Delaware City Council is currently considering approval of the city’s latest five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). On Monday, council held the third reading for the 2022-26 CIP, which included presentations by Fire Chief John Donahue and Public Utilities Director Blake Jordan.
Donahue highlighted various projects which are scheduled to be completed next year, beginning with replacement technology throughout the fire stations. In 2022, computers in the stations are scheduled to be replaced at a cost of $6,470. In 2023, mobile data computers are scheduled to be replaced in all the medical apparatus, as well as two copiers and the mobile data computers located in all fire and EMS apparatus. More station computers are scheduled to be replaced in 2024. The technology improvements are estimated to cost $154,649 over the five years and will be funded using fire department and EMS fund revenues.
Other fire department projects expected to be completed in 2022 include the purchase and installation of a new fire gear washer and extractor at Station 301, which will cost $25,000 and will be paid for through the city’s general fund. Firefighters are required to wash their gear after every fire or blood contamination and at a minimum of two times annually, and the current extractor located at the station was purchased in 1999.
A new station alerting system will also be installed next year. The Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system includes an automated voice dispatching system that allows the calls to be dispatched by a computer voice announcement. The computer announcement permits rapid processing of the announcement while also allowing the dispatcher to remain in contact with the caller.
“With a separate purchase by the city of additional equipment, the system will improve notification throughout the stations and will provide the dispatch center with a monitored line ensuring the fire stations receive the alarms. This will also assist with our Insurance Service Office communication rating,” CIP documents stated.
Installation of the system will cost $160,000 and will be funded through the city’s general fund.
Also part of the fire department’s plans for 2022 is to provide funding incentives to install sprinkler systems in buildings considered to be high-risk for fires. Among the buildings most at risk in Delaware are those in the city’s downtown district. According to the CIP, $250,000 would be designated to the program in each of the plan’s five-year span.
“As we know, the downtown is a very valuable point of our community. We want to ensure that it stays here,” Donahue said of the need for sprinkler systems in the buildings. “This will also provide some funding as part of our comprehensive plan and allow those businesses to do a little bit more because they’ll have that added fire protection.”
Donahue estimated it would cost a business anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 to install a sprinkler system.
A replacement fire apparatus will also be on the books next year, cycling out a truck that has been in use since 1997. Due to extended timeframes for engines to be built and delivered, the truck will be ordered in 2022 with delivery expected in late 2023.
Among the major projects expected to come in subsequent years are the construction of Fire Station 305 on Delaware’s east side, the complete remodeling of Fire Station 301, which was constructed in 1972, and the construction of a live training tower. The combined projected cost of the three projects is $15.5 million, although neighboring fire departments could potentially help with the cost of the training station in exchange for access to the facility.
Following Donahue’s presentation, Jordan highlighted some of the projects the Public Works Department will take on in the coming years. Those projects include stormwater line repairs as needed. Failed stormwater lines could lead to flooding, and lines determined by camera inspections to need replacing will be scheduled. A budget of $125,000 for each of the CIP years was included in the plan and will be funded by the city’s stormwater fund.
In conjunction with the replacing lines, inflow and infiltration remediation will also be necessary to ensure stormwater lines don’t become full too quickly during periods of rain.
Other projects include the cleaning of the ditch along Vernon Avenue, which is no longer permitting the proper flow of stormwater due to years of sediment buildup, and repairs to the Chamberlain Street and Channing Street storm sewers. Failure of the storm sewers in the area has led to flooding in the past, and the project is expected to increase flow to reduce the likelihood of future flooding.
Repairs to the ditch are expected to be done next year at a cost of $135,000, while the storm sewer repairs at Chamberlain Street and Channing Street are projected to cost $350,000. Both projects will be funded by the stormwater fund.
“Ditches are as integral a part of stormwater removal as storm sewers are and must also be maintained to ensure needed levels of flow,” the CIP said.
The fourth reading and potential approval of the city’s CIP will be held at the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 24. The entire CIP can be viewed by visiting www.delawareohio.net/government/departments/finance/city-budgets-and-reports.