October 30, 2015

Public Works Department
This week the Street Division began work on a storm drain improvement project on Idaho St. This is a project that has taken some time to get funded and to finalize the engineering, but the actual on-the-ground work is now underway. The drainage in this area has been inadequate during large storm events, sending most of the water down a ditch that crossed private property. In large storm events, that ditch system was not adequately sized to carry the entire volume of water, causing overflow onto adjoining private properties. This project will install approximately 850 feet of mostly 24-inch diameter pipe. The new pipe will connect into a storm drain line that’s already in place lower down on Idaho St.

In this case, engineers determined a pipe system was needed to replace the insufficient surface drainage.  Installing this new pipe will add a very large volume of water to the existing storm drain system, but calculations done by the engineers determined the system will work as designed, even in large rain events.  The first step in installing the pipe is to call for locates. This alerts all companies with underground utilities in the area that we will be digging near their utilities. Once notified, they’re required to come out and paint the approximate location of their utilities on the ground so crews know where to be extra careful when excavating. Plans sometimes have to change after the utilities are located, but typically the changes are small do and not delay projects. When the final location of the new pipe has been determined, crews cut the asphalt and remove it. They then dig to the appropriate depth and begin installing the new pipe. Connecting the new pipe to the existing system is a critical part of the installation process and is handled one section at a time until all the new pipe is in place. While the pipe is installed, crews will typically backfill the trench as they go to keep road closures to a minimum. Keeping the road open during a project like this can be nearly impossible, but minimizing the time it has to be closed is doable. 

When the new pipe is completely installed, the trench is back-billed and properly compacted. Then the area is cleaned up and new asphalt is installed where the original asphalt was removed. Once the asphalt work is done, crews move their equipment from the area and the road is returned to normal service. A storm drain like the one installed here is expected to last for 50 years or more with routine maintenance.

Police Department
This week three members of the Police Department attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference. Police commanders from around the world attend this conference to discuss developments in policing and innovative ways to further responsible policing of our communities. Deputy Chief Warren Hensman participated in a 5K run held as part of the conference and finished 16th out of 152 runners.
APD officers this week responded to and arrested a female during the commission of a residential burglary. This case highlights a good police response to a call for service phoned in by an alert neighbor, and serves as a good example of neighbors watching out for each other and alerting the police when something is not right.

Fire Department
CERT members gathered this weekend for a very informative course entitled “Disaster First Aid” which provided an understanding of what the responders and the victims may be experiencing in a disaster and tools for being helpful not only towards ourselves, but others around us. Techniques for approaching, listening, talking, and understanding body language were discussed. Team tabletop exercises helped to create real-life simulations to practice responses. 

Commission and Committee Updates
The ad hoc Committee on the City Recorder Position held its first meeting this week with nearly two hours of very lively debate and discussion focused primarily on the question of which duties of the City Recorder are mandated by the Charter and which duties can or should be transferred to other City departments. (Many of the Recorder’s duties are assigned by a 1971 ordinance, not by the Charter.) The Committee also began discussions of whether the position should be appointed (which would require a charter amendment), what such a position would look like and how it would fit into the organization. The Committee will meet again on November 4. If it continues its current pace, it should easily meet its deadline of February 2nd for a report back to the Council.

Previous Updates:

October 23, 2015

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