Archived Story

City briefs Jan. 17

Published 8:50pm Monday, January 16, 2012

Ice Time food sculpture

On Feb. 4, with the community’s help, ACTION will build a towering food sculpture.
City Hall will serve as a drop-off point for citizens wishing to donate canned goods that will not only help build a food sculpture, but also serve to help those in need of food this winter.

DPS update

The administration hired several new employees to fill positions vacated or created as part of the reorganization of the Department of Public Services (DPS).
n Latoi Wilson was hired as a part-time customer service representative.
She brings prior customer service experience in a utility service company and is a welcomed member to the team.
n Wilson’s training is being overseen by Debbie Merrill in her new role as customer services office manager.
n Also, the city hired Adam Springsteen as payroll clerk. Springsteen participated in accounting and computer technology internships through Southwestern Michigan College.
With the shift of Mitch Billingham’s duties to contracted services oversight, and away from computer services, Springsteen will serve a dual role in payroll operations and computer services.
n Phil Hadley was also welcomed back as maintenance worker in DPS.
Prior to this, Hadley worked for the city for 10 years in the Grounds Department.
n Lastly, Keith Rogien was welcomed as the contractual building and mechanical inspector.

ISO rating stays 5

In September 2011, City Manager Kevin Anderson reported that the City of Dowagiac’s ISO rating was under review.
The last time the City of Dowagiac was reviewed by ISO was 1995 and received a rating of 5, which is quite good. Anderson said the city received notification that its
ISO rating will remain at 5.
An ISO rating evaluates the entire fire safety system, the fire department’s personnel and equipment, which only accounts for 50 percent of the overall rating. The city’s water supply system accounts for 40 percent of the rating and the dispatch system accounts for the other 10 percent of the rating.
An ISO rating is an indicator of a community’s ability to respond to a fire and is important for several reasons.
First, ISO ratings are used by insurance underwriters and are a factor when setting homeowners’ insurance rates. Generally speaking, a lower ISO rating means lower insurance rates.
Second, this information helps the city staff and elected officials know if thereare deficiencies within their fire protection systems so tax money is invested wisely.
The public can be assured that, even during these difficult financial times, the city has been able to provide solid fire safety services to the communities served, Anderson said.

Tree care continues

There are two main reasons for the city to prune or remove trees on city-owned property; one, if a tree is dead or has dangerous limbs hanging from it. Additionally, if trees impact power lines, they also need to be removed or pruned so reliable electric service can be provided to residents and businesses throughout the city.
The city takes care of this responsibility in a variety of ways. For instance, last week there was a break in the weather that allowed crews to remove seven dead trees. Once the city crews and contract crews complete their work this winter, they will re-evaluate to see if there are other dangerous trees in need of work.
The first round of pruning around electrical lines is nearing completion. Staff will be developing bid documents for the next round of line work that needs to take place.
It is important to remember that city code requires replanting for every tree that is removed.
Staff will be replanting an appropriate number of trees in the spring to comply with the Tree Ordinance and Tree City USA standards.

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