Rumors & Questions

Check this page for updates on rumors, chatter heard about town to get the facts and real scoop straight from the source.

Check this page for updates on rumors, chatter heard about town to get the facts and real scoop straight from the source.

What question do you have? Have you heard a rumor that you want to check? Let us know!

Full DIsclosure: Questions asked by "City of Sumner" are ones we're receiving a lot of in other forums (email, phone calls) so have added ourselves.

Q&A

  • How do I receive a water bill emailed to me

    shapes asked about 1 month ago

    If you want your bill emailed to you monthly, you set up an online account (if you haven't already) here: https://sumnerwa.gov/services/city-services/utilities/online-bill-pay/. Once on your online account, choose the My Profile tab: 

    Scroll down and then under Your Accounts, you can choose paper, email or both for your regular billing.

    If you just need one bill emailed to you, call Utilities at 253-299-5546 and they'll help you out. They're available M-F, 8 am - 5 pm.  

    I wasn't sure exactly which way you were asking, so if I missed the intent of your question completely, let me know!
  • Did the City Council raise our sales tax for affordable housing?

    CityofSumner asked 2 months ago

    No, they did not. They took advantage of a new State law that lets the City divert a portion of the sales tax that had been going to the State of Washington to remain with the City for the specific use of providing affordable housing within our city. In other words, you will pay the same sales tax rate on goods in Sumner; but instead of the money from your tax going to the State as it had been, a small portion of that will now come to Sumner to work on making/keeping housing affordable. The Council did have to take a vote in order to put this diversion of dollars in place.


  • How are Sumner Police officers going to enforce the Governor's law requiring face masks in public spaces indoors and outdoors when you can't maintain 6' distance?

    CityofSumner asked 3 months ago

    Just a quick reminder that the State asks that if/when you see someone without a mask in public to stay 6' away but not say anything as some people do have medical exemptions. As to our Police Department, we follow the answer that came from Washington State Patrol and can't improve on it: 

    Washington law enforcement agencies continue to focus on education and engagement regarding state orders related to the coronavirus crisis.  The statewide face covering order is a public health and safety measure; it is not a mandate for law enforcement to detain, cite or arrest violators but rather an evidence-based and safety focused directive meant to slow the spread of a potentially deadly disease.  

    WSP will continue to communicate with and encourage all Washingtonians to to make safety-focused decisions and follow all health-based directives from the Governor as well as state and local health officials. 

    Together, we will continue to address the very real public health threat of COVID 19, as we also work to safely reopen our economic, social and civic systems. 

    We trust our residents, businesses, elected leaders, health officials, and each other to do what is necessary during this unique time of shared medical vulnerability and gradual return to social and economic normalcy.  

  • I've heard the Calvary Community Church project is being discussed by Council again. Wasn't this already settled? What's going on?

    CityofSumner asked 4 months ago

    Yes, the Calvary Community Church expansion project went through the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process, including public hearings, nearly 10 years ago. The CUP permit was appealed, resulting in a lawsuit that was ultimately settled with a settlement agreement between the City and Calvary. The terms of that settlement agreement now govern the Calvary expansion project. 

    Among the agreed upon requirements in the settlement were the newly constructed intersection at Valley Ave to help mitigate the traffic impacts to/from the church (completed by Calvary in 2019), and a limitation on the square footage of any new church building or expansion. Since then, Calvary's designers have reduced their expansion plans to benefit their neighbors, staying well under the allowable square footage for any expansion. The new plans add on to the existing building rather than adding a new building as originally planned. This reduces the size of the expansion and reduces the impact of views to the neighbors. There is no change to the parking provided and landscaping has increased. These revised plans have been presented to the City Council for approval through an amended settlement agreement. City planning staff are supportive of the amendments as they reduce the overall impact to the community.

    The Council will decide on the requested amendments at the June 15 Council meeting. There is not a public hearing since this is an amendment to an existing settlement agreement. If the Council does not approve these amendments, the terms of the current settlement with allowances for a larger building remain in place.

  • Am I allowed to turn the planting strip (the portion of my front yard between the sidewalk and the street) into a planting bed for, say, tomatoes? What about my front lawn--does it have to be grass, or can I convert it into a field of beans?

    betteirene asked 5 months ago

    That’s a good question! We like the idea of vegetables being added to gardens, especially if they’re interspersed ornamentally for both good dinners to come and beautiful yards for all to enjoy seeing. However, the purpose of the planter strip really is access: for someone to be able to park and walk to a house, the sidewalk or a business. That strip really needs to be grass and/or trees only for ease of access. We also have to protect sight-lines so that cars easily see each other, pedestrians easily see cars coming, etc. Plus, you wouldn’t want your beautiful veggies to get trampled before they hit the kitchen. So, bottom line is you’ll want to skip veggies in the planter strip. For the rest of your front yard, you can add veggies, but just remember that all yards have to look well maintained, and that rule applies whether it’s grass, beans, flowers or whatever you’re planting and maintaining. Hope this helps. Happy gardening!

  • Do you know what we being filmed a few Saturdays ago on Main Street? One of the camera crew said it was a Kleenex commercial. Is that true? Do you know and can you disclose? Thanks

    Emmaline.q asked 6 months ago

    That was right when we were preparing for coronavirus, so I forgot to ask if they wanted us to share or not. Hopefully, I'm not sharing any secret. It was for a movie called the 12 Dates of Christmas for HBO Max. Guessing it'll be out next Christmas, perhaps to rival the Hallmark Channel?

  • All the city public areas and parking lots look nice with the spring sprucing up and new bark. However the pay to park lot next to the fire station got missed and could use some love too.

    Tfrost72 asked 7 months ago

    Thank you! I know they're still making the rounds as they were only at City Hall yesterday. I'm going to bet it's already on their list, but it doesn't hurt to double check. Thanks again for the reminder!

    UPDATE 3/18: Well, it might be a bit before you get to enjoy it, but they did make it to Station Lane lot today.


  • Why is the old golf course closed to the public.?

    jonpin asked 7 months ago

    The golf course closed to the public about eight years ago because it was costing Sumner residents $1 million per year in tax funding and had earned us a few audit findings. When surveyed in 2012, 80% of Sumner residents told us to sell it.

  • What are the facts about COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

    CityofSumner asked 7 months ago

    There's a lot of information, but some of it can be misleading. The best source of information is the experts. Here are the ones we're watching:

    Here are a few more links that may be helpful:



  • I look forward to the shred and clean each year. Is it possible to add Styrofoam recycling to this event? I have been holding on to any I have received in packaging while trying to find a place to recycle it. I would like to keep it out of the landfill. Thank you

    kaedylou asked 7 months ago

    That's a really good idea, thank you! We try to add options if we can. Still no resources, sadly, for remotely collecting used motor oil. But, we never thought of Styrofoam. We'll look into it!