April 10, 2015
Public Works Department
This week crews from the Water Division prepared the flood gates on Hosler Dam to be lowered for the summer season. Every fall after the cooler wet weather starts, water crews lower the water level in Reeder Reservoir and open the flood gates. Lowering the water level allows the reservoir to absorb higher creek flows from storm events and opening the gates provides a channel to safely flow excess water from a large storm that causes the reservoir to overflow. The reservoir is not large enough to contain very large storm flows but the time it takes to fill the reservoir can give us a few extra hours to prepare for any potential flooding.
In the spring when the highest threat of large storms has passed, the flood gates are lowered to increase the storage capacity of Reeder Reservoir. Closing the gates increases the storage capacity by approximately 20 million gallons. This additional storage could be critical in a drought year. The gates have never been watertight and some water has always found its way through the channels the gates ride in. During years where drought conditions are not a concern, the water that leaks around the gates is not a problem. However, in years like this where the City may need all the water available, the leaking gates can be a problem. In order to preserve as much water as possible, water crews spent additional time this year sealing the gaps between the gates and the channel the gates ride in. These gates will need to be reopened in the fall, so anything used to seal the gates needs to be easily removed. Crews used rope of the appropriate size and carefully hammered the rope into position to minimize the leaks.
This year the City is due for an inspection of the dam by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC was here to witness the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) drill that took place on Wednesday and while they were here, they also conducted the dam inspection. Part of the dam inspection included verifying the operation of the gates.
With all of the gates closed and sealed the reservoir will be allowed to fill. At current creek flows, the reservoir will be full in about a week.
The number of bike thefts seems to be continuing an encouraging downward trend. Here are the statistics on bike thefts for the period of January 1 to April 9 of each year noted:
at bike thefts recently, and saw between January 1 and April 9 of each year we had the following number of thefts: 2012, 23 thefts; 2013, 27 thefts; 2014, 21 thefts; and 2015, 20 thefts. Those statistics are encouraging, and hopefully show that we are continuing to come down from the previous spike in thefts.
Our newest police officer, Matt Hannum, was sworn in on yesterday by Mayor Stromberg. Matt comes to us from Albuquerque, NM, where he had been a police officer for 10 years. Meanwhile, APD has been accepting applications for an entry level officer in order to establish an eligibility list for future hires. It is encouraging that several people, including several former and current police officers, want to join the Ashland force, even though it means, by definition, that they will be starting over at step 1.
Interim Police Chief Tighe OíMeara received the following praise for Officer Jason Billings from a business owner in the area of the Rite Aid/Albertsons Plaza: "Want to give a big thumbs up to Officer Billings. He is so nice and friendly and has been working on my homeless population and keeping my business safe. With the recent string of threats against me and my business by the homeless, I know I can come to work and know my shop is safe with him on duty."
Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is developing its federally required Consolidated Plan, a five year look at how to address housing needs in Oregon. OHCS is seeking input and advice to determine how to do better in serving the most vulnerable populations. As part of that process, OHCS will host a community conversation event on April 14 at 5 p.m. at ACCESS, 2020 Cardinal Way in Medford. City of Ashland Housing Specialist Linda Reid will be on the panel, along with Scott Foster, executive director of the Housing Authority of Jackson County, and Rita Sullivan, executive director of OnTrack. To learn from our community OHCS and community partners are hosting conversations about housing and service needs. These conversations will help inform the development of our strategic plan to tackle our most pressing housing needs. In addition, OHCS is conducting an on-line survey thatís open to everyone in the community. To access the survey, follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JFSR7G9