Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

Administration
The Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation yesterday voted on project priorities for upcoming funding cycles and, unfortunately, the Nevada Street extension did not make the cut.  That doesn’t mean the project is dead, only that funding is not going to be forthcoming for it in the near term.
 
Offered for your viewing pleasure is a video produced by Economic Development for Central Oregon (the Central Oregon equivalent of SOREDI) regarding the value and importance of traded sector jobs in the local economy.  Although the graphics in this video are specific to Central Oregon, the basic message of the video is not.
 
On the subject of economic development, here’s a link to a summary of workforce activity from around the state, prepared by the Oregon Employment Department.  It’s described as a weekly update, although none of us here in Administration can recall having seen this before.
 
Electric Department
 In September, the Electric Utility started a new paperless utility locate system. Previously, locate requests (tickets) were faxed to the Department from the local authority. Though tickets would come in throughout the day, the tickets were collected and dispatched into the field once per day (morning). Once in the field, the hardcopies were used to manage routing and serve as documentation of completion.  The new system eliminates the paper and provides real-time notification and documentation of completion. The Department now uses a tablet device to view and close tickets electronically.  The electronic system provides immediate visibility of tickets as they are called in to the locate center providing more efficient routing of field personnel - more efficient for the Department leading to better service for the customer.  Thanks to Steve Burkhalter of Public Works who was instrumental in bringing the new system on-line.
 
The Department completed its annual pole-top and bucket rescue training.  Employees trained on the procedure for rescuing an employee who is injured on either a pole or in an aerial bucket. Please note the injured figure on the left of the pole is a mannequin. The lineman on the right side of the pole is Ken Gillen.​



Information Technology:  Telecommunications Division
 Following the successful reconfiguration of the AFN Network, the upgrade of Network Operations Center (NOC or “Headend”) is well underway.  Work began with the removal of now out-of-service cabling, connectors and splitters (a sample of which are shown in the picture at left). The project simplifies network topology, frees up much needed space in the NOC and provides more efficient management/configuration of the NOC itself.


As part of the capital plan, a second CMTS (Cable Modem Termination System) was been installed in the NOC. The second CMTS supports doubling of the total system bandwidth capacity, provides the ability to increase subscriber upload and download speeds through additional channel bonding, and reduces signal interference (noise issues) in the field. The new CMTS also enables the redistribution of network traffic to reduce bottlenecks and better balance the system load. In addition, the new CMTS serves as a real time backup in the event of a failure in the primary CMTS.



Police Department
Tuesday night the Police Department had to use a Taser on a suspect who appeared to be under the influence of an unknown drug and was attacking an officer.  After one five-second deployment of the Taser, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Neither the suspect or the officer was injured.  The suspect also became combative at the jail and had to be restrained. 
 
We had a bicycle vs. vehicle traffic accident Monday morning at Siskiyou and Morse.  At first it looked like the cyclist, a 58-year-old Ashland resident, might not survive but by Wednesday he was stable and is now expected to make a full recovery.   
 
The suspect arrested in Lithia Park on Thursday for public indecency has been suspected of being involved in similar incidents in Lithia Park and in Medford parks in the past.  This was a good job by officers Caswell and Perrone, putting the case together and making sure the suspect will not be able to do this in Lithia Park in the future. 
 
Good job by Detective Hull and Sergeant O’Meara on a sex abuse case from SOU student housing this week.  This was a six month late report that would have been very hard to prove without a good investigation and at least a partial admission from the suspect who was arrested on Thursday.
 
The Chief received the following email thanking Officer Malcus Williams for his handling of a disturbance call;
 
Dear Chief,
 
We do not know which officers responded to our call regarding a loud party on Palmer St. last Saturday night – September 28th.   Please forward our thanks. This home has absentee landlords and the student tenants have been fine the last two years. One smart group of renters went around and introduced themselves (with cookies) and their names and cell numbers for all the neighbors. They would alert us if they were going to have a party and ask that we call them first if the noise got too loud. A new group just moved in, thus some new challenges.
 
The problem we have is the underage drinking and what comes with too much alcohol. As the evening progresses, so does noise, public urination, loud yelling and in the morning we often find tossed beer bottles in our yard or along our streets. We live on the corner of Palmer and Woodland, so we have it both ways.
 
I will contact the traffic commission to consider signs for parking on one side only on Palmer. If there are cars parked on both sides, it would make it difficult for emergency vehicles to get by.
 
Again, if you can pass our thanks to the quick response, we would appreciate it.  

 
 
Public Works
Here’s a snapshot of projects currently underway in the Public Works Department:
  1. The slurry seal project is complete. The Street Division has also finished prepping all streets on next spring’s slurry seal list.
  2. The miscellaneous concrete project will last a couple more weeks. The contractor is completing a sidewalk connection on Granite St. and needs to finish a curb replacement on Vista. They also have a few other replacements to complete around the city.
  3. Engineering is finalizing an RFP in order to obtain a specialist to upgrade/improve the SCADA system at the wastewater treatment plant. (The SCADA system went haywire last night and the waste water crews have been on site since 10 p.m. last night trying to resolve some issues. The have the SCADA engineer is also on-site today to see what he can do.)
  4. Engineering is working with Parks with respect to surveying issues that have developed in recent weeks, including location of property lines at Scenic Park (fence issue) and location of property lines for the ice rink roof project.
  5. KOGAP, Inc., was the low bidder for the East and West Fork sediment removal project. The City has received DSL approval and should receive Army Corps approval shortly so we can begin the project within the next two weeks. The project will remove approximately 5,000 cubic yards of sediment from the reservoirs in total.
  6. The disinfection byproducts study is wrapping up and the Water Division will make a few changes at the treatment plant as recommended by the study to meet all requirements for the new stage II drinking water rules. The improvements include new piping and pump circulation in the clear well, new point of contact for chlorination, raising pH of water in treatment process and reducing amount of prechlorination to the maximum amount acceptable to the operators.
  7. Engineering is working with a contractor and property owner on Harrison St. in a joint sidewalk/curb/gutter replacement in order to save an existing Ponderosa Pine tree.
  8. Engineering has finished and submitted the yearly storm water report. This document is required as part of our NPDES permit for storm water discharges.
  9. Engineering/Wastewater is reviewing the draft facilities plan for the treatment plant. This plan is required by DEQ in order to obtain state funding for capital expansion projects at the treatment plant. The plan follows a specific structure dictated by DEQ requirements.
  10. Engineering is working with a consulting engineer to finalize a drawing set for the Mountain Ave. overlay project. Once the drawings are complete, construction specs will be finalized.  The project will be bid in the spring of 2014.
  11. Engineering is working with consulting engineers on scope and price for the Airport Improvement project and the Bear Creek Trunkline project. The consultants were selected as part of the QBS process and we are now in negotiations for the scope/price in order to develop a final contract.
  12. Engineering is working with American Industrial Door on the FBO hangar door replacement project. A new structural detail is being prepared by the senior engineer in order to install the door to meeting building code requirements.
  13. Public Works is organizing the downtown planter project. Locates were called in for the planters and we expect work to begin next week with removal of existing dirt/plants in the planters. Public Works only work in the morning hours, approximately 7-10 a.m., in order to minimize the impact to downtown businesses. Once the material is removed Parks will repair the irrigation system and we will bring in new soil for the plantings.
  14. Public Works is working with film crew with regard to traffic control issues.
  15. Engineering is finalizing the RFP for the A St. sewer upsizing project. The RFP will be issued within the next month in order to obtain a consulting engineer for the project. This is a priority project from the wastewater master plan.
  16. The Water Division is doing prep work in the Calle in advance of the start of the resurfacing project.
 



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Friday, September 13, 2013

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