Reynoldsburg will have fireworks for the Fourth

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At the April 28 meeting, city Council authorized the safety/service director to prepare specifications and advertise for bids for the 2008 Fourth of July fireworks display.

Bids are not to exceed $25,000 including delivery costs, exhibition and insurance.

Last year’s fireworks display and parade were canceled due to a budget crunch.

Mayor Brad McCloud, who took office in January, has made it a priority to return the traditional celebrations to the community.

A group of citizens has also been working to raise money for the events.

Department of Engineering sets goals

Reynoldsburg has a new Department of Engineering – and with that new department comes a clear vision for the future.

During the April 28 meeting of Reynoldsburg City Council, City Engineer Jim Miller said he used his experience working in the private sector to create a tangible plan of action for the city.

"As the director of engineering, I feel that it is important to share with council the goals and objectives of this new department," he wrote in a memo to council. "The Engineering Department’s mission statement shares what our responsibilities are to the city of Reynoldsburg. Our vision statement, which emphasizes communication, conveys what must be done every day to satisfy the requirements of the mission."

The mission statement reads, "The Engineering Department is responsible for the planning, design and construction of the public improvement projects for the city of Reynoldsburg. Our goal is to produce high-quality projects, on schedule and within budget."

To do this, Miller noted, the city must establish accurate project scopes and estimates; design for economy while maintaining high standards and clarity; and administer contracts with efficient and effective procedures.

"While doing this, we must also maintain cooperative working relationships with the public, city council, the city’s administration, other city divisions, consulting engineers, utility company representatives, contractors, developers, suppliers and federal, state and municipal agencies."

Likewise, the vision statement specifies, "The Department of Engineering is a customer service oriented division for the city of Reynoldsburg that pursues goals of collective excellence through personal and collaborative efforts."

To accomplish this, Miller said the department must: emphasize teamwork to promote a high quality of life in the city through professional services; use a networked leadership model, where each individual contributes technical, management and leadership skills to the team; develop and receive recognition as leaders within their fields of expertise; carry out regulatory and review processes efficiently and responsively, resulting in positive relations with the public; have wide-spread and expanding participation in decision making; encourage developmental opportunities for each employee, including training, seminars and mentoring; apply technology to improve services while limiting costs; evaluate and adjust the work load and work force to meet changing needs of the city.

Miller said he has also developed a work plan for this year and into fiscal year 2009.

"This document outlines what the Engineering Department currently wishes to complete," he said. "This plan is intended to be a ‘living document’ that is flexible and dependent on the needs of the city."

The Department of Engineering’s work plan for fiscal year 2008 includes: water tower painting bid package; sanitary sewer cleaning bid package; plan reviews; street maintenance program; development processes and procedures; storm water regulations; evaluation and execution of fiscal year 2009 engineering contract; Rosehill Road project coordination and easement acquisition; coordination of efforts with the Ohio EPA memorandum of understanding; evaluation and identification of projects for Ohio Public Works Contract Round 23 and other grant funding opportunities; facilitate construction for French Run, Dysar Ditch and Bartlett Court; identify storm water projects for fiscal year 2009 construction; establish and update sidewalk program; take responsibility, share, communicate and deliberate tasks with the Service Department; and Critical Infrastructure Protection development.

"Currently, it is my goal to complete – or be moving forward – on each of the 16 items listed on this work plan," he said, noting that they will not be done in any particular order.

Similarly, Miller presented council with a business plan.

"The business plan outlines specifically what will be needed to become and remain a valuable asset of the city," he said. "This plan focuses on reducing expenditures while increasing benefits, increasing our level of service to the public, reducing liability, and being an asset to all other departments within the city of Reynoldsburg."

The Department of Engineering’s business plan for fiscal year 2008 includes identifying opportunities to maximize outside expenditures on engineering services and facilitate in-house projects; proactively increase the level of service to the residents and businesses of Reynoldsburg; streamline policies and procedures to accommodate development while limiting the city’s liabilities; serve as an asset to all city departments; and work closely with the service director and other city staff to make Reynoldsburg a place to live, work and enjoy.

In other news, council:

•Authorized the city auditor to establish the "Edward Byrne Fund" for law enforcement grant money.

•Heard the second reading of legislation approving a special exception use permit for an automotive repair shop at 1349 Suite B Brice Road.

•Heard the second reading of legislation waiving competitive bidding for various exempted contracts and expenditures.

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