Administration & Public Works
With the TAP water line just about finished, the City today launched a public information campaign to let our water customers know what’s going to happen when we begin testing the TAP line during the week of August 25th. We mailed about 5,700 postcards (shown below) to water customers to let them know that they may see the effects of the water line tests.
This postcard (which is easier to read than the electronic reproduction here) says, “The Talent-Ashland-Phoenix waterline is complete! During the testing period, your water may sometimes appear cloudy, as mineral deposits are dislodged in the pipes. The water is safe to drink! You can get rid of the cloudiness by turning on your faucet and letting the water run for a few minutes (although in the interest of conservation, we’d prefer you didn’t).
“There may also be occasional fluctuations in water pressure. The pressure will stabilize as the system adjusts. Most, but not all buildings in Ashland have pressure relief valves and these pressure fluctuations might not be noticeable in many homes and businesses.
“The TAP line was built to provide emergency water supply in low-water years such as this one. The City will use TAP water only when we determine that other existing water supplies can no longer meet demand.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding during this test period!”
This will not be sent to all water customers. Only those in the north and west quadrants of the City will receive this. Water customers in the southern and eastern parts of the City will not see any effects of the testing. Starting on Monday, I will place personal phone calls to our 40 largest water customers in the affected quadrants to ensure they know about the testing. In addition, the Chamber of Commerce and the Ashland Lodging Association have agreed to send an e-mail to their members with this information.
It’s entirely possible that none of these effects will come to pass and while we don’t want to be alarmist, it’s better to provide some warning and then have nothing happen than to have something happen that we didn’t warn people about in advance.
Last Friday, APD did a controlled buy-back of property stolen out of Cave Junction. The victims happen to live here, and have a vacation home in CJ. As the Josephine County Sheriff's Office was unable to do anything, the victims set about investigating it themselves, finding a unique piece of furniture that was stolen listed on Craigslist. The victim made arrangement to buy it back in the Market of Choice parking lot. In place was a take-down team led by Sgt. Warren Hensman, who was acting in an undercover capacity as the purchaser. The team moved in and quickly detained two suspects. The primary perpetrator was not there, but the investigation continues. (APD got a kick out of solving a crime that happened 90 miles away in another county).
Two APD officers, Scott Wenzel and Ben Weaver, have been nominated for life-saving medals for successfully talking a man down from the roof ledge of the Ashland Springs Hotel. This happened last year but the nominations were submitted this summer.
Yesterday APD was contacted by an Ashland resident who stated he wanted to donate something to the department. The man stated that he is a former police officer, former Marine, three-tour veteran from the Vietnam War, and that he is dying of cancer with not long to live. He wanted to donate a framed copy of a lithograph from the 1800s, a tribute to the NYPD. Deputy Police Chief Tighe O’Meara met the man at his house, visited for a few minutes, and took possession of the item. It is now hanging proudly in our station. There is a less than ideal photo of the gift shown below. You're welcome to come view it at the Police Department. It was a touching gesture that struck a nerve with the entire department.
Detective Carrie Hull was contacted by the office of Vice President Joe Biden this week. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), they are putting together a report on all of the projects VAWA has funded and initiated. They want to highlight our You Have Options program.
Lastly, APD this week recorded its first felony-level bait-bike bust. The department now has an expensive ($1,500) bike at its disposal, and it did not take long for a young man to snatch it up. We're currently at 16 arrests with the bait bike program and bikes thefts are down overall.
Ashland Fire & Rescue deployed a crew to help fight the Rogue River Drive fire near Eagle Point this week. The photo below shows a tanker dropping flame retardant on the blaze. The entire department has done a terrific job of responding to a near-record call load this summer while lending assistance as necessary to wildland fire deployments such as this one. We should all be proud of the terrific job Ashland firefighters are doing during this very stressful fire season!
Meanwhile, Marty Main, the City’s contract forester and an instrumental member of the team working on the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project, was recognized with the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy’s 2014 Conservation Award. Click here to see SOLC’s July e-newsletter. (Scroll down to see the news item about Marty.)
Below is a very nice thank you note received by the CERT program this week.