December 19, 2014
The weather has kept crews in the Public Works Department very busy since last Thursday morning (December 11) when the wind and rain caused several issues that have been dealt with by various groups within Public Works.
The Cemetery Division lost one very large tree and two very large limbs in Ashland Cemetery (on East Main St.). Several other trees lost smaller limbs and all three cemeteries had significant amounts of debris that is still being cleaned up. The damaged trees in Ashland Cemetery have now been removed and the wood has been donated to the Jackson County Fuels Committee where it will be cut into firewood to be used in the valley.
The Street Division responded to downed trees in the roadway at 51 different locations. The priority for the Street Division was to clear the roads of any safety hazards and maintain the streets in a safe manner. The Street crews dealt with issues ranging from street signs blown over to trees that fell into power lines or onto parked cars. Fortunately there were no injuries. The streets in many areas were covered in debris and the street sweepers have been working as much as humanly possible since last Thursday. In addition to all the trees that fell into City streets, a number of trees fell on private property and the trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. We’ve had a lot of requests to help with trees on private property, that’s something we’re not legally able to do.
The Facilities Division had to deal with a very large tree that split down the middle and half of the tree landed on an old City-owned barn. Because of the proximity to neighboring structures, the Facilities Division called out a professional arborist to help with the removal of this tree. The barn did sustain some minor damage. The wood from that tree is also going to the Fuels Committee.
Many changes will go into effect at the Police Department effective January 5:
Deputy Chief Tighe O’Meara recently re-visited the response times to priority one calls. Our stated goal to the Council at the start of the budget cycle was to keep responses under 352 seconds. We continue to exceed this goal throughout 2014 as you can see on the attached spreadsheet. (The red line is the goal and the blue line is the actual response time.