January 16, 2015
On Monday of this week, I participated in an ongoing discussion with business, hospital and education leaders about Oregon’s “Healthiest State” initiative. This initiative, which is being pushed hard by the Governor, is a public-private partnership aimed at creating healthy environments and supporting healthy lifestyles. The state this spring will likely select about half-a-dozen communities to receive funding for local initiatives aimed at creating measurable indices in “five essential lenses:” purpose, social, financial, community and physical. The City could have a significant role to play in the community lens, although I believe we already do many of the things the initiative is designed to encourage.
I have also been meeting this week with each of the shift briefings at the Police Department to gather input from the rank-and-file as to what personal and professional qualities they would like to see in a new police chief. I’d like to remind the Council to send me any input you might have for the ideal candidate profile. The public is also invited to weigh in on Open City Hall on the City web site or by sending an e-mail directly to me. As this is being written, 50 people have already visited the topic on Open City Hall but only three people have commented.
Here’s an interesting but perhaps not surprising news release from NASA and NOAA 2014 was the warmest year in modern record-keeping and the ten warmest years in the instrumental record have occurred since 2000.
The ABC-TV news show 20/20 was in town for three days this week filming a segment on the You Have Options Program and Campus Choice, which is the Southern Oregon University version of the program. It looks like their segment will focus more on Campus Choice then YHOP due primarily to all of the public concern surrounding sexual assaults on campus.
When Brighton, Colorado, announced it would implement the YHOP program, one of their local TV stations did a great story on the program you can see it by clicking here.
This week the Fleet Maintenance Division of the Public Works Department worked with the Electric Department to conduct a transfer test of the generator at the Waste Water Treatment Plant (below). In the event of a power failure, this generator is capable of supplying the treatment plant with all the electrical power it would require to continue its operation. The test was successful and in the event of a power failure, we expect the generator will work as designed.
Currently the City has 14 standby generators to supply emergency power to functions ranging from water pump stations to the Fire Stations. The Fleet Maintenance Division is responsible for the maintenance and operation of all these generators. All the generators are inspected and tested twice a month. The generators range in size from 60 kilowatts for sewer lift stations to 900 kilowatts for the Waste Water Treatment Plant (pictured here). Most of the generators are diesel powered, as diesel takes much longer to degrade than other fuels and is therefore better suited for long-term standby use. When possible we use natural gas but infrastructure limitations and power requirements have prevented this in a few situations.
We are fortunate here in Ashland to have very reliable electric power although we do on occasion have power interruptions that require a redundant system. The last time we lost power at a location where we have back-up generation was during the wind storm we had in early December. Power was out at two locations and both of those generators performed as expected and supplied power to the Water Treatment Plant and a water pump station. This meant we never lost the fire protection the water distribution system provides and the Water Treatment Plant was able to function as if nothing happened.
In addition to the pump stations, lift stations and treatment plants, we have backup power at both fire stations, the police station, city hall, Community Development, AFN and partial back up at the service center behind the police station.