Columbus City Council Meeting in Review
May 9, 2011 · Print This Article
RACE FOR THE CURE: Thousands of people will soon take to Columbus streets to battle breast cancer at the 2011 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure on Saturday, May 14th. Health, Housing & Human Services Committee Chair Hearcel F. Craig is sponsoring resolution 0069X-2011 to honor the thousands of runners, walkers and volunteers who will be giving their time and money to find a cure. The 19th annual event will raise money for breast cancer research. In 2010, approximately 50,000 runners and walkers raised $2 million for the cause. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women ages 40-59.
MILLS HELPING PROVIDE FIVE NEW FIRE ENGINES: Columbus Firefighters respond to over 100,000 calls for emergency assistance each year. In the ongoing effort to ensure the Division of Fire has the updated equipment they need to respond to these calls, Public Safety Committee Chair Michelle M. Mills is sponsoring ordinance 0588-2011 to authorize the expenditure of $947,122.18 from the Department of Public Safety’s Governmental Build America Bonds fund to purchase two new, custom built engines from Sutphen Corporation, a local company to replace existing engines that are beyond their useful life and have high maintenance costs. The Division of Fire has 34 engines assigned to fire stations throughout the city.
REDUCING CITY STREET LIGHT COSTS: In an effort to save taxpayer dollars, the city of Columbus continues to explore options to reduce city costs. Councilmember Eileen Y. Paley, chair of the Public Utilities Committee, is sponsoring ordinance 0654-2011 to authorize the Department of Public Utilities to enter into an agreement with AEP Retail Energy for street light generation and transmission services. The city of Columbus owns street lights that are metered and billed by AEP Ohio. AEP Retail Energy is an electric service provider and affiliate of AEP Ohio. The Division of Power and Water (Power) has coordinated with AEP Retail Energy to reduce the power cost of the street lights on the AEP Ohio system. By switching the generation and transmission of the street lights currently on the AEP Ohio system to AEP Retail Energy, the Department of Public Utilities would reduce the cost of the mega watt hours (MWh) from $62.62/MWh to $49.90/MWh for an approximate annual savings of $126,000.00.
City partnering to pursue federal funding: Development Committee Chair Zachary M. Klein is sponsoring ordinance 0675-2011 to authorize the expenditure of $25,000 for a cooperative funding agreement with the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce for consultant services to pursue federal funding for transportation and infrastructure improvement projects within the City of Columbus and the Franklin County region. Through this agreement, the City of Columbus will join other major metropolitan groups in requesting federal funding for projects. This is a collaborative effort involving the City of Columbus, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, The Ohio State University, the Columbus Partnership, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Central Ohio Transit Authority, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, Ohio Health, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, and the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation.
USING TECHNOLOGY TO TRACK WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND TESTING:Councilmember A. Troy Miller, chair of the Administration Committee, is sponsoring ordinance 0554-2011to authorize the expenditure of $53,013.00 for the renewal of a contract with PerkinElmer Health Sciences, Inc., for maintenance and support of the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). The LIMS enables the Division of Sewer & Drainage (DOSD) and the Division of Power & Water (DOPW) to manage water quality sample information, incorporate input from plant operations data sources, track 79,000 tests on 16,000 different samples annually, and transfer approved results to end users automatically. The LIMS has replaced older information systems, allowing DOSD and DOPW to satisfy their regulatory reporting requirement more efficiently. The software agreement will provide software maintenance and support services through May 31, 2012.
PROTECTING WATER LEVELS FOR CITY RESIDENTS: The city of Columbus provides water to Columbus residents and nearby communities through three water treatment facilities throughout the city. The Parsons Avenue Water Treatment Plant is the only facility that uses well water to operate and provide water to customers in the southern area of Central Ohio. To ensure that customers receive water free of contaminants and an adequate water supply, Finance Committee Chair Priscilla R. Tyson is sponsoring ordinance 0612–2011 for the purchase of 25 subsurface geologic borings and the installation of 15 monitoring wells to monitor water quality and water levels at the facility. One fourth of the city’s water customers receive water from the Parsons Avenue Water Treatment Plant.