Spring is sprung. So is the fair.

Images from the Spring Fair in Puyallup from April 14 – April 23, 2022. (Photo by Patrick Hagerty)

Attractions will include racing pigs, the DockDogs leaping and diving canines, carnival rides, food, and a monster-trucks show.

The Spring Fair is a smaller version of the annual State Fair that’s staged in September. Additional information is at thefair.com and 253-841-5045.

Sound Transit announced Feb. 28 that the light rail connection from Federal Way and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Fife and Tacoma – a project commonly referred to as ST3 – has been delayed again, this time to 2035.

The delay is a result of problems with planning by Sound Transit. Though it won’t require additional funding to complete the connection, Pierce County residents will have to wait longer for the expanded light rail service.

“This is disappointing. Five years after it was promised to voters of the South Sound, we have to wait again,” said Pierce County Councilman Ryan Mello.

ST3, funded through taxes approved by voters in 2016, is slated to cost $54 billion. It will add 62 new miles of light rail between Tacoma in the south, Everett in the north, and King County’s Eastside (Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, and Issaquah). Combined with two other phases covering other parts of the Puget Sound region, the overall light rail expansion by Sound Transit stretch 112 miles and 142 billion when completed.

In a joint statement, Mello and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards expressed frustration about delays in light rail reaching Pierce County and said residents there deserve more public transportation from Sound Transit while they’re waiting.

“Pierce County residents are paying Sound Transit taxes and have been for years with little value in return in the short term,” Woodards and Mello said.

Ballot measures for DuPont, University Place, Steilacoom, Orting, King County

Voters in the cities of DuPont and University Place, the Steilacoom and Orting school districts, and King County are being asked to approve separate funding measures in a special election that ends April 25.

DuPont is seeking a renewal of its six-year emergency medical services (EMS) levy. Its first year was 1999, and it has been renewed every six years since then. If passed again, it would continue to add 50 cents to the property taxes of landowners in the city.

University Place is proposing for a second time a levy to pay for police. Narrowly defeated last November, it would cost property taxpayers less than $20 a month.

The school measures are back on the ballot for a second time after being rejected in a special election in February, when their yes-vote totals fell short of the required 60 percent majority.

Steilacoom School District’s bond proposal totals $116 million that would be spent for a new elementary school, a high school sports stadium, and other upgrades.

Orting’s $150 million bond proposal  would pay for construction for new or expanded elementary schools, among other plans.

King County is asking voters to let it collect $1.2 billion from property taxes over nine years to pay for behavioral health services. The proposal would fund the creation of five regional crisis care centers, residential treatment beds, growth of the behavioral health workforce pipeline, and immediate services while centers are being built. The cost for the owner of a median-valued home would be about $121 in 2024, the first year of the levy, officials said.

Once ballots are mailed to voters by the their county election departments, voters will have until April 25 to mail them back or deposit them in official dropboxes.

The Pierce County Council has approved a higher sales tax countywide to help pay for housing and other services for homeless persons.

The council voted March 21 in favor of the Maureen Howard Affordable Housing Act, or 2022-81s, which will implement a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax increase for affordable housing and related services. The earliest the tax can begin to be collected is July 1.

County officials said the financial impact on taxpayers will be 10 cents for every $100 spent on most purchases. The additional tax won’t apply to groceries, medicine, and certain medical supplies and hygiene products.

Officials said the tax increase will generate about $20 million in revenue per year, helping cover the annual pricetag of $150 million-plus for the county’s homeless response system. The county spends roughly $40 million a year now and needs another $117 million a year to fully fund the system in the next five years. Some of the money will be spent building 600 to 800 housing units each year.

State law requires the income generated from the sales tax increase to support programs and projects for people who at or below 60 percent of the median (mid-range) income of Pierce County residents and have behavioral health problems, are veterans or seniors, are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, unaccompanied homeless youth or young adults, disabled persons, or domestic violence survivors.

Council members said the county’s priorities for tax revenue include:

  • Up to 30 percent will go to projects serving individuals with income below 30 percent of the area median income, and up to half of the funds will be spent on projects benefitting people with incomes between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income.
  • Up to 20 percent will go toward housing-related services, behavioral health treatment facilities, and “related programs.”


“This revenue source will give us access to much needed resources to help those in need of an affordable place to live, including our veteran community and those fleeing abusive and often deadly situations at home,” said Councilman Ryan Mello.

Councilman Marty Campbell said “thousands of people” will be helped.

The Affordable Housing Act is named after Maureen Howard, a leading advocate for homeless persons. She died Jan. 5.