It’s a great day when I’ve got some big City news to report on the blog, but most days, I’m chock full of small stuff that I’m never quite sure is newsworthy or not.
The truth is we sweat the small stuff just as much as the big stuff, so I figure it’s only appropriate to share some small stuff too. Here’s a short list of items that may not make the headlines but we’re still proud to report.
1. Credit Cards In Action — In celebration of Cinco de Mayo last weekend, the Finance Department is pleased to announce that the Parks & Rec Department has successfully implemented credit/debit card acceptance capabilities. Effective last week Parks and Rec began accepting Visa, MasterCard, and Discover branded credit/debit cards for payment of their various programs and activities. So sign up for a fun Parks and Rec summer program and don’t forget to bring your credit/debit card. Credit card payments will gradually be expanded to any City office that receives public payment for services.
2. Left Turn from Fairchild to Northbound 43 — We are still getting periodic requests to install a left turn arrow from eastbound Fairchild to northbound 43 so I thought it made sense to let everyone know that we continue to actively study the issue. Last week the City’s Traffic Safety Engineeing team met and this item was once again discussed and their reasons for not (yet) installing an arrow were as follows: 1. The number of left turns from Fairchild to northbound Mantua has been reduced since it was no longer necessary to turn north to cross the bridge to N Water St.; 2. Although the amount of wait time seems longer, the new timing (without an arrow) actually provides less total time to clear the area due to the elimination of the second light at Crain Ave. So although it may seem longer, most people who are turning are getting through the impacted area much quicker than they did prior to the beginning of the project when two signals were in use; 3. The inclusion of the turn arrow would result in the reduction of the green light time for all of the other traffic movements in the intersection. This would reduce the overall improvements that are anticipated from the new traffic patterns. At the conclusion of the discussion, the members of the Engineering Division assured the staff that their analysis of the need for the turn arrow is continuing. This may take some time to complete, but this type of analysis is typically required before instituting a change. This is especially true when the change involves a state route and a state-managed improvement project.
3. Police Web Site Expansion – I wanted to bring to your attention that the Kent Police web site, www.kentpd.org , has been updated, and besides a fresher look, the Chief has also added a new series of daily incident logs that have been added and are available for the public to review. One of the goals of the Police Department has been to make more information available to the public, and after the success of posting the accident reports on-line, adding the daily log sheets was a logical next step.
4. City To Receive Worker Safety Award — City Personnel Manager Liz Zorc reports that the City of Kent will receive the Achievement Award from the BWC Division of Safety and Hygiene Portage County Safety Council at their next meeting on May 10th. The Achievement Award is presented to a company that decreases its accident/injury incident rate by at least 25% from the prior year. A safe workforce is a City priority and this is a a great recognition of a job well done.
5. SR59 Signal Repair – City Engineer Jim Bowling reports that the damage to the City’s fiber optic communication lines to the signal system on SR 59 from Willow Street to Horning Road has been temporarily repaired. We now have communications abilities back in place and the signal system is running with a progression timing and phasing plan in place. The final repair of the lines will be done in conjunction with roadway improvements that are part of PARTA’s project. The final fine tuning of the SR 59 signal systems timing and phasing is currently being evaluated and we are hopeful to have them uploaded to the controllers in the next few weeks.
6. Citizen Police Academy — I am pleased to report that the second Citizens Police Academy concluded last week with a banquet and presentation of certificates to the 18 participants. This marked another successful academy where participants and officers exchanged information and perspectives to enhance communication between the community and our City Police Department. Thank you to all of the City personnel who assisted or instructed in the academy.