Jennifer Rodgers, Program Administrator, Bellevue, WA Utilities Department, asks the following: "We are looking into conducting Essential Services Study/Levels of Service Study for the Utilities Department. We want to ensure we are focusing the majority of our efforts on the right programs. Can you tell us of anyone who has conducted a study like this internally or hired a consultant to perform a similar study? If so, would they share examples of their results, etc.?"
I'm sure there are many agencies that have developed surveys to document just what you're looking for. If you have something to share with Jennifer, please send it to her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I have read references to LMOP related to the landfill industry but I really don't know what that means. Can you interpret?"
LMOP is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP). LMOP is a voluntary program that works with businesses, states, energy providers, and local governments to convert landfill gas to energy. According to EPA, LMOP has assisted in the development of more than 325 landfill-gas-to-energy projects during the past 12 years. The agency says the projects have reduced methane emissions by about 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. For more information check out the details at www.epa.gov/lmop.
Jane Dolezal, National Solid Waste Management Association (NSWA), recently wrote to share a response to a previously asked question concerning work zone safety and available programs to educate the community. Jane tells of the joint program developed by Rumpke (an Ohio-based solid waste company), McNeilus (manufacturer), and NSWA entitled "Slow Down to Get Around." The program is focused on solid waste employees picking up garbage/recycling but might be easily adapted to other public workers. The following link will take you to more details: http://wastec.isproductions.net/webmodules/webarticles/anmviewer.asp?a=1102.
"Our agency is frustrated with the ongoing expense in downtime and material costs to maintain our street sweepers. Do you know of any lease programs that might be available? We would like to get away from owning the sweepers." Ali Asgharpour, Operations Manager, City of Chesapeake, VA
This is an interesting concept and I must admit I am not aware of such a program. I am familiar with "lease/purchase" programs and the contracted services but not a direct lease only of the equipment. If you have information to share with Ali, or want to share it with everyone, send it directly to him at email@example.com or to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We are looking for information that could help us develop a Safe Routes to School program for our children to use while walking or biking to school. Can you point us toward help?"
The National Center for Safe Routes to School has a great website that should give you a great start. The site contains a Walkability Chart to rate your walkability and to offer solutions to improve the route, a Video to help encourage children to safely walk or bike to school, and a new SRTS Guide which includes success stories and a wealth of other information. Check it out at www.saferoutesinfo.org.
"Tell me again why the Vector Control chapter was added to the 5th edition of the Public Works Management Practices Manual. I'm not seeing how it affects public works. Our Health Department handles all those issues." Cindy Best, Administrative Services Manager, Palm Bay, FL
Of course, I'll tell you again. The chapter on Vector Control was added at the request of several public works agencies to help them enforce needed regulations and requirements for dealing with potential West Nile virus issues. You're right; many agencies do have a Health Department to monitor this program. However, as frequently happens in the public works arena, our members are called on to actually put the abatement programs in place. Treating potential areas of infestation frequently becomes our problem. Consequently, the chapter was added to help our members be certain they are using the best methods of controlling not only mosquitoes but roaches, rats, and other vermin to promote a safer community.
"What's the status on the Construction Inspector Certification program?"
It's moving forward at full speed. Watch for the release of all the details at Congress in San Antonio, TX in September.
Questions are welcome.
Please address all inquiries to:
Director of Technical Services
APWA, 2345 Grand Blvd., Suite 500
Kansas City, MO 64108-2625
Fax questions to: (816) 472-1610