m. (map)
Participants must call-in in advance with name, date of birth, number in household and any special dietary needs (ie:diabetic)
Information must be received before the day of distribution in order to be included on the list. Learn more at Food Bank Distribution Site.
Grade School Activity Nights (for Thurston County youth in grades 2 - 5) are held from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. These events include karaoke, board games, video games, arts & crafts activity, open gym basketball, snack and water, and an inflatable interactive game.
Middle School Late Nights (for Tumwater youth in grades 6 - 8) are held from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. Late Nights include DJ, open gym basketball, snack and water, and an inflatable interactive game. Students need to bring their school I.D.
For both events: The evening's snack (1 piece of pizza or nachos) and water are included in the $8 entrance fee.
- At each TYP event, 4-6 city staff members are in attendance, as well as 20 to 30 trained volunteers spread throughout the event. Staff are First Aid and CPR certified. All volunteers complete an orientation and pass a criminal background check prior to volunteering.
Parents are encouraged to come to events and ask questions. However, for safety, all visitors (including parents) must be wanded, have their bags checked, sign the visitor’s book, and be escorted by a volunteer while inside the program. Youth are also wanded and their bags are checked.
Trained security officers are employed at every event to assist when needed. Staff display and adhere to a set of guidelines that help enforce our policies, in order to create the safest event possible.
Grade School events: All students must be signed out prior to leaving the event.
Middle School events: Students must be signed out when leaving the event early.
The Tumwater Youth Program (TYP) offers evening activities for youth in grades 2 - 8. The Parks and Recreation Department runs this program and over 4,000 youth participate throughout the school year. TYP also provides the Tumwater Trippin' teen camp, for ages 12 - 17, throughout the summer.
TYP grade school events are open to Thurston County youth in grades 2 - 5. TYP middle school events are open to Tumwater School District youth in grades 6 - 8. Both are held on Friday evenings. The fee for each event is $8, unless otherwise noted.
TYP’s goal is to provide a safe, fun, and positive environment for our community’s youth. This goal could not be met without the citizens of Tumwater and their generous contributions of time and talent. For more information regarding the program or becoming a volunteer, contact the Parks and Recreation Department: (360) 754-4160.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants when going out at dusk or in the early morning.
- Avoid going into mosquito-infested areas at dawn and dusk when the insects are most active.
- Use a mosquito repellent when necessary.
Yard & House
- Repair and use screens in windows and doors.
- Find and reduce the areas in your yard where stagnant water collects such as: tarps and covers, wheelbarrows, toys, buckets, tires, cans, etc.
- Change water in birdbaths, pet dishes, potted plant saucers, animal troughs, wading pools, etc. at least weekly.
- Encourage mosquito predators in your yard. Examples are birds, bats, dragonflies, salamanders, frogs, aquatic insects, and fish.
- Clean out roof gutters so the water flows freely.
- Repair leaky faucets and sprinklers.
Mosquito Repellents – Use Wisely
Not all mosquito repellents are the same — active ingredients differ with varying strengths and effectiveness. The length of protection from mosquito bites varies with the amount of active ingredient, physical activity/perspiration, temperature, water exposure, and other factors. Before selecting a repellent, age and length of time outside should be considered. Once a repellant is chosen, be sure to carefully follow the directions on the label.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed information on insect repellents; see Updated Information regarding Insect Repellents.
The EPA recommends the following precautions when using insect repellents:
- Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label). Do not use under clothing.
- Never use repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
- Do not apply to eyes and mouth, and apply sparingly around ears. When using sprays do not spray directly onto face; spray on hands first and then apply to face.
- Do not allow children to handle the products, and do not apply to children's hands. When using on children, apply to your own hands and then put it on the child.
- Do not spray in enclosed areas. Avoid breathing a repellent spray, do not use near food.
- Use just enough repellent to thinly cover exposed skin and/or clothing. If needed, apply a bit more.
- After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water or bathe. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly in a day or on consecutive days. Also, wash treated clothing before wearing it again.
- If you suspect that you – or your child – are reacting to an insect repellent, discontinue use, wash treated skin, and then call your local poison control center. If/when you go to a doctor, take the repellent with you.
Search for a repellent that is right for you.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has their own search tool to help you choose skin-applied repellent products that will give you the protection you need. To use their handy search tool, please visit the EPA’s website.
For information on DEET and DEET Alternatives for children, please visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website healthychildren.org.
For more info, please call Water Resources (360) 754-4140.
Stormwater: I want to treat my pond, wetland, yard, etc. for mosquitoes. What or who do you recommend?At this time we do not recommend treating for mosquitoes. It is more effective to protect yourself from WNV by following the personal protection recommendations. Treatment of any water besides lined garden ponds requires both a permit from the Department of Ecology and a licensed pesticide applicator to do the work.
In general, you should not add fish or frogs to stormwater ponds, natural ponds or wetlands. Some species are known to threaten native species, and even native animals may spread wildlife diseases from one pond or lake to another. A permit from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is needed to release species into large ponds or water that connects to natural bodies of water.
It is permissible to release fish commonly available in pet stores into small, contained backyard garden ponds if they do not connect with, or occasionally flood into natural water bodies. Aerating small ponds and adding native plants around the edges to attract mosquito-eating birds is recommended.Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: (360) 902-2724
West Nile Virus: What about my or my neighbor’s, tarps, tire pile, or other possible breeding grounds?
Small amounts of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed is a concern because there are fewer predators to eat the young mosquitoes. Once the mosquitoes can fly, they can be eaten birds, bats and dragonflies. We encourage everyone to identify areas on their property where stagnant water collects, and either remove the containers, or empty them at least once a week. Encourage other to do the same.
In the case of dumping or unmanaged garbage, contact Community Development at (360) 754-4180. Be aware that enforcement can be a slow process. You may wish to be extra careful to use the recommended personal mosquito precautions – keeping screens in good repair, using mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeves outdoors at dusk, etc.
- Wetlands and “wet” stormwater ponds have natural mosquito predators present. Many aquatic insects eat young mosquitoes, as do salamanders, tadpoles and fish. Birds, bats, dragonflies, salamanders and frogs eat adult mosquitoes. Encourage these predators, and avoid using pesticides that will harm beneficial insects.
The first rule of medicine is “Do no harm.” The City is approaching West Nile Virus (WNV) in this way. We want to be sure our response does not cause more problems than the virus. We are preparing a phased response that calls for careful monitoring of the virus, and responding prudently to the level of risk. City staff regularly attend regional WNV workgroup meetings to share information that is being collected in the area and working to develop a joint response plan, that will be implemented at the direction of the County Health Department.
In the first – and current – phase, we recommend taking personal protection actions; such as wearing long sleeves, avoiding mosquito areas at dusk, and using repellents. If we reach a stage where humans are at high risk for contracting WNV, we will alert the community and give appropriate recommendations.
Contact the Thurston County Health Department at (360) 754-3355 ext. 7524, for more information on collecting the bird for testing.
- No, WNV can only be caught from mosquitoes. The mosquitoes can infect birds, horses and people. It is not spread person-to-person, horse-to-horse, bird-to-bird, bird-to-human, etc. It is only spread by mosquitoes.
- No, there are 250 species of mosquitos known in Washington State. Thurston County has six species of mosquitos known to be able to carry WNV. Two common species, Culex pipiens and Culex tarsalis can breed in small amounts of water – such as in ditches, clogged gutters, buckets, cans, birdbaths, tires, tarps, etc. One species tends to stay within on half-mile of where it hatches; the other may fly 20 miles away. Current estimates are that less than one percent of bites from infected mosquitos will result in WNV.
It is a mosquito-borne virus that usually produces mild flu-like symptoms such as a fever, headaches and body aches. After having WNV, immunity develops – in other words, you can only get it once. Although rare, the infection can become severe and cause West Nile encephalitis, which, in some cases, can be fatal. People who are older or immune-compromised are at great risk for these complications.
From the first detection in the United States in 1999, through August 19, 2007, there were 24,551 human cases of WNV-related illness in the United States reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 981 fatalities. This compares to approximately 65,000 deaths each year from the flu.
In Washington, WNV was first diagnosed in humans during 2006 in three individuals known to have acquired the disease within the state. As of August 15, 2007, there have been no in-state human infections identified; however three horses have been confirmed positive with WNV. Although vaccines and booster shots are available for horses only, none of the horses diagnosed were treated prior to the infection.
- Applications are accepted for Council Advisory Boards throughout the year. Members serve limited terms and vacancies are filled from among applicants and are appointed by the Mayor. Applications are available online or by calling the Executive Department at (360) 754-4120. Visit Advisory Board for more information.
If you want to address an issue that is scheduled for public hearing, plan to attend the Council meeting and speak during the hearing. If you want to speak about another issue, speak up during the "Public Comment" period held early during every Council meeting. See Attending a Council Meeting for more information.
No. Tumwater City Councilmembers are elected at-large, and represent the whole City. Learn more About Tumwater City Government.
- Call (360) 754-4120 to speak with staff in the Mayor’s office. If the Mayor is unavailable, we may be able to refer you to other staff who are knowledgeable about your concerns. If you'd like to leave a message, a staff person can pass it along or transfer your call to the Mayor’s voicemail.
Tumwater City Council meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 555 Israel Road SW, Tumwater, WA 98501. Visit Council Meetings to learn more.
To protect your property follow these simple tips:
- DON’T put diapers, sanitary napkins or anything else in the toilet – even if it says “Flushable!” Only flush what you’ve eaten first and toilet paper.
- DON’T dispose of grease down the drain.
- DON’T plant trees near sewer lines.
- DON’T Connect any drains or sump pumps to the sewer system.
AND, JUST IN CASE:
Locate and keep accessible the sewer cleanout in your front yard. If you do not have a cleanout, have one installed by a plumber. The cleanout is the property owner’s responsibility
Check your homeowner’s insurance policy. If you are not covered for back-ups, call your agent for information on costs and coverage options
If you experience a back-up, save all receipts related to any repair, cleaning, or damages
Report Illegal Dumping
Most catch basins connect to storm drains that discharge the runoff, without treatment, to the nearest water body. The dumping of any material such as motor oil, paint, leaves, yard clippings, pet waste, sand, etc. into a catch basin can pollute the waterways and is illegal.If you observe someone dumping into a catch basin, immediately report it to Public Works at (360) 754-4150. Calls can be received 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Thank you!
Anything, which should not be in a sewer line, has the potential of causing a blockage. For example:
Kitchen grease, disposable diapers, paper & cloth towels, sanitary napkins and even dental floss can accumulate and cause a blockage.
Tree roots seeking moisture can grow through cracks in the lines, causing a blockage.
Vandals have stopped up lines by putting bricks, wood, oil filters, bed springs, and even Christmas trees in manholes.
Illegal hookups allow excess water into the lines. Outside stairwell drains, sump pumps, roof and drain gutters should never be connected to the sewer system. A sewer system is designed to carry a predetermined amount of sewage. Rain water not only overloads the system, but also raises the cost of the treatment process.
Any overflow of the sanitary sewer including residential or commercial sewer backups or overflows from manholes in the street pose a serious public health risk. Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) damage property and the environment, and cleanup can be expensive for homeowners and the City. Additionally, when SSOs enter water bodies, they affect water quality. When bodies of water cannot be used for drinking water, fishing, or recreation, our community will face real challenges.
A sanitary sewer overflow can spill raw sewage into basements or out of manholes and onto our streets, playgrounds, and into streams, before it can reach a treatment facility.
Hazardous materials may be disposed of at HazoHouse in Lacey. HazoHouse is a free service, however, it still costs a lot of money to dispose of these items. Please do your part by reducing the amount of hazardous products you buy and use. This will help protect your health and the environment, too.
For more information on reducing household hazardous products, call (360) 754-4111 or visit the Thurston County Solid Waste website for details.
HazoHouse generally accepts:
Auto products (used motor oil, filters, antifreeze, car batteries, brake fluid); Used motor oil is also accepted at several auto-repair businesses throughout Thurston County.
- Oil-based paints and latex paint manufactured before 1989
- Thinners and solvents
- Pesticides and fertilizers
- Glues and adhesives
- Batteries (excluding alkaline)
- Solvents and cleaning supplies
- Pool and hobby chemicals
- Fluorescent light tubes, yard light bulbs and their ballasts and household compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)
- Contaminated kerosene and gasoline
- Propane tanks (no need to de-valve; 20lb/5 gallon standard barbecue tanks only)
Storm drains are for the sole purpose of draining stormwater from rain or melting snow. Knowingly or unknowingly dumping trash, pollutants and debris into catch basins is illegal. If it's a neighbor, they may not understand the catch basin's direct connection to the area’s surface waters. If you have an amicable relationship with him/her, it may be just a matter of informing and making them aware of its environmental impact. If this doesn't work, call (360) 754-4140 for assistance. Visit Spill Reporting for more information.
Dumping used oil into storm drains is illegal. One gallon of motor oil can ruin a million gallons of fresh water - a year's supply of water for 50 people. To report illegal dumping in Tumwater, call (360) 754-4140. To properly dispose of used, but uncontaminated (mixed with other fluids) motor oil, dispose of it for free at HazoHouse, located at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center.
The Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center is located at 2418 Hogum Bay Road N.E. in Lacey. From I-5, take Exit 111, head north on Marvin Road, and turn east into the facility entrance.
- In urban areas where much of the natural surface has been replaced by pavement and buildings, the majority of the water from storms runs off these hard surfaces and flows into and through the storm drain system. In addition, flows during dry weather, from individuals washing their cars, draining their pools and over-watering their lawns for example, also flows into the storm drain system. On a typical dry summer day, watering and washing activities can produce hundreds of thousands of gallons of water draining into the system and eventually into our local waterways. During a heavy rainstorm, this flow can increase to millions or even billions of gallons.
It sounds like a good idea. But during a rainstorm or as snow melts, leaves and trash in the streets are quickly swept into catch basins. Filters or screens installed in front of catch basins could cause leaves and trash to accumulate and clog the grate, preventing proper drainage and causing flooding hazards.Temporary filters or screens are sometimes placed in front of catch basins located near construction sites. These structures are also known as a best management practice (BMP) and are required to prevent sediment and construction site wastes from entering the storm drain system. Ponding will occur at protected catch basins, causing possible short-term flooding. There are new technologies being developed in the form of filtration or screening devices that can be installed and inserted inside catch basins.
- Paint thinner and paint products, used motor oil and antifreeze, pesticides and fertilizers, sediments containing heavy metals, Styrofoam cups and paper trash, human and animal feces, golf balls, dirty diapers and dead animals are a few of the many pollutants found in the system on a regular basis.
- Yes. There are over 1,400 publicly-owned catch basins that are cleaned at least twice a year with vacuum trucks. Problematic locations throughout the area are cleaned more frequently, because of location or repeated illegal dumping. Open ditches, swales and detention ponds are also part of the area’s storm drain system. These facilities are routinely checked and cleaned of weeds, trash and debris at least once a year.
Sewers and storm drains are two completely separate systems. The sewer system, also known as the sanitary sewer or wastewater sewage system, conveys household, commercial and industrial wastewater through a separate plumbing system into an underground sewer pipe system. Wastewater in the sanitary sewer system is from sources such as water and waste from sinks, toilets, washers and car washes. Discharges to the sanitary sewer system receive extensive treatment and filtration at the LOTT wastewater treatment plant prior to being discharged into Puget Sound. The storm drain system, after limited treatment, discharges directly into the Deschutes River, Percival Creek, infiltrates into groundwater or other body of surface water.
- A catch basin is a curbside receptacle whose function is to convey water from streets and other urban surfaces into the storm drain system. The design of this drainage structure includes a sump that captures and temporarily stores some pollutants such as oils and sediment. Regular maintenance to clean out the sump removes the stored pollutants and prevents them from washing further into the storm drain system and into receiving waters such as the Deschutes River.
- A storm drainage easement is a legal document, which allows the City access to the stormwater infrastructure on your property, both during construction and for future maintenance. Granting an easement to the City does not reduce the size of one's property, but it does create some limitations within the easement area.
The stormwater fee pays for the City to maintain the roadways and its storm drains that we all use to help prevent flooding and impacts to homes and businesses from stormwater. Funds are also allocated to various programs, such as Stream Team, to help reduce the impacts of pollutant-laden stormwater on our rivers and streams through education, outreach, and community involvement. The City also engages in numerous Capital Facilities Projects (CFPs) to enhance treatment and reduce the quantity of stormwater coming off our roadways and discharging into rivers and streams. Some of the other important components of the stormwater program include:
- Improvements to stormwater quality through monitoring and reduction of illicit discharges and pollutants
- Public information and education concerning stormwater issues
- Increased maintenance/repair of the City's stormwater system
- Development of stormwater design standards and regulations
- Field inspection/enforcement of these standards
- Construction of stormwater projects
You may not have a problem, but the runoff generated from your property contributes to problems elsewhere in the City. This program recognizes that everyone contributes to the problem (runoff and pollution), and everyone will share in the results of the stormwater program (improved water quality, reduced flooding, unimpaired access to roads, etc.). Stormwater has a public benefit of environmental stewardship and protecting our drinking water supply.
- All developed property within the City of Tumwater will pay the stormwater service fee. That includes houses, schools, public facilities, churches and businesses. The only exceptions are streets within the City. These areas are excluded because they are designed to collect and carry stormwater runoff.
- Tumwater’s stormwater service fee is based on the amount of impervious area on each property and is developed using an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). Each ERU is equivalent to 3,250 square feet of impervious area and is billed $5.70 per month. The charges to commercial, industrial and other properties with large impervious areas will be substantially more than single-family residential properties because they create much more runoff.
- Impervious surface means those disturbed or hard-surfaced areas that either prevent or retard the natural entry of water into the soil. Rooftops, buildings, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, asphalt, concrete, driveways, patios, artificial turf and storage areas are all examples of impervious surfaces. These improvements affect natural infiltration, create more runoff, increase the rate of runoff and alter runoff patterns of stormwater that drains from an area.
- Stormwater is water from rain and snowmelt. As rain and snow falls to earth in agricultural and undeveloped areas, it is either absorbed or it slowly runs off and dissipates. In a growing city like Tumwater, where rooftops and paved areas not only prevent the water from being absorbed, but also help it run off at a much faster rate, problems arise. Unmitigated, the stormwater could accumulate in many areas of the city, causing nuisance flooding and possible threats to public health and safety. Flooding is only a part of the problem. As the rain falls onto our streets and runs off, it carries with it pollutants such as gasoline, oil and heavy metals. Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are washed from lawns and other green spaces. With the passage of time, these pollutants will buildup in our waterways and underground drainage systems, causing significant environmental damage to our streams, rivers and lakes. These pollutants may also threaten our drinking water supply.
- Drinking water protection is a community-wide effort that begins with protecting our groundwater. Public education, conservation efforts and adequate utility funding are important components of this effort. The City has already established groundwater protection programs and has ordinances in place to protect our water source. To find out more, visit the Wellhead Protection page or call (360) 754-4140.
The drinking water you receive in the Tumwater system comes entirely from groundwater aquifers pumped from numerous wells throughout the City.
- Bottled water is not necessarily safer than your tap water. The EPA and WA Department of Health sets the standards for tap water provided by the City of Tumwater; the Food and Drug Administration sets bottled water standards based on EPA's tap water standards. Bottled water and tap water are both safe to drink if they meet these standards, although people with severely compromised immune systems and children may have special needs. Bottled water costs much more than tap water on a per gallon basis. Bottled water is valuable in emergency situations (such as floods and earthquakes), and high quality bottled water may be a desirable option for people with weakened immune systems. Consumers who choose to purchase bottled water should carefully read its label to understand what they are buying.
- If you have your own well, you are responsible for making sure that your water is safe to drink. Private Wells should be tested annually for nitrate and coliform bacteria to detect contamination problems early. Test more frequently for other contaminants, such as radon or pesticides, if you suspect a problem. You can help protect your water supply by carefully managing activities near your water source. If you have specific questions, Water Resources staff may be able to assist you in finding resources to answer your questions. Call (360) 754-4140.
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. People with severely compromised immune systems, such as people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, people who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/Centers for Disease Control Guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection from Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants offer more detailed advice. See Water Quality Reports for testing results of the City water supply. Call (360) 754-4140 for more information.
I'm worried about a specific drinking water contaminant [lead, Cryptosporidium, nitrate, radon, etc.]. What should I know?
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. As long as they occur below federal and state standards, they don't pose a significant health threat, although people with severely compromised immune systems and children may have special needs. For more information about a specific contaminant, see EPA's fact sheets on drinking water contaminants, which have more detailed information on every contaminant EPA currently sets standards for and those EPA is considering setting standards for.
- Even when water meets our state and federal standards, it may still taste or smell a bit off or have a cloudy appearance. While these aesthetic concerns are not regulated, we would still like to know if they occur. Some problems may be resolved by examining the plumbing in your home, especially in older developments. Due to its size, the City needs to disinfect the water in order to eliminate bacterial contamination. The City is currently using chlorine, which may slightly affect the taste of the water at times. Common complaints about water aesthetics include temporary cloudiness (typically caused by air bubbles) or chlorine taste (which can be improved by using a filter or letting the water stand exposed to the air).
- Under the authority of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), EPA sets standards for more than 100 potential contaminants in drinking water. For each of these contaminants, EPA sets a legal limit, called a maximum contaminant level (MCL), or requires a certain treatment. Water that meets these standards is safe to drink, although people with severely compromised immune systems and children may have special needs. For a more detailed description, read about how standards are set or about EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water at www.epa.gov/safewater.
If your home is served by the City, get a copy of your annual water quality report before you test your water. This report will tell you if and what contaminants have been found in your drinking water and at what level. After you've read this report, you may wish to test for specific contaminants (such as lead) that can vary from house to house, or any other contaminant you're concerned about.
The City does not test individual homes, and cannot recommend specific laboratories to test your drinking water, but can provide a list of certified laboratories upon request. Depending on how many contaminants you may wish to test for, a water test can cost from $25 to hundreds of dollars. Contact the Thurston County Public Health & Social Services at (360) 867-2500 (TDD 1-800-658-6384).
The City publishes an annual drinking water quality report. This report will tell consumers what contaminants have been detected in the drinking water over the previous year, how these detection levels compare to drinking water standards, and where the water comes from. The reports are provided annually before July 1, and, in most cases, are mailed directly to your home. Contact Water Resources, (360) 754-4140 if you have not received a copy, or the online version can be found at Water Quality Report.
City staff will make every effort to notify you by newspaper, mail, radio, e-Notifications or hand-delivery if your water doesn't meet EPA or state standards or if there is a waterborne disease emergency. The notice will describe any precautions you need to take, such as boiling your water. If you ever receive such a notice, READ THE NOTICE CAREFULLY - it will contain all the information you need to know about the issue and any actions you will need to take.
- Yes. The City of Tumwater is proud to supply some of the cleanest and best-tasting water. The water consistently meets, and in most cases, exceeds the EPA's standards for tap water quality. Every year, the City publishes an annual water quality report (sometimes called a consumer confidence report), which provides our customers with general information on water quality and various programs the Utility has to offer.
- The City has no municipal code or law that prohibits or limits transients, panhandlers or solicitors from standing on the street corners or outside businesses within the City limits, as long as they are located on public property and they are not interfering with ingress/egress. A business has the ability to limit where and/or if a panhandler can be soliciting on their private property.
- Presently, the Tumwater Police Department does not offer an Explorer Post program. These programs were developed to provide youth, ages 14 to 20, with exposure to careers in law enforcement. Many local, state and federal agencies provide these career exploration opportunities. Youth interested in learning more about the program can contact one of our partner agencies with active Explorer programs: Olympia Police Department, Lacey Police Department, and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
- The Tumwater Police Department does not offer a Reserve Officer program at this time. However, two local agencies do have Reserve programs to assist commissioned officers with law enforcement duties. Contact the Lacey Police Department at (360) 459-4333 or the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office at (360) 786-5503.
- Evidence can be retrieved by contacting the police department evidence technician at (360) 754-4200. Retrieval of evidence requires an appointment to be made with the evidence technician and the case must be adjudicated prior to the release of evidence.
By law, the City of Tumwater is responsible for upholding laws within its jurisdiction to ensure the public’s safety. In Tumwater, court, public defense, and prosecution services are provided by Thurston County, through separate service contracts. A Violations Division is located at Tumwater City Hall to accept payment for traffic infractions, parking tickets and other non-criminal infractions only.
To Pay a Fine
Tumwater Violations Division accepts payments for parking and traffic violations, and non-criminal offenses for which you cannot go to jail. Please call (360) 754-4190 for assistance.
Yes, riders must be 16 years of age and complete a form provided by the department. Persons under 18 years of age must have written permission from a parent or legal guardian. The Police Department reserves the right to limit ride-along activity to non-residents. Processing of ride-along applications may take two to three weeks to complete. For more information, contact email@example.com or browse to Police Ride-along.
The Tumwater Police Department is adjacent to Tumwater City Hall, 555 Israel Road SW, with a separate secured entrance to the building. The department phone number (360) 754-4200.
- You are welcome to use a metal detector in Tumwater Parks, but you may only use it to detect surface materials. Digging in Tumwater parks and at Tumwater facilities is not allowed.
No. Park policies are established to protect the public. The region has several separate reserved spaces for licensed radio-controlled model aircraft operators.
Yes. Prospective vendors complete a Park Vendor Application and receive approval from the Parks and Recreation Department prior to vending. Vendors must also have a valid City of Tumwater business license available at Business Licensing.
Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (360) 754-4160 for details.
Call the Tumwater Valley Golf Club Pro Shop at (360) 943-9500 for a tee time or more information.
Contact the City’s Volunteer Coordinator at (360) 252-4250 or visit Volunteer for more information..
Volunteers are always needed for Tumwater Youth Program events and at the Old Town Center. If your child participates in any of these programs, or if you have interest in being a positive role model for kids and want to help provide positive activities for them, please give us a call! All community members are welcome to get involved in providing this valuable service to the youth of our community. If you enjoy working with youth and teens in grades 3 through 12 and want to have a direct impact on your community, this is a wonderful opportunity to share your time and talent. Please consider joining us! Call Tumwater Parks and Recreation at (360) 754-4160, about attending the next Tumwater Youth Program Volunteer Orientation.
If sports is more your thing, consider becoming a volunteer coach for youth baseball or basketball leagues. Please contact the Parks & Recreation Department for more information on volunteering.
Tumwater Parks and Recreation has soccer and baseball fields that are available for reservation. Though we strive to accommodate as many interested user groups as possible, priority use is given to existing allocations. Groups requesting use of athletic fields will be charged for all approved and allocated time or games. Fees are non-refundable unless written notification is received at least 14 days in advance.
We reserve the right to close any field, at any time, for maintenance purposes or due to poor field conditions. Play on fields that are closed or leagues/teams utilizing fields on a drop-in basis without prior approval may result in termination of present and future use.
Activities scheduled through the Parks and Recreation Department have priority use of the athletic fields.
Contact the Parks and Recreation Department for more information: (360) 754-4160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shelters are available for reservation in Historical and Pioneer Parks. Shelters are available to reserve 365 days in advance. (Example: Shelter reservations for March 1, 2018 will be available starting March 2, 2017.) Shelter reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for half-day or full-day periods. Shelters can accommodate groups of up to 100 people.
For in person/by mail reservations, reservations are not confirmed until completed form and fee have been received. You can email, fax, mail or drop off the completed form in person. Reservation is also available online. Online reservations do not require completion of paper reservation form.
Visit the Parks & Recreation Reservations page for forms and contact information, and a link to the online reservation system.
Visit the Parks & Recreation department To Register for day camp, classes and recreation options.
Visit Sports & Fields for registration and information about seasonal sports programs or call (360) 754-4160 for information. Registration for more programs is available online.
Yes, the Fire Department offers free blood pressure checks on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. at our Headquarters Station. Blood pressure checks are also available at our North End Fire Station at various times, depending on staffing. Please Blood Pressure Checks for currently scheduled days and times. All scheduled services are subject to change without notice as staffing at each station depends on the volume of emergency calls on any given day.
- Yes, courtesy safety inspections are available to Tumwater addresses. Please call (360) 754-4170 for assistance. Commercial businesses are required to have an annual safety inspection. Some fees may apply. Visit the Commercial Fire Safety Inspection program.
We are a close knit neighborhood and we are interested in getting organized, as a neighborhood, in case of a disaster. Can someone meet with us to discuss these preparations?Yes, staff is available to come to your neighborhood meeting to assist you in preparing for a disaster. Please call (360) 754-4170 to schedule a meeting. Thurston County Emergency Management also offers Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) to prepare individuals and teams to help their family, neighborhood and workplace in the event of a disaster. Call (360) 867-2825 or visit Thurston County Emergency Management website for more information.
My neighborhood, business and/or civic group is interested in a presentation about emergency preparedness; is some available to help us out?
Yes, staff is available to come to your meeting, community center, home and/or facility to present information about Emergency Preparedness. Our Emergency Preparedness talks focus on earthquake safety because research shows that the Pacific Northwest is prone to seeing an 8.0 magnitude, or greater, quake in the near future. Please call (360) 754-4170 to schedule a visit.
- Due to limited staffing, public tours of our fire stations are only available to groups of 10 or more. You must make reservations at least seven days in advance. Call (360) 754-4170 for further information and reservations.
- Burning leaves and brush is prohibited within the City of Tumwater. However, if you live in Thurston County Fire Protection District #15, Munn Lake, you are allowed to burn one 4x4 pile of natural vegetation only, during periods without burn bans in effect. Contact the Tumwater Fire Department at (360) 754-4170 to verify whether or not you live in this district.
- No, outdoor burning is banned in the Tumwater city limits and urban growth area. For air quality/indoor burning restrictions, contact the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency at (360) 556-1044.
Our business or organization would like to conduct a fire drill; can the Fire Department come to our facility?The Tumwater Fire Department can provide guidance in planning and executing fire drills. Our staff can be available to assist with the actual fire drill, and critique your facility and staff response to the alarms. Call (360) 754-4170 to request an on-site visit.
- Tumwater Fire Department provides some assistance and education to businesses, organizations and residents of Tumwater needing assistance with an emergency evacuation plan. Our staff can visit your facility to provide a fire prevention and survival presentation. Please contact the assistant fire chief at (360) 754-4170.
No. The Tumwater Fire Department provides a brief training for hands-only CPR, three minutes to save a life.
- Thurston County Medic One provides CPR classes at various locations throughout the county free of charge. To sign up for this class, call (360) 704-2780.
- The Capital Medical Center in Olympia also offers free CPR classes. To contact them about a class, you can reach them at (360) 754-5858, ext. 1114.
- If you are interested in a combination first aid and CPR class, contact either the Red Cross at (360) 352-8575, or the Black Lake Fire Department at (360) 352-7288.
- CPR classes are offered through Tumwater Parks & Recreation call (360) 754-4160.
As a City water customer, you are required to keep your water meter clear and accessible for reading and maintenance purposes. This includes those meters located in utility easements. Contact Utility Service if you need information on where to find your meter.
Adjustments are made one time only for the life of the utility account, for excessive bills due to water leaks. If you discover a leak, contact Utility Billing immediately and the matter will be investigated. Call (360) 754-4133 for assistance.
The City is responsible for the main line and meter up to the point of the customer's service line connection to the meter. Visit Water Leaks for more information.
- Turn off all water in and outside of your house. Do not turn off the master valve.
- Record the reading on your meter.
- Do not use any water in your home for 2 hours.
- Recheck the meter every 20 minutes for 2 hours. The reading should be identical to the reading taken earlier. If it is higher, you have a leak. It is your responsibility to have it repaired.
Note: Continuously running toilets can be a silent culprit. Check the overflow pipes in the toilet tanks to be sure water isn't draining. Place a few drops of food coloring in the tank, don't flush and check the bowl in about 15 minutes. If any of the coloring appears in the bowl, you probably have leaking water. Visit Water Leaks for more information.
You can easily check for an error in the meter reading used to calculate your bill. Simply read you water meter to see if the reading if higher or lower than the reading on your bill. If it is lower, call Customer Service immediately and we will make the necessary adjustments. If the reading is higher, you should check for a leak in your house plumbing or service line. Call Utility Billing at (360) 754-4133 for assistance or Water Leaks for more information.
Yes you can, however, there is a fee and a minimum period of service interruption to have your services temporarily disconnected. Visit Temporarily Stop Service for more information or call Utility Billing at (360) 754-4133.
No. A City employee is required to disconnect and reconnect services at the water meter. The water meter is the property of the City and damages to the meter could be charged to you. Call the Tumwater Public Works Operations & Maintenance at (360) 754-4150.
Service will be restored upon payment of the bill, including a re-connection fee. Visit the Miscellaneous Fees page for a schedule of re-connection and late fees.
Your account is billed every month. If your account is registered to pay through our online Utility Payments system, you can log into your utility account to see your history. Or you can contact our office at (360) 754-4133. You are responsible for the bill whether it is received or not.
- Your monthly bill is due by the 25th of the month unless the 25th falls on a weekend or holiday, then the next business day by 4 p.m.
Generally, if property is located outside of the City and the owner wants to receive City sewer or water service, the property must be annexed into the City.
- Tumwater voters have elected to support various projects over the years by raising money through approval of general obligation bonds. Bond payments are added to your property taxes. Examples of City bonds include those approved for construction of the Tumwater Library (paid off already) and the Headquarters Fire Station (will be paid off in 2018). Bonded indebtedness is assumed by newly annexed properties and must be paid from the time of annexation until the bond is paid.
The taxing district in which a specific property is located determines property taxes. Thurston County road and fire district* taxes would no longer be collected after an annexation, and would be replaced by Tumwater’s regular and voted bonded indebtedness assessments.
*State law requires that bonds for fire stations and other capital facilities cannot be removed from properties until they are paid off, even if annexed.
Annexation is the process of expanding the City limits to include properties currently outside the City.
More information can be found in the Annexation Handbook on the Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) website. An informational brochure can also be downloaded from the City of Tumwater Annexation page.
Annexation is governed by State law (RCW 35A.14). Due to the specific procedures and timelines spelled out in the RCWs, annexations take close to a year to complete, and involve multiple public hearings. The City has the right to refuse to annex any property.
If you have questions or are considering applying for annexation please contact Community Development staff at (360) 754-4180 or at email@example.com.
Visit the City's online Permits Inquiry search page to conduct searches by type of permit, address and more. For assistance, call (360) 754-4180.
Insert link to tree removal permit discussion in section 7.
An online version of Tumwater Development Guide is available on the website.
- Report a concern by calling the Code Compliance and Enforcement Team at (360) 754-4200 or visit Code Compliance for more information.
A heat pump or air conditioning unit cannot be placed in a required zoning setback area.
Zoning setback areas vary depending on the specific zone district in which the property in question is located.
To inquire about the zone district in which you property is located and the required zoning setbacks you can either contact Community Development staff at (360) 754-4180 or find your property on the City's zoning map (insert link to zoning map) and then refer to the required setbacks in the applicable zone district in the City zoning code, Zoning, TMC Chapter 18.
There are varying site area requirements for splitting a property and these site requirements vary depending on the zoning district in which your property is located.
Your ability to split the property will be dependent on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, available public services (water and sewer), access to a public right-of-way, adequate parking, lot coverage, setback, etc... To get more information on specific factors you may review the individual zoning district online. Please note that provisions of the Land Division Ordinance located in Title 17 of the Tumwater Municipal code and the State platting statute located in Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 58.17 may also limit your ability to split property.
Generally, a formal subdivision application is necessary in order to split any property. A pre-application meeting with the City is required before a subdivision application is prepared.
Please call (360) 754-4180 for assistance.
- Generally, permits expire after 180 days, if no inspections have been made. In order for the project to be complete, it must pass final inspection. If a permit expires before final inspection, the project is in violation of city codes. If this is your case, call (360) 754-4180. We'll help you to reactivate the permit or apply for another with as little inconvenience as possible. Our interest is in seeing your project completed …including the final inspection.
- Noise restrictions establish limitations on construction activity. General construction noise is only permitted from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays. No noise from development activity or heavy equipment is allowed on Sundays except for minor repair or remodeling work done by residents at their dwelling.
- Washington State amendments to the Uniform Plumbing Code, (Chapter 29, Section 2902.3) states: Separate facilities shall be provided for each sex when the number of employees exceeds four.
- No, not in most cases. Occupancy Group M (stores) buildings may have lockable front entrances. Even dead bolt locks could be used, provided there is a sign stating "THIS DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED DURING BUSINESS HOURS" placed adjacent to the door and readily visible.
How many sets of plans and specifications do I need to submit with my application for a building permit?
Two paper copies and one electronic copy in pdf format. For residential buildings, one plan will be returned to the applicant and one kept in the City building file as required by law. Visit Residential Permits for more information or call (360) 754-4180.
- No. State law does not require the services of an architect for residential construction. However, the building official has the authority to require use of a licensed architect or engineer for structures of unusual shape or construction.
- Yes. However, You will need to contact the inspector directly between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. the morning of the requested inspection to arrange a specific time. You should still schedule the inspection on-line or call the inspection into the inspection request line prior to contacting the inspector. In a lot of cases, someone does have to be present in order for our inspector to have access to the work.
Yes. In order for the City to adequately serve its customers we ask that you request your inspection one day in advance. To schedule an inspection, call the inspection request line at (360)754-4189, or browse to Permits & Inspections.
When requesting an inspection please provide the following information:
- address of the project
- building permit number
- name of person requesting the inspection
- type of inspection needed (such as: framing, plumbing, insulation, etc.)
- date you are requesting the inspection for
- any additional information you feel is necessary
If a permit is required, but not obtained prior to beginning work, it is a violation of the Tumwater Municipal Code. In addition to being subject to fines and penalties, you will be required to obtain permits for the work and it must pass inspection, or you'll have to return the structure or site to its original condition.
In most cases, permit fees for work started without a permit are twice the normal fee plus $85.00. If work is covered, it will be necessary to uncover work to allow inspection. This often means destroying portions of the completed work, and adds to the cost of your project.
Furthermore, there are legal and financial liabilities that you face when you don't obtain a permit. Work without a permit is illegal and can pose serious complications for you when you try to sell your house. Any fire and homeowner's insurance you have may be invalidated if you complete work without a permit. For example, if there were a fire in your house, the insurance company might use the illegal work as a reason not to pay your claim.
A building permit is not needed for items such as wallpapering, painting, or similar finish work; fences six feet six inches high or lower (check the zoning code for location and height requirements); platforms, decks and walks 30 inches high or less above grade. However, reviews may be required from other agencies; be sure to check before building.
To determine if your project needs a permit, call (360) 754-4180.
Most residential, commercial, and industrial projects require a building permit. In addition to construction of new buildings, a building permit is also required for most remodel or repair work, as well as for additions, demolition, and relocation of buildings.
A building permit is required if you are:
Building or installing:
- a new structure
- patio or deck greater than 30 inches above grade
- patio or deck roof cover
- ventilation, heating or air conditioning supply or exhaust
- fence over 6 feet high
- tool or storage shed over 120 square feet in area
- swimming pool
Adding to or changing:
- dormers, bay windows or other wall openings
- water heater or any other parts of the plumbing
- furnaces or any other parts of the heating and gas system
- circuits or any other parts of the electrical system (Electrical permits issued by Labor & Industries)
- walls to a porch
- garage to a livable area
Replacing or repairing:
- termite, rot, or water damage (replacing siding, foundation, etc.)
- existing stone, brick or concrete
- wall covering (excluding wallpaper)
If you are in doubt as to whether or not a permit is required on work you are proposing or have related questions, please call the Community Development permit center at (360)754-4180.
The City, as part of its present agreement with Comcast Broadband, requires the broadcast of Tumwater TV (Channel 26) over the local Comcast cable system. The channel is operated by Thurston Community Television (TCTV) through a contract with the City of Tumwater. The channel is limited to governmental and educational programming of interest to Tumwater residents.
In most cases, the quickest response will come from calling the cable company at the phone number on your monthly bill. If you are not satisfied by the service you received after you have contacted the company, the City may be able to help you resolve matters. Call the Executive Department at (360) 754-4128.
The City of Tumwater is permitted by federal law to enter into agreements that allow cable television companies to use the city streets and right of ways for distributing cables and other necessary equipment. In return for this use of the streets and right of ways, companies are required to pay a fee to the City and to operate a cable system that offers specific features, meets technical standards and provides adequate customer service to the residents of the City.
You may access our local Tumwater TV cable channel, Channel 26 or view our Job Openings web page. Some openings are also advertised in the local newspaper, The Olympian.
Please visit the Job Openings web page for current information.
- Additional restrictions apply to release of police department records. Certain records or portions thereof may not be available for public viewing. These include but are not limited to:
• Information about complainants, victims or witnesses when non-disclosure has been requested
• Information that would endanger a person’s life, physical safety or property.
• Information that would violate a person’s right to privacy (i.e. social security number, medical information, etc.)
• Information regarding juveniles
• Information in relation to an active investigation
• Information involving confidential informants or intelligence files.
For more information, view the Police Department Records policy.
Call 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY. Please answer all questions and stay on the line until told otherwise by the call receiver.
Call the Non-Emergency Dispatch number at (360) 704-2740, unless you need an immediate response to a fire, medical or police emergency. Using the non-emergency number helps keep the 9-1-1 lines available for persons reporting emergencies. This number is monitored 24-hours a day.
Non-emergency: Call the Tumwater Police Department number at (360) 754-4200. The kinds of calls that are appropriate for this non-emergency number would include nuisance complaints such as noise, parking, etc. This number is only monitored during the normal work week. (M - F: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
Power Outage: For power outages, please call your electric utility, generally Puget Sound Energy in Thurston County at 1-888-225-5773.
For more information about the dispatch process, visit the TCOMM website.
- If you believe a vehicle is abandoned, contact our Code Enforcement Officers Patrick Long and Ross Rutledge at PLong@ci.tumwater.wa.us and RRutledge@ci.tumwater.wa.us.
or by phone at (360) 754-4200. (M - F: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Call the Dispatch number for reporting after business hours at (360) 704-2740. If the vehicle is creating a traffic hazard, call 9-1-1.
You can report anonymous crime tips (involving any crime) through Thurston County’s Crimestoppers tipline at 1 (800) 222-TIPS or at www.crimebusters.org. It’s completely anonymous and you could receive a $1000 reward.
If there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the disappearance or the individual is a vulnerable person (child, developmentally disabled, elderly, etc.) call 9-1-1 immediately.
Otherwise, call the non-emergency dispatch line, (360) 704-2740. For other cases, call the non-emergency number at 360-754-4200. You DO NOT need to wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
Immediately contact your credit card companies and bank to put an alert on all your accounts.
Contact the Dispatch non-emergency 24-hr line to file a police report at (360) 704-2740.
For more information about identity theft, browse to the Federal Trade Commission website.