Steve Urquhart discusses the Washington County flooding on his blog. With all the storms, we have been working hard to ensure that emergency communications are operational all over the state. These communications are supported by repeaters located on difficult-to-access mountaintop sites. Washington County lost 4 of their 5 repeaters at probably the most critical time of the event so ITS and Public Safety have been working hard to help get them restored or provide alternatives. In many cases, the only access has been by helicopter. In some locations, over 3 feet of water is covering the highways. Our technicians are outstanding, dedicated people who work in some of the most difficult circumstances to ensure the public's safety.
Another one of our employees, Ernie Chidester, is retiring on Friday after 45 years of public service. Ernie helped do some of the origination and destination studies for the original construction of the I-15 freeway when he was first employed with the state and helped construct the State's first data center.
Lewis Billings, the mayor of Provo, shared some of their outstanding accomplishments over the past year in his State of the City report. Here's a taste:
- Issuance of Bonds for Telecom Network Project Approximately $39.5 million dollars in bonds to fund the telecom network project were issued with a favorable rating and interest rate.
- Construction of Network Operation Center A new building to house the telecom operation was built in 2004. This building is for headend equipment, a 24 hour network operation center, studio, and offices.
- Implementation of Online Bill Pay The department successfully completed the utility online bill pay, which was implemented January 1, 2005. Online bill pay will allow customers to view and pay their bills for current and previous months. Payments will be posted directly to utility accounts within 24 hours.
- Implementation of a New Geographic Information System GIS mapping software was purchased and installed on a new City server. The 4DataLink software was chosen to facilitate other City GIS data accessibility through an Oracle database. The system will be used to create work orders, model the power grid, and perform queries on system data.
- Enhancement of Online Systems The online business license renewal system, rental dwelling license application process, and parking ticket appeals system were enhanced. Citizens can now perform these procedures at a kiosk located near the Treasury counter without waiting in line or completing additional paper work.
- Installation of Cameras Thermal imaging cameras were placed on all front line fire apparatuses.
- Establishment of 100% Direct Payroll Deposit All employees were placed on payroll direct deposit, eliminating check printing, lost productivity for employee bank runs, lost checks, reprints, check handling costs, etc. A number of departments have also moved to electronic check stubs, creating further savings.
- Upgrade of SCADA System An upgrade to the SCADA system, using wireless and fiber optic technology and providing state-of-the-art monitoring and control of the City’s water and waste water facilities and systems, was completed.
This is a progressive city. And there's a lot more. Congratulations to Mayor Billings and his staff for an outstanding year of accomplishments.
Mayor Rocky Anderson also gave his annual report last night.
I don't have time to write about them now, but I would like my engineers to understand the simple power of tools like del.icio.us and flickr.