By Dawn Masko, City Administrator, City of DuPont
1. Santa Run a Huge Success - Police officers and firefighters escorted Santa through the villages of DuPont on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Santa left his reindeer at home for this event and opted to ride on the fire engine instead. Santa greeted children and believers of all ages with holiday wishes and handed out over 1200 candy canes. The DuPont Police and Fire Departments want to wish the citizens of DuPont the happiest and safest of holiday seasons.
2. 2013 Budget Adopted
The City Council unanimously adopted the 2013 Budget at their December 11th regular meeting. The budget eliminates the funding for greenways maintenance, eliminates 3 grant-funded firefighters effective April 2013, reduces irrigation to parks, eliminates TruGreen maintenance contracts for PowderWorks Park, and eliminates the West Pierce Fire and Rescue contract (which provides fire support, training, IT services, records management, and a ½ time Fire Operations Chief). The budget preserves a firefighter and police officer positions which were slated for elimination, keeps the Museum open with funding from the Historical Society, and adds a position to assist with expediting permitting process to assist with new development. Additionally, business license fees were increased and a new multi-tiered, employee-based license structure was added, a rental property business license was instituted, Water and Stormwater utility tax rates were increased, and a new square-footage based business & occupation tax was added. The 2013 Budget will be available on the City’s website soon.
3. Museum Gift Shop Offers Unique Holiday Gifts
Looking for unique heritage holiday gifts? Shop at the DuPont Museum gift shop! New items will be featured during the holiday season. Find great gifts under $10 and $20 for teachers, kids stocking stuffers, and those difficult to buy for! The DuPont Museum, located in the Historic Village at 207 Barksdale Ave., is open from 1:00 – 4:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Please contact Doris Stewart at (253) 964-2399 for holiday shopping assistance.
4. Community Development Update
- Announcement – Amazon announced today they will be building a new 1 million square foot facility in DuPont which is slated to open in September 2013. Read the press release here.
- Sign Code Update –The proposed Sign Code ordinance will be discussed at a Council work session on January 15th . Materials are posted on the City’s website.
- Sequalitchew Creek Restoration Plan –The third Core Group Meeting for the Sequalitchew Creek planning process was held on Thursday, December 13th. Meeting materials are available on the City’s website. The next meeting will be scheduled for early 2013.
- Navy Federal Credit Union – DuPont issued the administrative land use decision on December 4, 2012. It is posted on the City’s website.
5. Parks & Recreation
Please call (253) 912-5245 or go to the City’s website at www.ci.dupont.wa.us for registration information, questions on Parks & Recreation activities, or for volunteer opportunities. Want to know more? Like us on Facebook at “City of DuPont Events, Recreation & Tourism”.
- Holiday Window Painting – Congratulations to Farrelli’s for hosting the winning windows in our First Annual Holiday Window Decorating contest. Students from Pioneer Middle School and Saltar’s Point Elementary painted the windows along Wilmington Drive. Take a drive through the business district to check out the festive windows. They look fantastic!
- · Youth Basketball – The youth basketball program will follow Steilacoom School District’s holiday closure schedule. No games or practices will be scheduled during the holiday break. Current youth basketball schedules can be found at www.teamsideline.com.
- Visit our website for information on other programs and events including Karate, Yoga, Track, Kidz Love Soccer, Dance4Life, and more!
6. Fire Department Newsletter
Get to know your City of DuPont Fire Department better by reading their December newsletter.
7. Christmas Tree Sales
The Boy Scouts of America Troop 71 (DuPont/Steilacoom) have opened their Christmas Tree lot located at 1631 Lafayette Street in Steilacoom (next to the Barber Shop). Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 4:00 – 7:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, and Sunday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM. This annual fundraiser runs until all the trees are sold out around December 19th. Trees are 4’ thru 8’ Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Noble Fir, Nordman Fir, and Evergreen wreaths starting at $22. All proceeds support the Scouting program. Delivery’s can be made to DuPont and Steilacoom upon request. Come on by, pick out your tree, and support local Scout adventures this year!
8. Online Shopping Safety Tips
The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) urges consumers to adhere to the following tips for safe online shopping this season:
- Mix security tools and procedures. Be sure to keep your anti-virus software updated to detect and block spyware and other malicious attacks. Use a firewall to stop hackers from accessing your computer. Never shop at public computers or over free wireless connections at coffee shops.
- Be sure the site is secure. While unknown online stores may offer great deals, merchants with retail locations are probably the safest to do business with online. Before giving them your credit card info always look for the “s” in https://www… (this means the site is secure) and look for the lock at the end of the string. It should be in the locked position to indicate your browser has a Security Certificate with that company. If the lock is not visible or is unlocked, you should walk away from this transaction to avoid the possibility of your identity being stolen.
- Use your major credit card. If you don’t receive your merchandise or you don’t receive the merchandise you were promised, you can dispute the transaction. Federal law gives you specific rights in dispute resolution when buying with a credit card. Contact your card company for information. Watch your budget when using a credit card online. Studies show people spend more when using a credit card instead of cash, a gift card or a debit card.
- Scams may hide in online coupons. As usual, beware of any coupon site asking for personal, financial or payment information which can be misused by scam artists.
9. IRS Tax Tips for “The Season of Giving”
December is traditionally a month for giving generously to charities, friends and family. But it’s also a time that can have a major impact on the tax return you’ll file in the New Year. Here are some “Season of Giving” tips from the IRS covering everything from charity donations to refund planning:
- Contribute to Qualified Charities. If you plan to take an itemized charitable deduction on your 2012 tax return, your donation must go to a qualified charity by December 31st. Ask the charity about its tax-exempt status. You can also visit IRS.gov and use the Exempt Organizations Select Check tool to check if your favorite charity is a qualified charity. Donations charged to a credit card by Dec. 31 are deductible for 2012, even if you pay the bill in 2013. A gift by check also counts for 2012 as long as you mail it in December. Gifts given to individuals, whether to friends, family or strangers, are not deductible.
- What You Can Deduct. You generally can deduct your cash contributions and the fair market value of most property you donate to a qualified charity. Special rules apply to several types of donated property, including clothing or household items, cars and boats.
- Keep Records of All Donations. You need to keep a record of any donations you deduct, regardless of the amount. You must have a written record of all cash contributions to claim a deduction. This may include a cancelled check, bank or credit card statement or payroll deduction record. You can also ask the charity for a written statement that shows the charity’s name, contribution date and amount.
- Gather Records in a Safe Place. As long as you’re gathering those records for your charitable contributions, it’s a good time to start rounding up documents you will need to file your tax return in 2013. This includes receipts, cancelled checks and other documents that support income or deductions you will claim on your tax return. Be sure to store them in a safe place so you can easily access them later when you file your tax return.
- Plan Ahead for Major Purchases. If you are making major purchases during the holiday season, don’t base them solely on the expectation of receiving your tax refund before the bills arrive. Many factors can impact the timing of a tax refund. The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days after receiving a tax return. However, if your tax return requires additional review, it may take longer to receive your refund.
For more information about contributions, check out Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. The booklet is available on IRS.gov or order by mail at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).