City Council hears about cards and approves new Junior Council program | News

The Titusville City Council heard about the implementation of a program approved last year, Diamond Maps GIS software, and approved a new junior council program at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Before discussion of the topics could take place, following a “snafu” of paperwork, the board welcomed Chad Covell back to the board. Covell, who was the second-highest scorer in the 2021 election, was nominated for a two-year term.

After Covell officially joined the board, the board voted to approve a program to recruit two more members, although they could not vote.

At the previous council meeting held on January 3, councilor Sara Jones had suggested a potential program for junior council members. Jones returned Tuesday night after drawing up general guidelines for the program, hoping to see it implemented as soon as possible.

The program would see two students from the Titusville area school district, a junior and a senior, elected to a one-year term as junior council members.

Jones mentioned that when former Deputy Mayor Bill McCrillis was on council, he spoke about the need to involve young people in city government and make them take ownership of the place they call home.

The board believes this program would be a great way for Titusville students to get involved at an early age.

“What it would kind of give is give a junior and a senior… the opportunity to sit on the board, non-voting, and learn more about (the board) and the aspect community work and responsibility,” said the mayor. Jon Crouch.

Municipal government is a space that is generally dominated by established members of the community. Current council members own local businesses, own property, and have long histories in the town.

When you have a space run by established individuals, the views of the younger population, those who are still trying to establish themselves, can be lost.

This program would bring the opinions of Titusville students and the younger generation into council discussions that can shape the direction in which the city is heading.

“It’s an opportunity to bring the youth of this city, as well as surrounding municipalities, into the governance process,” Jones said. “They will be able to participate in the discussions and bring that youth perspective.”

The Board unanimously approved the program guidelines. The job now is to promote the program, set dates and get applications.

The program will follow the academic year, beginning in September and continuing through June, with the option for students to extend their position throughout the summer. Students would have to live in the Titusville area school district, but would not have to be residents of the city.

Last year, the board voted to approve new software, a geographic information system offered by Diamond Maps.

After having had time to use the program in various city departments, Fire Chief Joe Lamey came to the council and explained how the card is helping the city and how the fire department is using the new program.

“It’s basically Google Maps that you can edit,” Lamey said of the mapping program. Diamond Maps allows various city departments to take a map of Titusville and mark on the map the important information they would like to access.

Much of the information on the new map, according to Lamey, is information his department has in various folders and filing cabinets.

“You can never find the right binder when you need it,” Lamey said.

Part of the reason the city noticed a need for the new mapping program is the amount of knowledge that is stuck in the heads of city employees.

“There’s an enormous amount of information being passed around,” Lamey said.

Part of the concern is that when these workers retire, some of this information could be lost. One of the main uses the city has for mapping is water pipes. Over the years, the city has developed a patchwork system with too many different pipe materials to count, and of varying sizes. Knowledge of this system is in the minds of many public works workers, but having it online in one place ensures that knowledge of water pipes can be learned by new employees.

Lamey and the firefighters found a use for the map system they hadn’t thought of: mapping fire hydrants. The city has nearly 240 standpipes, and not all standpipes are created equal.

“We’re able to create a map where we know where the good water is,” Lamey said. The department tests hydrant flow every year, and this map would let them know, at the push of a button, which hydrants they need to hook up to and which hydrants need to be repaired.

In the past, there have even been issues where firefighters are pulling too hard on some hydrants, causing pressure to drop and collapsing water pipes.

In addition to mapping fire hydrants, Lamey said his department created lists of knox boxes, boxes containing keys to a building that firefighters can access, and mapped buildings in the city that use significant chemicals. .

“It helps us practice so our guys don’t kick down doors,” Lamey said. The chemical list would also help firefighters know what they’re dealing with when they arrive at one of these properties and what they might need to do to make sure everyone is safe.

Lamey told the board that his department has been very grateful for the new software because it allows them to do their jobs more efficiently. He said he wasn’t initially sure how the fire department might use Diamond Maps, but since he started using the program, he’s only seen other ways. to use it.

“I think that’s absolutely where we should be, and that will streamline things,” Lamey said.

“It’s nice to hear that now that you’re using it, you feel it’s valuable,” said councilor Sara Jones. The mayor echoed similar sentiments, saying, “We voted last year and it’s nice to see how it’s working out.”

The next Titusville City Council meeting will be February 1 at 7 p.m. Mayor Jon Crouch said the reunion will feature a celebration for Officer Shane Slagle, who is expected to retire from the Titusville Police Department at the end of the month after more than 20 years of service.

Meeting notes

– The city’s garbage collection has been pushed back by one day. City official Neil Fratus said due to inclement weather, Raccoon Refuse was unable to pick up trash earlier this week.

Dvorkin can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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