The Premier Magazine For Americaâ€™s Municipalities
Streets, Highways & Bridges
INSIDE: Road Striping Solutions from MRL Equipment Norwalk rolls out parking solutions Bolingbrook, IL Permit No. 1939
PAID PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE
Ohio highway study deploys drones
WE APPRECIATE YOU. Municipal Services are essential in these unprecedented times. We are grateful for all that you do while working on the front lines.
Let Us Save You Money & Time By Fixing Potholes Permanently.
TRY IT FOR YOURSELF. REQUEST A FREE SAMPLE OR DEMONSTRATION.
OPEN. POUR. DONE. FIX IT ONCE. PROVEN MOST DURABLE*
2 YEAR SHELF LIFE
*See Report SHRP-H-348 and -353of the National Academy of Sciences “Strategic Highway Research Project”, United States Federal Government Projects H105 and H106. ©PERMA-PATCH 2020
TRY IT FOR YOURSELF: PERMAPATCH.COM/SAMPLE-REQUEST
SEASON ARE YOU READY?
UPM® mix is a high performance WET WEATHER permanent repair material, that translates to huge savings over time. Because wet weather doesn’t affect the integrity of UPM mix, there is no raveling or stripping. You won’t have to go back again and
again to re-fill the holes. We guarantee it!
February 2021 | VOL. 11 No. 11 | www.themunicipal.com
Focus on Streets, 28 18 Highways & Bridges:
Connecticut city finds creative parking solutions
22 Focus on Streets,
Highways & Bridges: Connecting crossroads: Casper transportation plan looks forward 30 years
26 Focus on Streets,
Highways & Bridges: Unmanned air traffic management system research study uses drones to monitor traffic
28 Focus on Streets,
17 Focus on Streets, Highways & Bridges 32 Focus on Streets,
Highways & Bridges: Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge transforms into hub of active transportation
40 Public Safety: New Mexico cities team with anti-trafficking task force
44 Parks & Environmental
Services: Mill Valley Golf Course plans for the future
46 Building & Construction: Startup Waco gathers tools to boost entrepreneurs
Waste & Recycling: Highways & Bridges: Asheville project strengthens local ecology Jersey City composting program and community garners community support
ON THE COVER MRL Equipment Company’s Mini Mac 400 Detail Striper, a versatile self-propelled ride-on unit, offers innovative features that have caught the industry’s attention and has numerous advantages over the older push model striper. Its one-man operation makes short work of intersection, crosswalks and lane markings. Learn more on page 10.
The Premier Magazine For America’s Municipalities
Streets, Highways & Bridges
INSIDE: Road Striping Solutions from MRL Equipment Norwalk rolls out parking solutions
4 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
Ohio highway study deploys drones
Meet our Staff publisher RON BAUMGARTNER email@example.com
8 Editor’s Note: Road projects pave the path forward
editor-in-chief DEB PATTERSON firstname.lastname@example.org
editor SARAH WRIGHT email@example.com
publication manager CHRIS SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org
senior account executive REES WOODCOCK email@example.com
graphic designer MARY LESTER firstname.lastname@example.org
business manager CARRIE GORALCZYK email@example.com
10 From the Cover: MRL Equipment pushes needle forward on road striping solutions
12 Unique Claims to Fame: Monhegan Island, Maine
14 City Seals: Odgen, Utah 38 Personality Profile: Maintaining
excellence: Valdosta’s John Burton wins local APWA Fleet Management award
52 Conference Calendar 53 Product Spotlights 54 Company Profile: Evolution Edges
focuses on ‘innovation with an edge’ by eliminating full cover blades
director of marketing STEVE MEADOWS firstname.lastname@example.org
mail manager KHOEUN KHOEUTH email@example.com
58 News & Notes 62 Top 10: Ten best places to live 65 Advertiser Index WWW.THEMUNICIPAL.COM
PO Box 188 • 206 S. Main St., Milford, IN 46542 866-580-1138/Fax 800–886–3796 Editorial Ext. 2307; Advertising Ext. 2505, 2408
6 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
The Municipal does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does The Municipal or its staff assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial content appear in any publication. The Municipal reserves the right to determine the suitability of all materials submitted for publication and to edit all submitted materials for clarity and space. The Municipal has not independently tested any services or products advertised herein and has verified no claims made by its advertisers regarding those services or products. The Municipal makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability for any claims regarding those services or products or claims made by advertisers regarding such products or services. Readers are advised to consult with the advertiser regarding any such claims and regarding the suitability of an advertiser’s products. No reproduction of The Municipal is allowed without express written permission. Copyright © 2021.
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 7
Road projects pave the path forward Sarah Wright | Editor
hile the pandemic might have grounded or slowed some operations, roadwork often proved to be the exception. Amid lockdowns, such endeavors proceeded with very few hiccups since construction had been deemed essential in many states. In fact, some projects ended up being ahead of schedule due to reduced traffic as many residents remained in their homes. In my backyard, the Indiana Department of Transportation has been quite active. It wrapped up two projects: a jug handle ramp that connects CR 29 once more with US 6 and a roundabout project at the intersection of US 6 and SR 13 — returning two of my most frequently used routes. One never fully appreciates roadways quite as much as when they are closed for a time and then restored. While a sizable portion of Hoosiers, at least in my neck of the woods, have rather strong opinions on roundabouts, I personally feel both features have been welcomed additions to the area. 2021 is shaping up to be another busy year for road construction, though funding is a concern for many localities following COVID-19’s effect on revenue. State departments of transportation, however, will be getting a boost following the passage of the $900 billion COVID relief measure in December. AASHTO’s policy team noted, “The $10 billion worth COVID-19 relief set aside for state DOTs must be apportioned by the Federal Highway Administration within 30 days of the bill’s enactment and will be based on each state’s share of obligation limitations within the recently extended Fixing America’s Surface Transportation or FAST Act.”
8 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
DOTs can use the relief money to fund Surface Transportation Block Grant-eligible projects, preventative maintenance, routine maintenance, operations, personnel and other uses. Localities will hopefully benefit from this aid in some manner, though many will likely be searching for grants. Available grants may also shape approach. This was the case for Putnam County, N.Y., which opted to make its new Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge pedestrian-only after comparing costs — vehicle versus pedestrian bridge — examining local needs and finding more grant funding available for active transportation projects. Writer Amanda Demster shares the county’s experience with the project, which concluded this past autumn. Other transportation projects being featured include Norwalk, Conn.’s, parking solutions, including back-in angle parking and a stormwater-friendly parking lot, and Asheville, N.C.’s, award-winning Craven Street Transportation Improvements project. Writer Maggie Kenworthy will also be highlighting Casper, Wyo., Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s long-range transportation plan, which will span 30-years with more than 60 proposed projects. We may be in for another tight year, but municipalities are pushing the needle forward on transportation projects that shape and benefit their communities. Some may consider a road, a road, but really they are building community and improving lives. The projects featured in this issue are testaments to that. Stay well this February, and thank you, street departments, for getting us where we’re going.
BUILDING SOLUTIONS FOR OVER
INDUSTRY-LEADING WARRANTIES ENERGY-EFFICIENT DESIGNS EXPERT CONSULTATION METAL AND FABRIC BUILDINGS
* Lowest True Cost of Ownership * Smarter, Lighter Design = Increased Payload Capacity * Distributor of Reading Bodies, Vanair air compressors, Dump Bodies and Plows
People Quality Service * A complete line of Service for all makes and models of Aerials and diggers * ANSI & Dielectric Certication * Pennsylvania State And Emissions Testing
A Complete Line of Custom Vehicles To Meet All Your Needs
Contact Sales @ 888-866-1400 ext. 140 Or visit
VersaliftEast.com FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 9
From The Cover The Mini Mac 400 comes equipped with a material tank that holds 400 pounds/181 kilograms of pre-melted thermoplastic material. The material tank is easily accessible for refilling material quickly. (Photo provided)
MRL Equipment pushes needle forward on road striping solutions By LIZ HARDING | MRL Equipment Company
hroughout the pavement marking industry, thermoplastic road markings are widely used and known to be one of the most durable of all road markings. With the growing nationwide demand in infrastructure, the need for thermoplastic striping continues to grow exponentially. For detail markings, stripers have traditionally utilized push propelled applicators, with not many
10 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
upgrades or changes to this equipment in decades. Not only is this method slow and labor intensive, but there are numerous developments in recent years that could all but eliminate the grueling task of pushing a detail striper. MRL Equipment Company’s Mini thermoplastic product line has pushed the needle of innovation far forward across the entire category of thermoplastic detail road marking
equipment. Specifically, its Mini Mac 400 Detail Striper, a versatile self-propelled rideon unit, offers features that have caught the industry’s attention and has numerous advantages over the older push model striper. Its one-man operation makes short work of intersection, crosswalks and lane markings. Roughly the size of a riding lawnmower and powered by a 25 hp Kohler motor, MRL’s mini — yet mighty — detail striper is agile and
compact in design, making it perfect for road marking application in congested, urban areas and limited work zones. The Mini Mac allows the operator to ride on the equipment and use the machine to help complete projects precisely and timely, while controlling many of the variables involved with a push striper: operator fatigue, safety and profitability. These factors, along with numerous equipment features, have made the Mini Mac particularly desirable with cities and municipalities nationwide. The Mini Mac 400 comes equipped with a material tank that holds 400 pounds/181 kilograms of pre-melted thermoplastic material, yielding two to three times the production of a push handliner. MRL’s Mini product line utilizes hydraulic power along with an exclusive hot oil heating system to maintain proper material temperature and correct application rates. Further product development of MRL’s Mini thermoplastic product line brought improvements to the glass bead system. Gravity fed glass bead systems, with either single or double drop options, improve overall installed road marking reflectivity. The Mini Mac’s standard 100 pounds/45 kilograms bead tank is available with additional bead system options, including single drop and double drop pressurized systems that can be utilized when specific types of glass beads are needed for proper reflectivity or government regulations. Application rates of each glass bead system are directly determined by the operator and can be modified on the fly to meet all requirements and adjusted to different line widths. Maintenance for each system may be completed very quickly with the ability to utilize on-board air compressor for quick clean out or easy removal of system components for proper cleaning. The ease of maintenance will empower operators to thoroughly understand each piece of equipment and take pride in both the application of road markings and the machine’s appearance along with function. The capability of applying multiple line widths and symbols without further physical effort of the operator is yet another advantage of MRL’s Mini Mac Detail Striper. The operator may change line widths “on the fly” without having to physically change any components on the striper. Specifically, MRL’s most common application die, the Quad Die, allows the operator to adjust between single
line widths of 4 inch, 6 inch, 8 inch and 12 inch via the machine timing system in the operator console. Double line application of a 4-inch line/4-inch gap/4-inch line, typically used on the centerline markings, can also be achieved by utilizing the standard timing system. Using electronic switches rather than changing physical parts on the machine saves a tremendous amount of job time, all with safe marking installation and decreased intersection work zone time. Often times, road marking in congested areas requires both intersection and longer single line application. The Mini Mac’s rear steering design provides enhanced maneuverability in these situations, allowing for precision movement in tight areas and straight single or double line application. With numerous options available, MRL’s Mini Mac is fully customizable for any operator’s needs. Options include electronic skipline timing system, laser guidance, custom “easy load” transport trailers and many more. Units are available in both righthand and left-hand drive models and with multiple die configurations. Standard Mini Mac equipment colors are Lime Squeeze Green, Traffic Orange, Safety White or Signal Yellow. Or you can customize your unit with your very own custom powder coat color at no extra charge. Downtime with equipment can lead to substantial profit loss. This is where MRL’s industry-leading parts department and customer service really offer the operator advantage, with parts in stock and experienced technicians on call. MRL’s Mini product line has pushed innovation to a level that will initiate change within the road marking industry and create safe, profitable equipment for the end user. For further information on MRL’s entire Mini Mac product line, visit www.markritelines.com.
The capability of applying multiple line widths and symbols without further physical effort of the operator is a major advantage of MRL’s Mini Mac Detail Striper. Its rear steering design provides enhanced maneuverability. (Photo provided)
The Mini Mac allows the operator to ride on the equipment and use the machine to help complete projects precisely and timely. (Photo courtesy of Gridlock Traffic Systems) MRL’s Mini Mac is fully customizable for any operator’s needs, with options like electronic skipline timing system, laser guidance, custom “easy load” transport trailers and more. (Photo provided)
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 11
Unique Claims To Fame
Monhegan Island, Maine
The village of Monhegan as seen from its sister island, Manana. The waterway between the islands forms the Monhegan Harbor. (Photo by Sharon Cobo) By RAY BALOGH | The Municipal
Visit Monhegan Island, Maine, a small tourist community about a dozen miles off the central Maine coast, and you are likely to find a plethora of stunning and intriguing attractions but very few people waiting in line.
The Island Inn, more than 200 years old, was renovated in the early 21st century. None of the 32 guest rooms are equipped with a telephone. (Photo by Joy Brown) 12 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
A line graph of the permanent population of the small island would resemble the track of a roller coaster. The 1830 census recorded 67 residents, which grew to its peak of 145 in 1870. The population hovered, with minor peaks and valleys, between 90 and 133 until 1940, then steadily declined the next several decades to its low of 44 in 1970. After another climb and dip, the population today rests at 69. Seasonal residents bump the population up to about 250 between June and September each year. Tourism is the lifeblood of the small island’s economy. Ferry services that run from one to three times daily deliver thousands of visitors, including a healthy contingent of artists from around the globe, onto the island during the summer months. The available attractions are quite diverse: • The century-old artist colony on Monhegan Island is still going strong, with several artists operating studios and galleries open to the public.
• The Monhegan Museum of Art and History, now housed in the former lighthouse keeper’s quarters, is open daily during the tourist season, and visitors can tour the lighthouse on limited days. • The island’s historic nautical economy is highlighted by fish houses, lobster traps and gear and restaurants serving fresh seafood from the island’s coves. • Passengers on a round-the-island tour boat can view harbor seals frolicking in the water or reposing on rocky outcroppings. • A lesser known commercial enterprise was harvesting ice at the Ice Pond. The last harvest was taken in February 1974 and the old equipment is now on display in a shed beside the museum. Small as it is — less than 2 miles long and only half a mile or so in width — the island boasts 17 miles of hiking trails through meadows, natural bogs, spruce and fir woods and scenic headlands. Tracking birds migrating along the Atlantic flyway and watching shore birds and waterfowl are also popular recreational activities. Overnight visitors can stay at a variety of hotels, bed and breakfasts and rented private homes. Tourists can browse quaint shops downtown and dine at various restaurants, breweries and pubs. Many of The original Monhegan Lighthouse was built in 1824. Pumthe accommodations require reservations well in advance. The largest meled by weather, it was replaced in 1850. Its light was facility for guests is the Island Inn, built in the early 19th century, and automated in 1959 and is now operated by remote control from renovated several years ago to accommodate 32 guest rooms. the fog station on neighboring Manana Island. (Photo by Allan Monhegan, named from the Algonquin word for “out-to-sea island,” Wood Photography) was first visited by European explorers in 1603. Captain John Smith landed on the island in 1614 and the first settlement was a British fishing camp prior to the establishment of Plymouth Colony by the Pilgrims in 1620. The French captured the island in 1689 and Monhegan was abandoned for several periods of time through 1763, when the French and Indian War ended and peace reigned in the area. On Sept. 4, 1839, Monhegan, then under English Colonial control, was incorporated as an island plantation. In 1850 a granite lighthouse replaced the conical stone structure erected in 1824. A fog station with a 2,500-pound bell, erected on neighboring Manana Island a few hundred yards away, completed the warning system for sailors. The lighthouse was staffed until 1959 when the lighthouse keeper’s job was obviated by computer technology. Other buildings in town harken to the past. The first municipal library was built in 1845 and the post office was established in 1858. The village chapel was erected in 1880 and a public wharf was constructed in 1908. Lobstering is still a vibrant component of the island’s economy. Island life is guaranteed to be slow paced. No automobiles are Summer tourists can get a good look at the traps and equipment allowed on the island, and Monhegan has no airport, police departon shore, as the lobster season is closed from early June to Octoment, bank or doctor’s office. The rooms at the Island Inn have no ber. (Photo by Joy Brown) phones. Visitors on a typical day of wandering will encounter artists and photographers plying their talents al fresco on sidewalks and beaches. The village’s equivalent of the town crier is the rope shed, upon Notable people who have lived on or regularly visited the island which announcements of upcoming events and business hours are include: tacked on an outer wall. • Comedic actor Zero Mostel and his son Josh, who played Herod in In the 1950s Thomas Edison’s youngest son, Theodore, formed “Jesus Christ Superstar” and had parts in “Harry and Tonto,” “Sophie’s Monhegan Associates, a nonprofit organization that spearheaded Choice,” “Wall Street” and “Searching for Bobby Fischer.” the successful effort to protect nearly 70% of the island’s acreage as a • Three generations of the Wyeth family, all renowned painters: N.C. natural reserve. That area is crosshatched with 9 miles of trails, along Wyeth, his son Andrew and his grandson Jamie. which smoking, drone flying, camping and biking are prohibited. For more information, visit www.monheganwelcome.com
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 13
Odgen, Utah Ogden, Utah, has a rather — ahem — sweet city seal. The black-and-white logo features a beehive and flying honeybees, a reference to a passage in the Book of Mormon: “And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees.” Ether 2:3. The Deseret News in 1881 described Ogden’s city seal. “The hive and honey bees form our communal coat of arms. It is a significant representation of the industry, harmony, order and frugality of the people, and of the sweet results of their toil, union and intelligent cooperation.” When Brigham Young and his followers settled near the Great Salt Lake in 1847, they wished to set up a federally recognized theodemocracy. They petitioned the U.S. government for statehood of the Territory of Deseret, which encompassed most or some of nine present-day states: Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon. Statehood was denied. The governmental unit of Deseret lasted two years, from 1849 to 1850, and was replaced by the Utah Territory, created by the Compromise of 1850. Young was inaugurated as the territory’s first governor, and the provisional state was dissolved in 1851, with the territorial legislature voting to keep the laws and ordinances of the former Deseret. Ogden, with a present population of 88,601, was founded in 1850 and incorporated in 1851. Agriculture was the town’s mainstay until 1869 when the transcontinental railroad was completed in nearby Promontory Summit. Ogden’s fortuitous location as the closest municipality allowed it to become a major railroad town and shipping center, serving nine rail systems. The town adopted the slogan, “You can’t go anywhere without coming to Ogden.” The booming commerce, however, attracted all sorts of vices, including gambling, prostitution, shootouts and opium dens. Utah adopted prohibition in 1917, which also brought bootleggers and speakeasies. Ogden’s reputation of violent and salacious debauchery spread nationwide, and Al Capone is reputed to have remarked that Ogden was too rough even for him. Ogden suffered through the Great Depression until increased rail transportation during World War II revived the local economy. Rail traffic through the city peaked at 100 passenger trains a day during the war. The end of the war, the advent of commercial and passenger air travel and the construction of the interstate highway system scuttled the railroad industry in Ogden, driving the community to find another avenue for survival. Today Ogden has reinvented itself as a tourist destination, offering 230 miles of mountain biking, hiking and equestrian trails, maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, and a plethora of recreational attractions, including water sports, historic buildings, upscale shopping and townwide festivities throughout the year. For more information, visit www.visitogden.com. 14 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
Maintenance Roadside mowing is best left to experts like Land Pride's RC5715 Rotary Cutter. With four exclusive features including our patented Parallel Pivot axles, and patented DeckArmor™ deck protection, the RC57 is the new standard in highway maintenance. A 5" cut capacity & 7-year gearbox warranty lead the industry. Visit landpride.com for full specs or to locate a dealer and ask for a Sourcewell quote. We also offer a full line of skid steer attachments.
When visibility is critical Heated Wiper Blades help you see in the snow. Clearly.
Live behind the windshield? Our premium heated wipers feature a heated frame and silicone blade that melt ice and snow on contact, instantly increasing your visibility and efficiency.
46104 State Highway M26, Atlantic Mine, MI 49905 800-746-0428 | www.everblades.com
16 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
Focus on: Streets, Highways & Bridges
119 Norwalk, Conn., discovered through its data on 314,000 vehicles that 119 of them were going between 40 to 50 mph in its Wall Street/Webster Avenue corridor. Following a shift to back-in angle parking, the city saw a reduction to 10 vehicles traveling at those speeds. The goal is to see an average speed of 25 mph or less in the corridor. Read more about Norwalk’s parking programs on page 18.
$917 million Casper, Wyo., Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s long-range transportation plan, called Connecting Crossroads, covers 30 years and contains more than 60 projects with an estimated cost of $917 million. Learn how Connecting Crossroads will improve safety in the Casper metro area on page 22.
$2.6 million Putnam County, N.Y., obtained a federal grant for this amount to turn the Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge into a pedestrian bridge. Find out more about this project on page 32.
$5.9 million DriveOhio and Ohio State University have been operating a three-year, $5.9 million research project that monitors the 35-mile Smart Mobility Corridor stretch of US 33 between Dublin and East Liberty in Ohio in order to develop a low-altitude air traffic management system. Learn more about this research project on page 26.
STREETS, HIGHWAYS & BRIDGES 10 minutes
Waco, Texas, is commissioning a citywide trail master plan that would put interconnected walking and biking routes within a 10-minute walk of everyone in the city.
2% The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released on Dec. 18, 2020, that traffic fatalities in 2019 were down for the third year in a row, with overall deaths falling by 2%.
Source: https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2020/12/21/ NHTSA-traffic-deaths-rate-2019-drop-3rd-straight-year/stories/202012180168
263 ESPN discovered this many roads have been named after Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown Winner. This figure is far more than the number of roads named for any other athlete, human or otherwise. Source: https://www.espn.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/29085406/ wait-secretariat-263-us-roads-named-him
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 17
M Focus on: Streets, Highways & Bridges
Connecticut city finds creative parking solutions By DENISE FEDOROW | The Municipal
The city of Norwalk, located in southwest Connecticut on the northern shore of the Long Island Sound, has initiated creative solutions to parking problems, including retraining the way residents and visitors park on one street and adding green infrastructure to a parking lot.
Reverse, or back-in, angle parking spaces are prepared on Wall Street in Norwalk, Conn. (Photo provided by the city of Norwalk)
18 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
Reverse angle parking In September 2019, the city announced a number of improvements to the Wall Street/Webster Avenue corridor. Chief of Economic and Community Development Jessica Vonashek shared that area was once a “very vibrant place” but a flood in 1955 damaged a lot of the neighborhood. Vonashek said Norwalk has been working for many years to get it back to its original state. “We really wanted to make enhancements to add vitality and quality of life,” Vonashek said. To that end, officials heard from a number of businesses and residents in the area, and over a two-year period of time, those enhancements included streetscape, roadway improvements, traffic signals, pay stations and signage. Vonashek said those improvements were in response to what residents and businesses expressed a need for — connectivity, accessibility and safety, as well as making the area welcoming for pedestrians and cyclists. There’s a neighborhood group in that area the city partnered with. “They’re a great asset to the city and allowed us to connect with residents and businesses on the
ground level,” Vonashek said. “Two of the things they expressed were a desire to improve the look and feel of the area and secondly to slow down traffic — especially on Wall Street, which has a lot of traffic and cars speeding.” The city worked with the transportation, mobility and parking department, the department of public works and the Norwalk Parking Authority on these improvement plans. Officials had also heard from the business community that they wanted more turnover. Vonashek said Norwalk conducted a lot of research about frontend angle parking and back-in or reverse angle parking. Switching to angle parking from parallel parking allowed them to add nine spaces, but from a safety aspect, the data showed back-in angle parking is safer for pedestrians and cyclists. “In Norwalk we promote all types of transportation so we wanted to be cognizant of the safety for cyclists,” she said. The city also added pay stations as a means to ensure residents and employees of the area wouldn’t be parked in spaces all daylong. “We got a lot of different comments about introducing paid parking, but we wanted to achieve a number of things — to achieve safety and the turnover the businesses wanted — and we believe the combination of back-in angle parking and pay stations does that,” Vonashek said. Back-in angle parking is a newer approach, and officials got a lot of feedback on the idea. She said with front angle parking not only is the driver backing up into oncoming traffic but also potentially into cyclists. With back-in angle parking, it slows traffic as the vehicle is maneuvered to back into the space, but they are backing into a parking space with less moveable parts then backing into oncoming traffic when leaving the space.
Pictured is a rendering for the Webster Parking Lot in Norwalk, Conn., which highlights green infrastructure aspects of the plans. (Photo provided by the city of Norwalk)
She said the city looked at a number of reports and safety recommendations before initiating the change. It also narrowed the road, which helped slow traffic. A larger space on the side of the road was needed to accommodate wider parking spaces than the 8 feet used for parallel parking. When asked how the reverse angle parking was working, Vonashek said the public reaction was at first mixed. “There was the initial shock of back-in angle parking and introducing pay stations. We made a lot of changes in a short amount of time. Some people liked the changes and some didn’t. We heard all sorts of feedback,” she said. However, the data shows speeding was reduced in the area, and that was a main objection and a main request by residents and businesses in the area. She said officials have data on 314,000 vehicles, and 119 of them were going extremely fast — between 40 to 50 mph — and that was reduced to 10 vehicles traveling at those speeds; 1,298 vehicles were going 30 to 44 mph, which was reduced to 169; just shy of 30,000 vehicles were traveling at 33 to 38 mph, which was reduced to 5,300; and 162,000 vehicles were clocked at 27 to 32 mph, which was reduced to 59,000. Vonashek said the goal is 25 mph, and the vehicles traveling at 21 to 26 mph rose from 106,000 to 151,000. Having signs showing the speed drivers were traveling helped, and the city was able to install sensors that measure speed. FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 19
continued from page 19
The harbor of South Norwalk is a vital part of the city of Norwalk and its big oyster industry, which is just one of the existing industries located along the harbor and river. (Photo provided by the city of Norwalk)
“The average speed went from 28 mph to 23 mph, and our goal was 25 mph or less,” she said. The combination of back-in angle parking, narrowing the road, signs showing speed and an education campaign is “the reason why it was really effective,” according to Vonashek. The city’s social media tools were used to explain to the public why changes were being implemented. Embedded in the messages sent out was the feedback the city had received. For example, “We’ve been hearing traffic was moving too fast, and you didn’t feel safe, so using what you told us, these are the things we’re going to be doing.” When asked if the city anticipates reverse angle parking in other areas of the city, Vonashek said officials hadn’t really explored that because the roads need to be wide enough. Mike Yeosock, assistant director of transportation, mobility and parking, agreed. “Most of our roads aren’t wide enough unless we convert to one-way streets — which creates other problems.” He added there is one other street located in South Norwalk that has back-in angle parking, but it is a one-way street and was implemented more for an office building and entails 12 to 15 spaces. Green infrastructure for a parking lot Vonashek said a project was approved to add green infrastructure to a downtown parking lot, and work started on the project in early December. The city received a $250,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund. The large Webster Parking Lot serves a number of businesses, and there’s been a continuous drainage issue in the lot, causing several neighboring businesses to flood during torrential rains. In December 2019, the city passed its plan of conservation and development — a state requirement — and in that POCD, it identified resiliency and resources for coastal management, environmental goals and objectives for climate change and stormwater management. 20 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
This plaque shows a historical photo of the Wall Street area, which was once a very vibrant part of the city. Officials are seeking to restore its former glory. (Photo provided by the city of Norwalk)
Vonashek praised Yeosock for his grant writing and “ability to articulate the city’s needs.” She said in the Webster Parking Lot, the city identified four different types of infrastructure installations: • Underground infiltration systems. • Retention basins and curb inlet planters in eight different areas. • Porous pavement with storage in two areas. • Infiltration gutters and tree filters in two other areas. These measures are designed to soak up stormwater better while also greening the area from an aesthetic standpoint. She said the project was speaking to the fact officials are working to “reduce pollution, trash, bacteria and handle the excess water and the environmental benefits of filtering stormwater. We’ve estimated this project is going to prevent 6 million gallons of stormwater and 12 pounds of nitrogen from going into the Long Island Sound.” “This is just one step of many green infrastructure projects for Norwalk,” Vonashek said. Yeosock said the Long Island Sound Futures Fund is managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The city worked with the consulting firm Fuss & O’Neill on this project. Norwalk’s harbor and the Norwalk River is a vital part of the city, which has a big oyster industry, according to Yeosock. There’s a lot of fishing and aquaculture and thus a lot of businesses depending on the riverfront, Vonashek pointed out. It’s even more reason to care about what the water looks like. Construction on the lot will start in the spring, according to Yeosock, but the city has gotten percolation tests back on the soil, and Vonashek added workers started doing borings on the site in mid-December.
This sign welcomes visitors to the historical district of South Norwalk, Conn., which includes Wall Street where the city is currently making several improvements, such as back-in angle parking. (Photo provided by the city of Norwalk)
Vonashek envisions more green infrastructure projects in the city and added, “It’s always great to have grant money available.” Yeosock explained the grant Norwalk received for this project was a matching grant, and the city was given more points because it was also doing a paving project in the area. He added the city did a green infrastructure project “on a much smaller scale” on Cedar Street that turned out nicely. He believes one of the reasons green infrastructure wasn’t done widely in the past is because of the maintenance and labor it requires, but he said as cities and towns have “less and less pervious surfaces versus impervious, you have to do something different.” One such way to mitigate some labor is to plant native plants. Vonashek feels people are more knowledgeable now, too. They know more about the ability to measure water flow and about pollutants in the water in addition to the impact they create, as well as surface lots not being as attractive. “If you’re able to green it up, it’s more aesthetically pleasing, too,” she said. Norwalk is an example of thinking outside the white lines when looking at parking solutions. FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 21
M Focus on: Streets, Highways & Bridges
Casper transportation plan looks forward 30 years By MAGGIE KENWORTHY | The Municipal
In January 2020, the Casper, Wyo., Area Metropolitan Planning Organization presented a long-range transportation plan to local governing committees. This presentation was the culmination of two years of work dedicated to creating this 30-year plan, named Connecting Crossroads. In total, Connecting Crossroads contains over 60 projects with an estimated cost of $917 million. Renee Hardy, Casper Area MPO technician, explained creating the LRTP is a requirement for MPOs to receive federal funding. The Casper Area MPO has gone through this process multiple times, beginning in 1997. 22 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
But, instead of just attempting to fulfill the funding requirements, the MPO works hard to ensure the plan goes above and beyond to create the best plan possible. One of the ways the organization does this is by relying heavily on public input when creating the plan. “The MPO has done a good job of really engaging with not only the residents in
ABOVE: The Midwest Avenue reconstruction project was deemed the highest priority in the long-range transportation plan. Pictured is a portion of the street that has already been reconstructed to allow for safer transportation. (Photo provided by Casper Area MPO) Casper but also the surrounding communities in the Casper Metro, and has really kind of gone above and beyond,” said Aaron Kloke, former Casper MPO supervisor. “I think that’s probably most important and what this project is all about, is really engaging with the residents, engaging with all the stakeholders and really getting an idea of what kind of transportation system is going to positively impact the community.”
In March 2019, a multiday workshop was held where committee members could meet with the consultants to see the work that was being done on the long-range transportation plan. (Photo provided by Casper Area MPO)
To ensure everyone has a chance to give their input, the Casper MPO created a website for the project — www.connectingcrossraods.com — hosted three sets of meetings and workshops, set up information booths at local events and created a public survey to gather more input. Additionally, the Casper MPO hosted coffee talks for developers to come to on a regular basis to hear updates on the plan. “Survey results and input from attendees at our events was used in almost every step of the process from developing the goals to reprioritizing projects based on community and user interest — or opposition,” said Hardy. “More specifically, we added the word ‘easy’ to one of our project goals after our first set of workshops and events since we continually heard that many people were just as interested in ease of use as they were in affordability or a decrease in travel time.” Another way the Casper MPO got the community involved was by creating a citizen’s guide. The full LRTP is around 200 pages long, but there is a summarized, 10-page version that allows the public to get a condensed view of the whole plan. When it came to drafting the specific projects, the Casper MPO, along with a consultant team from Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, focused on two main criteria. First, the team pinpointed projects that had already been started or had already received funding, including those within the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan or the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Plan. From there, the team concentrated on projects that increased the safety and mobility for everyone using the transportation system.
During the planning process, each proposed project was scored and divided into low, medium and high priority projects. The scoring criteria included elements such as network connectivity, ADA accessibility, access to community assets, parking impacts, maintenance responsibility and more. The project with the highest priority was the reconstruction of Midwest Avenue. This project is currently in phase II of reconstruction. “This series of three phases along Midwest Avenue meets each and every goal of the LRTP and will set a precedent in the city for complete streets concepts,” said Hardy. “We will be providing a safe and sound way for people who walk or bike to travel to and through downtown, improving safety on the road with better sight distances and wider roads, improving safety throughout the neighborhood with better lighting and landscaping, and generally making travel through downtown via all modes much, much easier. In addition, this road is part of our Old Yellowstone District. This is an area of recent redevelopment that has brought not only new businesses and restaurants to the area but also includes open space and event venues, all enhancing the city’s character and growing our economy.” Other projects set to begin work in 2021 include the reconstruction of Interstate 25 through Casper, the reconstruction of a high-traffic intersection at Poplar and First streets near the Mills and Casper boundary and the redesign and reconstruction of Lathrop Road in Evansville. Kloke explained a lot of the LRTP’s success is through choosing a good consulting agency. The Casper MPO has a procurement
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 23
continued from page 23
policy it uses when selecting contractors, which includes creating a request for proposals and interviews of interested agencies. “Especially with a budget of this size, we don’t take procurement lightly. We’re using federal funds, using taxpayer dollars, we want to make the best decision,” said Kloke. “Ultimately, we’re selecting a group of people to be a part of our team for the next year.” The Casper MPO chose Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates based on its breadth of experience working on LRTPs and its innovative approach to transportation solutions. When it comes to other ways MPOs can make creating plans an easier process, Hardy suggested building flexibility into timelines. “The biggest challenge for the MPO during the project was most certainly timing. We ended up authoring two contract extensions during the course of it,” said Hardy. The first was just because we didn’t allow for enough time to finish a project of this magnitude... and the second was to allow for our required 40-day public comment period, which was not written into the original scope.” Also, it helps to get every entity possible involved in the process. “Make sure your member entities and agencies are on board,” said Hardy. “Ours are very cooperative and motivated to build and grow, and that made the process very easy on us. If this might be an issue for another MPO or organization, start right away keeping them involved and engaged.”
24 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
In the summer of 2019, the Casper Area MPO participated in a farmers market to give the public a chance to see how the plans were developing. Community members were encouraged to give input on the proposed plans. (Photo provided by Casper Area MPO)
Maintenance-Free Solutions WON’T RUST
WITH STRONGWELL FIBER REINFORCED POLYMERS (FRP) No need for constant painting or upkeep. Provides long-term, cost effective solutions with lower life cycle costs.
Learn More at strongwell.com/advantages
Proudly Made in the U.S.A. The World Leader in Pultrusion and Pultruded Fiberglass Structures & Shapes
276-645-8000 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.strongwell.com
M Focus on: Streets, Highways & Bridges
Unmanned air traffic management system research study uses drones to monitor traffic By NICHOLETTE CARLSON | The Municipal
DriveOhio, part of the Ohio Department of Transportation, and Ohio State University have teamed up with various other organizations and businesses to work on a three-year, $5.9 million research project that began in 2018.
Radar systems help to monitor the unmanned aircrafts systems, which transmit real-time data in regards to air traffic management. Both active and passive radar systems are being tested to find the safest possible options. (Photo provided by DriveOhio)
26 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
The purpose of this study is to monitor the 35-mile Smart Mobility Corridor stretch of US 33 between Dublin and East Liberty in Ohio in order to develop a low-altitude air traffic management system. This system would be used to ensure that unmanned air traffic could be operated safely so state government could eventually use unmanned aircraft for certain purposes, such as traffic management. The research idea was accepted by ODOT’s office of research and approved by the research advisory board. A request for proposal was then released and competitively bid on. Following the bidding process, OSU was approved by the RFP review team. Luke Stedke, DriveOhio managing director, communications and policy, described the equipment that has been necessary for the research study, which included both an active radar system — the SRC R1400 (3) — and passive radar from OSU. There was also computers and infrastructure to support the radar systems, such as connected and automated vehicle equipment for the CAV unmanned air vehicle connections. The unmanned aircraft systems being used are those already owned by both ODOT and OSU. OSU has also provided manned aircraft radar testing assets. “Currently, we have used only one drone for the testing of the radar,” Stedke reported. “This research is primarily for air traffic management but does relate to ground traffic in support of ODOT’s ground system. These UAS have the ability to transmit real-time data for situational awareness of events for better decision-making.” This stretch of US 33 was chosen because it has a significant investment in CAV infrastructure, which can also be leveraged as part of the research study. He continued, “The system is research for a statewide unmanned traffic management implementation plan and not intended, at this time, for routine operations, though discussions are taking place that this will be a future direction to maintain the system after the research is complete.” At this time, Stedke explained, “We are testing active and passive radar as a means for deconfliction and discovering all the supplemental services needed to support safe operations, which will be included in the final report. This report will guide further plans and investments.” Part of this research includes looking at CAV infrastructure and how it can be leveraged for UAS operations as well as connections between CAV and UAV. However, Stedke admitted, “We are limited on information we can release while the research is in progress.” Upon completion of the project, all information gathered through the research will be published and available to the public. Stedke stated, “OSU has a ton of expertise in all areas and has done a great job in leveraging the industry partners for their respective expertises.” He also mentioned a number of other partners in the project. Ohio UAS Center is responsible for the overall management of the project and contributed through expertise in advanced air mobility, UTM and flight operations. AiRXOS is the lead on the Federal Aviation Administration partnership for safety plan and coordinates the research study’s FAA approvals and management platform for the unmanned traffic management. SRC contributes radar detection and classification to the project. CAL Analytics assists with the project through system integration and working with the ACAS sXu, which helps with detection and avoidance in unmanned aircraft systems. ResilienX is leading the project’s contingency management platform through the
DriveOhio and Ohio State University, along with many other organization and business partners, are currently working on a three-year research study testing unmanned aircraft with drone technology with the purpose of developing a low-altitude air traffic management system. (Photo provided by DriveOhio)
Drones are used as part of the unmanned traffic management research study, which will help to implement a statewide UTM plan. Upon completion, all findings will be released to the public in a final report. This report will guide future plans and investments in smart mobility. (Photo provided by DriveOhio)
Ohio Federal Research Network with research on system health and integrity for UAS traffic management. DriveOhio was established in 2018 to help facilitate smart mobility with automated ground and air vehicles to make travel safer and improve quality of life for Ohio citizens. Stedke commented the center is uniquely positioned to drive, test and deploy new technology and automated vehicles in the state. There are also a great number of resources with a strong history of innovation in aeronautics. FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 27
M Focus on: Streets, Highways & Bridges
Asheville project strengthens local ecology and community By JANET PATTERSON | The Municipal
Partnerships have their rewards, and Asheville, N.C.’s, Craven Street project is a topnotch example of a community, its residents and businesses partnering to improve their surroundings and their lives. The Craven Street Transportation Improvements project took first place in the urban category of the North Carolina Department of Transportation 2020 Mobi Awards. “We were not just building a road but a beautiful place to be,” noted Stephanie Monson Dahl, strategic design and development manager for the city of Asheville. The partnership brought the city of Asheville together with RiverLink, a community nonprofit that thrives on projects that reclaim and restore areas of the French Broad River; the New Belgium Brewing Company; and a host of small businesses and local property owners. “The area was dirty and underutilized,” Dahl added. The area along the river had been zoned industrial commercial and was home to the Western Carolina Stockyards, a 28 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
NASCAR repair shop and a storage facility, none of which enhanced the natural habitats along the river’s edge, she said. Project partner, RiverLink was formed in the 1980s to address the overall health and beauty of the French Broad River, which flows through the western North Carolina city known for its vibrant arts culture and the vast 19th century home of George Washington Vanderbilt II known as Biltmore. Dahl said the efforts to improve the aesthetics and the ecology of the area along the river have been an ongoing project both in building the confidence of the neighbors along the river and the actual construction that includes a bikeway, walking trail, as well as a roadway for vehicle traffic. Into the midst of the riverfront planning came the New Belgium Brewing Company,
ABOVE: The trailhead for the French Broad River section of the Asheville Greenway System is located on the New Belgium Brewing Company’s property. (Photo provided by the city of Asheville)
a Colorado craft brewery that Dahl said was interested in not only building a business but “transforming the land to some place beautiful.” From the moment it broke ground for its operation, Dahl said New Belgium began hosting monthly roundtable discussions for Asheville residents to learn about the river restoration project and to include them in the planning. Dahl said having the brewery open an operation in Asheville was not only good for the riverfront since it was concerned about the ecology of its surroundings, but it also created good paying jobs for the community. “They encourage their employees to bike or walk or take public transportation to work,” she added.
RIGHT: New Belgium Brewing Company was a major partner for the Craven Street project, hosting monthly roundtable discussions for Asheville residents to learn about the river restoration project and to include them in the planning. The brewery also had a keen interest in the ecology of its surroundings. (Photo by Tim Wright) BELOW RIGHT: During work on the Craven Street project, Penland Creek was restored. This informative sign explains how the restoration work was done using native plants and walls to create a floodplain bench. (Photo provided by the city of Asheville) In fact, one of the brewery’s four core values is to inspire social and environmental change as a force for good. The brewery worked on creating a city bus shelter as part of the project, and the trailhead for the French Broad River section of the Asheville Greenway System is located on the New Belgium property. To engage the neighbors in the design of the bus shelter, the Asheville Design Center and the University of North Carolina at Asheville hosted an online vote for the final design of the shelter. Voters could choose which of the materials salvaged from the former stockyards would be used in the shelter’s walls. Dahl said these efforts to acknowledge the rich history of the area and include input from the community went a long way in encouraging acceptance of both change and the inconveniences of construction, including the rerouting of traffic on a road network that had not been changed in 100 years. Building those relationships resulted not only in greater cooperation in the community but also attracted grants to help pay for the $100 million project, Dahl added. Among those grants was funding from North Carolina’s Golden LEAF Foundation, which works to improve economic opportunities for formerly tobacco-dependent communities throughout the state. Dahl said the Craven Street project is more than something functional and beautiful for the city of Asheville, it is also helping to improve the health of the French Broad Watershed through stream restoration. As with any project, there are surprises, Dahl said. One of those during the Craven Street project was uncovering a stream that no one knew existed. “No one knew it was there!” FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 29
continued from page 29
Dahl said the city engaged local landscape designers to use native plants in the area and included educational signage to inform people about the value of the materials used. The project also included a new boat access for water recreation on the river. The NCDOT Mobi Awards, which started in 2019, honor transportation projects that improve the economy and enhance the quality of life in North Carolina communities. Asheville’s Craven Street Transportation Improvements project was nominated by the French Broad Metropolitan Planning Organization. To be considered, projects must combine the use of at least two transportation modes such as aviation, bicycle, pedestrian, ferry, public transportation, rail and roadway. More than 60 projects competed in 2020 Mobi Awards. The Craven Street project took first place in the urban category and was awarded an honorable mention in the innovation category. Judges selected the top projects based on how well they leveraged public and private investment; contributed to economic development; created long-term jobs; improved public health and quality of life; and made other significant contributions. The competition’s organizers were NCDOT, the North Carolina Triangle Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, N.C. Go! and N.C. State University Institute for Transportation Research and Education.
Pictured is Craven Street’s completed amenities, which include parking and a bicycle lane. (Photo provided by the city of Asheville)
Dahl said Asheville is not sitting on its laurels. “We’re working on a project across the river that’s even larger than this one with a 2-mile bike path, wider sidewalks, larger habitat and new river greenway connections. “Next year at this time, I hope we’ll be celebrating another MOBI award.”
Midwest Tractor & Equipment Your Snow Removal Truck Headquarters
2012 IHC 7400
2010 Kenworth T-800 - ISM Cummins 350 HP - Allison Automatic Transmission - 14 ft Stainless Steel Monore Spreader - 12 ft Underbody Blade - Front Plow Mount - ONLY 19,000 MILES & EXCELLENT CONDITION
Several Trucks in Stock!
- Maxforce 285 HP - Allison Automatic Transmission - 10 ft Stainless Steel Dump - Slide-in Spreader - Underbody Blade - Front Plow Mount - 50,000 Miles
Contact Dale | (231) 269-4100 | 10736 N M-37 (13Rd.) | Buckley, Michigan 49620 30 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
TIMES HAVE CHANGED. YOUR PARKING, MOBILITY, AND TRANSPORTATION NEEDS HAVE TOO. Whether youâ€™re a large campus with tens of thousands of permitted parkers or a small municipality with a few blocks of on-street spaces, T2 has an industry-leading suite of solutions to help you generate revenue and make every trip a smooth journey for your patrons. From LPR access and enforcement solutions to contactless and mobile payment options to a full-service citation collection department that collects at 3x the industry standard rate, we give you all the tools and support you need to manage resources, achieve goals, and empower consumers with choices.
MOBILE LPR ENFORCEMENT
FIXED LPR FOR PARCS
DATA & ANALYTICS
M Focus on: Streets, Highways & Bridges
Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge transforms into hub of active transportation
By AMANDA DEMSTER | The Municipal
While closing down a bridge may seem like an inconvenience, it has opened the door to numerous possibilities for one New York County. When the New York State Department of Transportation ordered Putnam County to close the Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge, the nearby village of Brewster and the town of Southeast not only found themselves minus a roadway, they lost a major pedestrian thoroughfare. The Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge was built in 1894. It underwent major revitalization in 1960 and in 1987. By 2006, however, it was showing its age to the point where it was deemed unsafe for vehicular traffic. “Our real concern since 2013 was that the bridge could collapse into the reservoir,” Putnam County legislator Joseph Castellano said in a press release. “It had increasing yellow flags, and ultimately, a red flag stating it had no capacity to continue taking a load,” Putnam County Commissioner of Highways and Facilities 32 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
Fred Pena said. “So, at that point, the bridge was closed.” This was somewhat of a blow to the community, which lost not only a convenient walkway across the local reservoir, it lost a popular spot for fishing. The county began looking at options, including removing the bridge and creating a new one for vehicular traffic; however, the cost would have been greater than the county was willing to pay. “When we looked at the cost of replacing a vehicle bridge, it was in the $5 million to $6 million range, so there was really no funding available to replace it properly,” Pena said. So, the county turned instead to the idea of building a new bridge specifically for pedestrian traffic. They discovered funding was available for walkways and bike paths and decided to investigate further.
ABOVE: Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge is now seeing new life as a pedestrian bridge after the New York State Department of Transportation ordered it closed to vehicular traffic. Putnam County headed the project after seeing a chance to create additional outdoor recreational opportunities for the communities of Brewster and Southeast. (Photo provided)
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge. The pandemic did not slow the bridge’s progress as the state of New York had labeled infrastructure projects as essential. (Photo provided)
“That would mean decommissioning an existing vehicle bridge,” Pena said. As it turns out, this was not a problem. Downstream, the Railroad Avenue Bridge was serving as a crossing for motor vehicles. “So the need for the Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge to stay a vehicle bridge was almost redundant,” Pena said. The city’s website details the county obtained a $2.6 million federal grant through the Transportation Enhancement Program through NYSDOT and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council. The funding was specifically available for creating pedestrian and bicycle paths. “So at the time, we had these different things presenting themselves: the need for pedestrian use, the need for recreational use, grant money to support that type of project and the redundancy of this vehicle bridge that would allow us to decommission it without negatively impacting vehicle flow,” Pena said. The county applied for and received the grant, which required a 20% match through local funding sources. This, Castellano said, ultimately saved taxpayers around $2 million. Because the new bridge would affect their communities, representatives from Brewster and nearby Southeast attended meetings to discuss plans for the bridge. Several different ideas were proposed before the final design was approved. “At one point, they talked about putting in a covered bridge, which wouldn’t allow for fishing,” Pena said. “But also, there were security issues, fire issues and cost issues.” Discussion also centered around which entity or entities would be responsible for matching the grant. “Ultimately, the county voted to take this on as a county project.” The 100-foot bridge would be quite a bit longer than the original, which was only 72 feet long. This is due largely to state requirements. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, the project was able to continue as planned with little delay. “When the governor shut things down, anything relating to infrastructure was considered an essential project,” Project Manager Zenon Wojcik said. Pena added the project was nearing completion by that time anyway. “We just had minor punch list items at the time,” he said. The bridge opened in fall 2020 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Officials from Brewster, the nearby town of Southeast and from Putnam County were all on hand to mark the occasion. “Turning this 126-year-old bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle path is a great step forward,” County Executive MaryEllen Odell said via a press release. “It will help make our communities more walkable, provide healthy recreation opportunities and bring people to village parks, the Metro-North train station and Brewster’s Main Street shopping district.” The Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge was just the beginning, however. The road on either side of the bridge was also closed to vehicles and converted to a pedestrian path. “We are maintaining an intersection for pedestrian crossing on the Route 22 side,” Pena said. “We’re going to end it with Park Street and Railroad Avenue.” Railroad Avenue, he added, was the original Morningthorpe road. “It will be truncated at the intersection of Railroad and Park,” he said.
The village of Brewster, N.Y., has been focusing on downtown revitalization. The opening of Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge as a pedestrian pathway aligned with those existing efforts. (Photo by Doug Kerr via Flickr. License: https://bit.ly/37QSphD)
“Beyond that, Railroad Avenue will become a pedestrian road. Just south is a small park area for soccer and other sports. We think it really all came together nicely.” While this was largely a county project, it fits neatly with Brewster’s own planning. “The village of Brewster is planning quite a bit of downtown revitalization,” Wojcik said. “It kind of ties in with that. They would like to make it more of a walkable community. Southeast and Brewster were happy to see that we did this improvement.” Pena commented on the convenience the new bridge has already brought locally. “The village is looking for revitalization,” he said. “They’re moving toward revitalization. So, part of the project will include sidewalk sections that connect to the Metro North Railroad from the existing sidewalk system and the village center.” Wojcik added at the same time the county was planning the bridge, the state of New York was repaving Route 22, which runs adjacent to the bridge.
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 33
continued from page 33
“And then the village decided to pave the local street, so it may have been the spark to get things started,” he said. At this time, the county does not keep track of usage for the new Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge, but word of mouth does get around. “Certainly, there is a lot of evidence of commuters,” Pena said. “And I think that may be something we could look into in the future, improving pedestrian accessibility into the surrounding communities to get to Metro North.” Wojcik added a county executive has heard a local group was going to decorate the bridge for the holidays. This is not the first time transportation infrastructure has been put to new use in the state of New York. “Prior to this, municipalities were taking abandoned rail lines and converting them for recreational uses, which were fairly active,” Pena said. “We (Putnam County) had a pretty robust system — about 12 miles of rail lines that were converted into these pedestrian multiuse paths. They were very well received.” Miles of trails and pathways run throughout New York. The Empire State Trail connects New York City to Canada, and another system runs to Connecticut. “It’s a great recreational system and facility that allows almost every member of the community to enjoy some fresh air and some really scenic opportunities,” Pena said.
In addition to a focus on downtown revitalization, Brewster is working to become more walkable. (Photo by Doug Kerr via Flickr. License: https://bit.ly/37QSphD)
REVERSIBLE FANS FOR RADIATOR CLEANING
Improved Air Conditioning
www.cleanfix.org Toll Free 1-855-REV-FANS (1-855-738-3267) | Phone 519-275-2808 | www.cleanfix.org Reader Service 5998 34 THE No. MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
20_2405_The_Municipal_FEB Mod: November 16, 2020 3:57 PM Print: 12/29/20 3:48:11 PM page 1 v7
π SHIPPING SUPPLY SPECIALISTS
OVER 2,700 SAFETY PRODUCTS IN STOCK
Liquid Ice Control Equipment The widest variety to fit any vehicle
ORDER BY 6 PM FOR SAME DAY SHIPPING
Tote Tank Kits
1-800-621-7910 Email: email@example.com
SAVE THIS AD WILL:
FOR WHEN YOU’RE TIRED OF REPAIRING/REPLACING CYLINDERS
• Minimize/Eliminate rod scoring • Extend the life of cylinder seals • Protects cylinders from the elements • Prevent pitting due to chemical washers • Reduce particle contamination of hydraulic systems • Minimize dings and dents associated with falling debris
has proven effective in Recycling, Construction, Mining, Rock Quarries, Waste Management, Refineries and Wood Products industries the never ending cycle of cylinder repairs 36 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
Exclusively manufactured by: Fluid Control Services, Inc. | 1.800.683.5189 1155 Allgood Road • Suite 15 Marietta, Georgia 30062 | Fax: 770.509.5832
Valdosta’s John Burton wins local APWA Fleet Management award By JULIE YOUNG | The Municipal
When Valdosta Fleet Superintendent John Burton learned he had been named the Fleet Maintenance Supervisor of the Year by the Georgia Chapter of the American Public Works Association, he was grateful for the acknowledgment. “The recognition of all the hard work would not be possible without the hard work of all the mechanics and staff of the maintenance center, so this award represents the whole fleet maintenance program,” he said. Everything the city does, from transporting individuals to sweeping debris, is dependent on having functional municipal vehicles to get the job done, and without a fleet maintenance division, the city would have to outsource maintenance to a local auto shop that tends to operate on a firstcome, first-served basis. The fleet division can prioritize the vehicles that come in, evaluate what is needed and how it impacts a department’s performance, so in many cases, it can return the vehicles on the same day they are dropped off. That requires a leader who is constantly working to keep his or her team intact and focused on the needs of the city. Burton’s road to fleet maintenance began in the Air Force, where he spent his fouryear enlistment as an F-16 crew chief who specialized in engine, airframe and hydraulic maintenance. After his discharge, he served as a mechanic and buyer for a local car dealership, and in 2002, he was hired by the city of Valdosta as a heavy equipment mechanic. However, it wasn’t long before he realized he wanted to broaden his horizons and make more decisions as it pertained to fleet maintenance.
38 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
“In 2010 when the fleet superintendent position opened, I had a comprehensive, winning plan to secure the job,” he said. For Burton, being a fleet superintendent means providing each individual who comes to the maintenance center with a high standard of quality care that is focused on respect and timely service. With over 900 pieces of equipment and vehicles, all vital to the city of Valdosta’s daily functions, falling under fleet maintenance’s purview, Burton’s made same-day turnaround a priority for the majority of vehicles requiring service. When that is not possible, the division shifts to triage mode in order to ensure each department has the key vehicles they need to fulfill their daily duties. The maintenance center operations consist of eight sections, including administration, warehouse, tire repair, vehicle/equipment service, light vehicle maintenance, heavy equipment maintenance, welding/small engine and fuel distribution. Burton said he enjoys being able to increase the capabilities across the maintenance center to reduce downtime and costs as well as watching his mechanics learn new ways of doing their jobs more efficiently. “(I also like) writing specifications for new equipment that benefits the operators ergonomically and benefits mechanics with the ease of maintenance,” he said. Over the past decade, Burton has implemented a number of processes, technologies
John Burton, Valdosta Fleet Superintendent
John Burton, left, accepts the Fleet Maintenance Supervisor of the Year award from Valdosta, Ga., Public Works Director Richard Hardy. The award was received from the Georgia Chapter of the American Public Works Association. (Photo provided)
In his tenure as fleet superintendent, John Burton has emphasized a high standard of quality care and giving respect and timely service to each individual who enters the shop. (Photo provided)
A Valdosta, Ga., fleet maintenance technician works on a police patrol car. The department manages more than 900 pieces of equipment and vehicles for the city. (Photo provided) and other changes to improve his department. He has created a clearly defined mission for his division as well as job descriptions for all employees. He has also purchased current/upgradable computer diagnostic equipment as well as a new tire machine, balancer, rotator, hydraulic jacks, and vehicle lifts. He has increased the shop workspace by 4,000 square feet and created an in-house apprentice program for service technicians to train with mechanics and welders. “All combined, the improvements have increased morale, customer service and production,” he said. “Right now, we are currently working on a north side building expansion that will add two additional enclosed drive-thru maintenance bays.” Of course, there are challenges as well, and Burton said some of the biggest challenges he’s faced in his career include recruiting qualified mechanics in a day and age when fewer individuals choose vehicle maintenance as a career path. He said it’s also difficult to convince departments of a more efficient way to operate through alternate equipment designs. “Working in government, it’s difficult to resolve inefficiencies with many having the attitude ‘Why change? It’s always been done this way,’” he said. “In this environment, we have to capture the imagination by asking if the problem didn’t exist and you could create a solution that was based on a desire, what would that solution be?” Valdosta Public Works Director Richard Hardy said when evaluating the fleet division’s capabilities, it was obvious the team was deserving of recognition and he was proud to nominate Burton for the award. Hardy added thanks to Burton, he is able to reassure all departments they are in good hands. “It is an honor to see individuals from the city get recognized for their accomplishments,” he said. “I am just overwhelmed to receive this award,” Burton said.
Burton has increased the shop workspace by 4,000 square feet and created an in-house apprentice program for service technicians to train with mechanics and welders. (Photo provided)
Other Valdosta departments can rest easier knowing their equipment is in good hands. To support the city’s other operations, the fleet maintenance strives for same-day turnaround. (Photo provided)
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 39
New Mexico cities team with anti-trafficking task force
By AMANDA DEMSTER | The Municipal
“It could never happen here.” “My city is too small.” “I would know if it was happening near me.” “It only happens in other countries.”
Anthony Maez, New Mexico Attorney General’s Office special agent in charge and commander of the New Mexico Human Trafficking Task Force
40 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
These statements reflect common beliefs about human trafficking, but the truth is, it can happen any time, anywhere and it does not always look like common TV portrayals. Anthony Maez is the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office special agent in charge and commander of the New Mexico Human Trafficking Task Force. Throughout his career, Maez has encountered instances of human trafficking in a variety of settings. “There is no community that’s going to be immune to this,” Maez said. As its name suggests, the New Mexico Human Trafficking Task Force is a coalition of local, tribal, county and state law
enforcement and other entities throughout New Mexico that have come together to battle human trafficking. The main entities comprising the task force are the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and The Life Link, a nonprofit organization providing services to victims of human trafficking. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Department of Labor are other key partners in addition to local, county, state and tribal law enforcement agencies throughout New Mexico; service provider agencies; and nonprofit organizations. What the task force does The task force’s mission statement as stated on its website is “to combat human trafficking through seamless collaboration between law enforcement and service providers with the use of victim-centered approaches in proactively investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases; and providing comprehensive, high-quality services to all victims of human trafficking in the state of New Mexico.” It accomplishes this through collaboration with all members at all levels in the areas of “Prevention, Prosecution and Protection.” “We try to bring everyone to the table so that they can work together,” Maez said. “We talk about some of the issues that happen, and we train each professional in their area in what they might see, but we also train them as a group so they can network together.” Maez has been in law enforcement for more than 42 years, which has helped him gain valuable insight. “When you see a law enforcement person come in and talk about what we need to do better, that really helps that relationship because it opens more doors,” he said. Grants are available through the task force to help provide needed equipment and law enforcement training in what to look for, how to extract data and access call records from devices, how to interrogate suspected traffickers and other valuable knowledge. An annual human trafficking conference takes place each year in January, with the 2021 event taking place virtually. More information is available at www.stopnmtrafficking.org/home/accessing-resources/ annual-conference. “Everyone is invited,” Maez said. “We run a lot of different workshops, where different professionals get to work together, and we do a lot of workshops on why it’s important to work together as a multidisciplinary team to support each other.” Over the past several years, labs have been established throughout New Mexico, making forensics more accessible throughout the state. There are also safe houses throughout the state, where forensic interviewers work with victims to get information about their situations. Multidisciplinary teams statewide are also trained in what to look for. Where trafficking occurs Maez noted there is no mold a town or city must fit for human trafficking to happen there. Municipal governments and police departments of all sizes need to remain vigilant and make sure the public is informed. Maez used examples from within his own state to illustrate this. “It can definitely occur in smaller cities,” he said. “Santa Fe is a smaller community, and we’ve had reports of trafficking there. Farther
Increased access to the internet has given traffickers more opportunities than ever to find victims, and children and teens are particularly susceptible. In addition to the New Mexico Human Trafficking Task Force, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office has launched the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. (Photo provided)
The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office participated in a public safety day at Isotopes Park to raise awareness of internet crimes against children and human trafficking. (Photo provided)
north, we have some smaller communities, and we’ve had some reports of trafficking there.” Maez recounted a call the task force once received from a rural area. Law enforcement had pulled over a vehicle with two girls inside and something about them raised the officers’ suspicions. They contacted a detective who had received training through the task force. The detective ended up determining the girls were being trafficked. “That was in a very small community, under 5,000 population,” Maez said. “It can happen anywhere. We’re getting reports of it happening on tribal lands.” FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 41
continued from page 41
Clues to look for Victims do not match a certain description. They can be men, women, children, LGBTQ+ or straight. They can be of any race or ethnicity, come from any religion and can be from any socioeconomic background. Over the last few decades, increased access to the internet has given traffickers more opportunities than ever to find victims. This, in turn, has made children and teens more vulnerable. Maez recounted an incident in which a girl struck up a romantic relationship with a man she met on a popular dating site. The man knew all the right things to say and seemed genuine. “She thought she’d met the love of her life,” he said. Instead, the man turned out to be a predator, and the girl fell victim to human trafficking. The COVID-19 pandemic has made children and teens increasingly vulnerable. “Ever since this pandemic, every child has a device and they’re home and playing with them and going places where they really
42 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
don’t understand what they’re dealing with,” Maez said. Sometimes trafficking victims appear to be living normal lives, yet family members or even spouses are trafficking them. Victims may believe their situation is their own fault, or they are doing what they are doing out of love. For example, Maez said, a woman advertised on social media might proposition an undercover officer, who will try to help her. “And the woman says, ‘My husband wants me to come out here, and I have to give him the money and he likes to hear what I do,’” Maez said, adding such situations are akin to domestic abuse. How to join the fight There are a number of ways to join the fight against human trafficking. Many states have networks similar to the New Mexico Human Trafficking Task Force. Maez listed Ohio, Wisconsin, the Atlanta, Ga., metro area and the New Orleans, La., metro area as examples. Awareness is key when it comes to identifying human trafficking. For example, major events that draw large crowds can also draw traffickers. Fairs, concerts, sporting events and others all increase the risk. “We see an increase across the board,” Maez said. “Any time there is a large event that’s going to bring tourism, you see an increase in ads through various social media platforms for escorts, and many of those girls are being trafficked.” Collaboration with law enforcement and service providers is crucial during major events. This is the time to be particularly vigilant on social media and on sites like Craigslist. “Years ago, when I worked vice, you would drive up and down, and you would see the girls out there. Now, they’re advertised on social media,” Maez said. Maez also recommends educating hotel owners and managers
on how to tell whether a person is being visited by a trafficking victim and what to do in response. Any time of the year, educating the general public is also an important step. “I think, as a government agency, it’s important to educate your community on what’s going on out there,” Maez said. Public service announcements encouraging parents to familiarize themselves with the types of social media their kids are using, as well as encouraging parents to be active in their children’s lives, is one step that can be taken. Another way to become involved is through partnerships with nonprofit anti-trafficking organizations. As an example, Maez named Truckers Against Trafficking, which provides training for truck stop owners and managers, as well as drivers, on what to look for, particularly at truck stops. These locations, Maez said, are hot spots for traffickers, who drop victims off to proposition truck drivers and others who are passing through. “I get calls in the middle of the night because we just had a truck driver get approached by a female dropped off by two males, and I can then call the local jurisdiction,” Maez said. Education is just the first step. Taking action is just as important. If someone who is not law enforcement believes they have encountered a trafficking victim, the first thing to do is call 911, or contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888. The national hotline to report child sex trafficking is 1 (800) 843-5678. In New Mexico, (505) 438-3733 is a resource line for victims of human trafficking. Additional contacts are listed at www.stopnmtrafficking.org/ accessing-resources. Cities, law enforcement agencies and other entities in New Mexico wishing to join the task force can contact Maez at (505) 270-6679.
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 43
Parks & Environmental Services
Municipal-owned Mill Valley Golf Course offers views of Mount Tamalpais and redwoods. It recently compiled a master plan, which offers suggestions for maintenance and other projects to be completed over the next five years. (Photo provided)
Mill Valley Golf Course plans for the future By ANDREW MENTOCK | The Municipal
Mill Valley Golf Course is a city-owned outdoor recreation area in California, 15 miles north of San Francisco via US 101. This 42-acre, nine-hole course is peppered with mature redwoods and surrounded by rolling hills. “It’s a stunning course,” said Sean McGrew, the city of Mill Valley interim arts and recreation director. “I’m not a golfer, but I enjoyed walking it to be quite honest with you. You have views of Mount Tamalpais. There are redwoods. It is truly a glorious course, and it’s hard to believe that it’s in the middle of Mill Valley in the middle of the city. “You don’t get that feel. You get the feel that you are in the country on a beautiful private course.” Founded more than 100 years ago, the course has been an integral part of the Mill Valley community since before the Great Depression. It originally started as a private, members-owned course. After about 20 years, the city used a resident-approved bond to purchase the course, and Mill Valley has been in charge ever since. 44 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
But like most things that predate Prohibition, Mill Valley Golf Course is in need of some upkeep. “As with all courses that are 100 years old, there’s always going to be some maintenance issues. We just completed our master plan that incorporated some suggestions over the next five years on things that can be worked on. Some of those are being worked on as we speak; some of them are a little bit more expensive, and we need to figure out ways to pay for it.” However, over the previous seven-year period, the course was in the midst of a $280,000 operating deficit, according to Marian Independent Journal. It appears this was due to a drop in the number of players utilizing the course.
Starting out as a private club, Mill Valley Golf Course was purchased by the city of Mill Valley with a resident-approved bond. Pictured is a historical photo of golfers enjoying the course in the ’20s. (Photo provided)
Mill Valley Golf Course has a history that predates Prohibition and has been an integral part of the the Mill Valley community. (Photo provided) On a positive note, after losing money, the pandemic — which has caused more and more people to socially distance and pursue outdoor recreational activities — may have led to a spike in play. “The good news is that, right now, the golf course is extremely popular,” McGrew said. “It was incredibly popular all summerlong. The revenue from the rounds covers the expenses of the course for the first three months.” The hope is that, through progressive renovations, the course can continue its profitable streak, especially given its proximity to such a bustling metropolitan area. Thus far, the course has updated tee boxes, weeds were pulled and other simple beautification projects took place. But the city hopes to do more. “The most ambitious ones, which are to look at, basically, some major renovations, including irrigation, bunkers, perhaps being able to create a hybrid system where a set of holes is used for part of the day for the driving range and part of the day for play,” McGrew said. “But those are all much later in the plans.” But in order to get some of the more expensive future projects completed, more funds will need to be allocated. While the pandemic may have benefited the course in the short term, cities all across the country have less money to spend, especially on recreational ventures. “As you probably can guess, COVID has had an effect on the revenue of the city and such, so that I think a lot of the major CIT, which stands for capital improvement projects, are on hold,” McGrew said. Another aspect of improving the course — one that’s separate from the master plan — is a walking trail.
In addition to being a nine-hole course, one improvement to Mill Valley Golf Course will be a walking trail, which will provide an additional way for the community to enjoy its 42 acres. (Photo provided) “I would look at that as actually a separate issue,” McGrew said. “And that is creating a way for kids from one community to get down to school and for people to walk that beautiful path. As I mentioned, I got the privilege of walking it when we were looking at different features of the facility, and it is a gorgeous path to walk. That’s not necessarily the first one; I would say that is doing it at the same time.” The trail won’t take much effort to complete, but it will take some adjustments for both golfers and walkers to get used to. “One of the things that you do is education, and it’s one of the things that we will be doing through both signage and through education of the community,” McGrew said. “This is a golf course and golf balls tend to fly on a golf course. We would want to educate the people that are using that path that, ‘Hey, you’re on a golf course.’ I like to say in football, keep your head on a swivel and listen. If you hear ‘fore,’ duck and cover.” FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 45
Building & Construction
Startup Waco gathers tools to boost entrepreneurs By AMANDA DEMSTER | The Municipal
Economic development is necessary for any community to grow and thrive. For smaller cities, however, this can be a struggle, especially when they sit in the shadows of major metropolitan areas. In these cases, public-private partnerships like Startup Waco in Waco, Texas, can prove valuable. “A local municipality can get farther with its goals when partnering with an organization, rather than having to do everything in-house,” Startup Waco CEO Jon Passavant said. Located in the downtown area, Startup Waco is what Passavant refers to as a “co-working space,” where local entrepreneurs can go to find resources, advice, mentoring and anything else they need to make a start. 46 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
“This is really what city and local governments are tasked to do, is have a forward-looking aspect for their economic development,” Passavant said. Waco, population roughly 150,000, is surrounded by the likes of Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, three of which boast populations in the millions. “People pretty much came to Waco on their way to somewhere else,” Passavant said. Not content for this to be Waco’s distinction, a group of business leaders and local university students met to discuss what it would take for businesses to succeed in Waco. “It’s really looking at the constraints smaller communities have,” Passavant said. “They have capital constraints, personnel constraints; they can’t do everything.” The city of Waco and McLennan County came on board, partnering to take a close look at entrepreneurship countywide and to study
LEFT: Surrounded by metros — like Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas — Waco, Texas, is seeking to carve its own identity, where it’s not just a place to pass through. Startup Waco is a public-private partnership aimed at supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs in order to make Waco a destination in its own right. (Tallmaple/ Shutterstock.com)
RIGHT: Pre-COVID-19, Startup Waco held events, workshops and in-person training for clients. This was in line with the organization’s “front door” approach, which aimed to provide local entrepreneurs with a space where they could walk in and access resources and networking opportunities. (Photo provided)
data, such as what types of businesses were forming and what those businesses were lacking. “We wanted to form something that would be somewhat of an impetus for these entrepreneurs,” Passavant said. This is not to say anyone wished to turn Waco into the next major tech startup hub. Rather, the desire was to provide support for existing local entrepreneurs. The group formed a leadership council consisting of city-level and chamber of commerce department heads, and there is also a board of directors made up of chamber heads, city council representatives, community foundation representatives and successful local entrepreneurs. “So, that is what those leaders did before any talk of any grants even began,” Passavant said. “They built the group, got stakeholders involved. When they went to the county and city, their goals were set pretty clear.” Once the group was established, its members wrote and submitted a grant proposal and were awarded $750,000 from funds the city sets aside for economic development. These funds were used to secure a physical location and develop it into what Passavant referred to as a “co-working space.” The purpose was to provide a literal “front door” that local entrepreneurs could walk into and find access to resources and networking opportunities. Passavant describes Startup Waco as both “an independent nonprofit organization and a classic public-private partnership.” It does its own fundraising privately, through sponsorships and donations. However, while the city and county do not continue to put money in, the initial funding was essential to the organization’s successful start. “I think, without the city and county stepping in and putting that money in first, it would have been very difficult to garner all of the support we needed to operate this,” Passavant said.
Despite having already made an impact on the local business community, Startup Waco has not been around long. It launched in March 2019, with Passavant joining in September 2019. Then March 2020 came, forcing changes on the young organization. “Being relatively new Pre-COVID, a lot of the success was around community things: numbers of people showing up at events, the weekly entrepreneur meet-up when 50 to 60 people would come,” Passavant said. “Those sort of community-driven goals were part of what we were doing, and they were really working well. While COVID-19 has changed the face of this, the idea is still the same. Pre-COVID, Passavant said, clients could attend events and workshops and receive in-person training — the “front door” approach. “COVID has changed the way we deploy a lot of our services,” Passavant said. “It hasn’t changed the focus, but it has changed the method.” Passavant described Startup Waco’s business clients as being at two ends of a business spectrum. At the one end are what Passavant called the “Main Street” businesses. “We have all types from restaurants and coffee shops and food trucks and hair salons and coffee stands and community event organizers, group hubs, you name it, we work with them,” Passavant said. At the other end of the spectrum are what he referred to as being more tech-centric, high-growth and future-looking companies hoping to start up in Waco. Whatever the size of the business in mind, a Startup Waco representative will meet one-on-one with the business owner or owners and perform a general intake. During this session, they discuss what the business does or will do, and Startup Waco then directs them to available resources and offers programs like mentoring.
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 47
continued from page 47
Representatives also help them connect with the local small business development corporation, accounting firms and others who can assist in areas like setting up bookkeeping and human resources. “Whatever your challenges are, we are able to inform or make an introduction to help you get the advice and guidance that you need,” Passavant said. According to Passavant, the key to success in supporting small businesses is having both a practical view of what is important locally and a more overall view of what each business needs to become established and grow successfully. This approach means looking at the broader picture as well, things like strategic partnerships, tax incentives, development grants, research grants and anything else a fledgling business needs not only to survive but to thrive. “If you just came in and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to loosely build resources,’ any entrepreneur who wants that type of information can go online and find it,” he said. “What they can’t find is a community of people who are supporting one another. What they can’t find is Startup Waco, which is located in the city’s downtown, is a personalized, customized help for one another.” “co-working space,” where local entrepreneurs can go to find One means to this is building what Passavant called density of resources, advice, mentoring and anything else they need to make entrepreneurs. a start. (Photo provided) “A lot of data indicates proximity to other entrepreneurs has a beneficial effect,” he said. Another strategy is to explore what the local community has to offer. At the same time, it means looking at what similar communities have only been around for about two years, Passavant estimates Startup successfully done. Waco has already directly helped several hundred businesses per year. “See what they’re doing that works, take time to sit and understand An example of a success story is a chicken and waffles restaurant what resources you have and how they can be used for business,” Pas- that began as more of a catering service. The entrepreneur began savant said. “Every community is going to look different.” meeting with Startup Waco, which helped her create a formal busiFor Waco, that meant examining what the city has to offer, what ness plan, understand what her capital needs were and where she resources are available locally and, simply, what makes it stand out wanted to go with her business. from the larger cities that surround it. As of November 2020, she had purchased her first food truck, was “If we’d tried to make ourselves like Dallas, Austin, Houston, in any meeting with investors about her first location and was considering particular way, we would not be successful,” Passavant said. “So, every franchise opportunities. community needs to take a hard look at themselves and say, ‘What “That’s the kind of thing you want to see,” Passavant said. “Every is unique about us?’” entrepreneur, no matter who you are or how much money you have, As of fall 2020, Startup Waco was seeing between five and 10 busi- you need other people, other resources, to be able to accomplish what nesses per week and had grown to about 170 members. Though it has you want to accomplish.”
Join the Municipal Community
Sign up at http://www.themunicipal.com/sign-up-2/ or call 866-580-1138 Join the thousands of government leaders who subscribe to The Municipal magazine and newsletter. Sign up to get the best in information, products, services and equipment for America’s municipalities delivered straight to your mailbox and inbox.
The Premier MAGAZINE FOR AMERICA’S MUNICIPALITIES 48 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
www.alumitank.com REPLACE IT! AT-IN-3002 Approx.
International 4300 OEM - Steel Tank
55 Gallon Aluminum
We Make And Repair Aluminum Fuel And Hydraulic Tanks
Round, Square, Rectangular and â€œDâ€? - All openings to your specifications As a factory-direct replacement and custom tank manufacturer, Alumitank can produce a wide variety of tanks in many configurations and quantities. Serving DOTs since 2001, Alumitank is the preferred choice of municipalities throughout the Midwest and across the nation.
GMC style 54 Gallon Tank
All Tanks FMCSA Approved
International style 50 Gallon Tank
MADE IN THE USA with PREMIUM American Materials
Waste & Recycling
A diverse community, Jersey City saw people from all walks of life embrace its composting program. The city has prioritized community partnerships, which has aided the program’s expansion. (Photo provided by Jennifer Brown/City of Jersey City)
Jersey City composting program garners community support By LAUREN CAGGIANO | The Municipal
The pandemic has exposed many vulnerabilities in our nation’s cities, but it’s also highlighted preexisting opportunities and the power of community. Jersey City, N.J., launched its first-ever composting efforts in 2018 with a Residential Compost Drop-Off Program and a Backyard Composting Program. With a lot of programming being scaled back nationwide — both in the public and private sector — the city’s residential composting program has grown exponentially in 2020. “We started the year with three drop-off spots, and now we have 14,” said Melissa Kozakiewicz, who oversees the program as assistant 50 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
business administrator in the Office of Innovation. “It’s been incredible to watch how the community has really embraced this program for sure.” While the city didn’t start the year intending to grow per se, it happened organically — pun intended. Kozakiewicz attributes the recent growth to several factors. For one, community members were vocal about their eagerness to participate. Some expressed how they
Melissa Kozakiewicz, Assistant Business Administrator, Jersey City Office of Innovation
wanted a drop-off site closer to their home. So, every time Jersey City received an inquiry like this, it would follow up and find a way to make the program work in the respective neighborhood. “Because we figured if that person was interested enough to reach out to us, then when we installed a composting bin in their neighborhood, they would help to advocate for it and tell their neighbors about it,” she said. That was exactly what happened, and Kozakiewicz said the success of this program is really being driven by community partnerships. For instance, she said one woman was working in the Lafayette neighborhood and connected the city with her neighborhood group. “And so now she’s not only connected with the neighborhood group and advocating for this program, but like there are larger community connections being made,” she said. “For instance, we have compost bins set up in our community gardens, in religious institutions, outside of school buildings, outside of libraries, municipal buildings and there’s one at the courthouse. So, we find partners wherever they arise.” Harnessing that positive energy has meant success for the program. Kozakiewicz said, at
A Jersey City resident adds compost to one of the city’s drop-off sites. Having an effective graphic designer was imperative for the city’s composting program to ensure its messaging left no questions about how to participate. (Photo provided by Jennifer Brown/City of Jersey City)
the time of press, she was hoping to divert more than 100,000 pounds of waste from the landfill. Speaking of data, Kozakiewicz said while tracking certain variables can help, there is such a thing as too much red tape, which can negatively impact resident participation. That’s why Jersey City doesn’t collect a lot of personal data. “We’re trying to normalize compost collection as similar to any other kind of waste management program — garbage, recycling, whatever,” she said. “So, our compost collection spots are just out in the world, just like a regular waste receptacle.” However, demographic data about the city as a whole does shape the narrative. “Jersey City is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and our data reflects that as well,” she said. “We have households in every neighborhood and in every income bracket participating in the backyard program. The only common thread is that they’re all willing (to help) and interested in the composting program. And they all have a backyard. But that’s about where the similarities end.” Kozakiewicz said she’s proud of how Jersey City has rallied before this cause. Jersey City isn’t alone on this front. She cited examples like Denver, which has robust waste management programs. However, being out west,
cities there have more room to grow horizontally. Whereas on the East Coast, they tend to be limited to vertical growth because they’re landlocked. Still, Jersey City did take inspiration from such programs while making the program its own and iterating as necessary. With that in mind, Kozakiewicz said other municipalities can enjoy success with a residential composting program. They just need to have several elements in place. For one, an effective graphic designer will help communicate the message. The graphics need to be clear and easy to understand, so there are no questions about how to participate. Secondly, you can’t overestimate the value of community partnerships and their role in getting such an initiative off the ground. “There are people in every city in America, community organizations, sustainability groups and church groups who are all looking for ways to impact their own communities,” she said. “So, finding who those people are, and engaging with them, is a great first step.” Kozakiewicz is also a big believer in owning your mistakes, which are going to be inevitable with the launch of any new initiative. “As long as we are continuing to iterate and continuing to push the program forward, then we’re doing the right thing,” she said.
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 51
Conference Calendar EDITOR’S NOTE: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, readers are encouraged to verify their conference’s status. The Municipal has updated entries’ statuses with information available as of press time; however, as the situation is still fluid, plans may change rapidly.
F E B R UA R Y Feb. 1, 3 and 5 League of California Cities City Managers Conference Virtual www.cacities.org
Feb. 4-6 NUCA Annual Convention and Exhibit Naples Grande Beach Resort, Naples, Fla. www.nuca.com
Feb. 1-4 CADCA National Leadership Forum Virtual www.cadca.org/events
Feb 8-12 and 16-18 ATSSA’s Convention & Traffic Expo Virtual http://expo.atssa.com
Feb. 1-4 Indiana Section AWWA Annual Conference (Rescheduled: April 19-21) Marriott Hotel — East, Indianapolis, Ind. www.inawwa.org
Feb. 9-12 Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association Annual Conference & Trade Show (CANCELLED) Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wis. www.wpraweb.org
Feb. 2-3 Michigan Water Environment Association Operators Day Virtual https://www.mi-wea.org/joint_ expo_and_operators_day.php Feb. 2-4 Michigan Recreation & Park Association Conference & Trade Show Virtual https://www.mparks.org/page/ Conference Feb. 2-4 Maine Water Utilities Association Annual Conference & Trade Show Virtual mwua.org Feb. 3-6 ACA Winter 2021 Conference (Virtual and In-Person) Orlando, Fla. www.aca.org
Feb. 9-18 New York Water Environment Association 93rd Annual Meeting & Exhibition Virtual http://www.nywea.org Feb. 10-11 City Action Days Virtual www.wacities.org/eventseducation/conferences Feb. 10-12 Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police Winter 2021 Professional Development Conference Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids, Mich. www.michiganpolicechiefs.org Feb. 16-18 2021 North Dakota Rural Water Systems Expo & Technical Conference (Cancelled) Bismarck Event Center & Radisson Hotel, Bismarck, N.D. www.ndrw.org
Feb. 16-18 Illinois Rural Water Association Annual Conference (Rescheduled: June 15-16) Effingham, Ill. http://www.ilrwa.org/ Feb. 21-24 New Jersey Recreation and Park Association 46th Annual Conference Virtual www.njrpa.org/NJRPA-AnnualConference Feb. 22-25 Colorado Rural Water Association 40th Annual Conference & Exhibition Denver, Colo. http://www.crwa.net Feb. 22-25 Wisconsin Integrated Resource Management Conference Virtual www.wirmc.org Feb. 23-25 WWETT Virtual Event www.wwettshow.com Feb. 23-25 Delaware Rural Water Association’s 31st Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (Rescheduled: Aug. 17-19) Delaware State Fairgrounds, Harrington, Del. drwa.org
Feb. 23-26 Missouri Park & Recreation Association’s Conference and Expo (Rescheduled: April 13-16) Holiday Inn Executive Center, Columbia, Mo. www.mopark.org/conference Feb. 25, March 30 and April 21 Iowa Parks & Recreation Association Conference Virtual iapra.org Feb. 25-27 Wisconsin State Firefighters Association Annual Convention (Cancelled) Hyatt Regency/KI Convention Center, Green Bay, Wis. www.wi-state-firefighters.org
MARCH March 1-3 MSTPA 2021 Annual Spring Conference & Tradeshow Chattanooga, Tenn. https://mstpa.org/annualconference March 7-10 NLC Congressional City Conference Virtual https://ccc.nlc.org/ March 8-10 Utah Recreation & Parks Association Annual Conference Provo, Utah urpa.org March 8-12 Work Truck Week 21 Virtual www.worktruckshow.com
To list your upcoming conference or seminar in The Municipal at no charge, call (800) 733-4111, ext. 2307, or email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. 52 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
• Wireless Speakers. No digging up sidewalks or streets.
• Festivals, parades, special events.
BUILDING SOLUTIONS FOR OVER
• Ambient music for shopping district.
INDUSTRY-LEADING WARRANTIES ENERGY-EFFICIENT DESIGNS EXPERT CONSULTATION METAL AND FABRIC BUILDINGS
• Fully outdoorͲrated system. www.clearspan.com 1.866.643.1010
• Stream music from internet services. • Acts as a Public Address audio system.
We sell directly, FD to FD, for Fair Market Value! 1998 Freightliner Tanker Sold for New Freeport VFD of Pennsylvania Now serving with Smithville VFD in Oklahoma! Don’t settle for pennies on the dollar by selling at auction: Let Firetec Handle The Sale
Call to tell us about the used fire truck your FD needs to sell 800-347-3832 or text us to 802-431-6033
• Play announcements or sponsor ads.
• Easily mounts on street light pole. • Remote volume control of each unit. • Remote alarm monitoring. • Scheduler for timeͲofͲday operation. • Very highͲquality audio.
FIRETEC USED APPARATUS SALES WWW.FIRETEC.COM • EMAIL: FIRETEC@FIRETEC.COM
©2020 AirNetix, LLC Ͳwww.streetsoundswireless.com Ͳ
ANDY MOHR FORD COMMERCIAL DEPT. PLAINFIELD, IN (317) 279-7141 www.AndyMohrFord.com ® We are a stalker Radar Distributor CONTACT KENT GOLDMAN email@example.com TOM DATZMAN TomDatzman@aol.com
2020 & 2021 POLICE INTERCEPTOR UTILITIEs
Ready for immediate delivery. Call for Government Pricing
We Stock Ecoboost, Hybrids and V6’s. Can Upfit to Meet Your Needs 2017 ForD PoLIcE INtErcEPtor UtILIty ExPLorEr AWD 500A Police Order Pkg., 3.5L Eco Boost Gas V-6, Pkg. includes Dual twin sirens and intersection howler, Havis center console, Lap top holder, PA system, 10-8 in-car video camera with wireless mic, Stalker duel head top-ofthe-line radar runs four vehicles simultaneously, Duo Interedge Whelen Lighting Red/Blue with take-down lights and optional scene all white lights and dash light red/blue with white scene light, also rear inter-edge rear lighting in rear glass inside lift-gate. AWS (Automatic weapons security system) includes over head hand gun locker with red and white reading lamps, Rear automatic rear gun locker with Barrier/Fence and top storage, plus Aux drawer under the weapons box, Rear file cabinet with printer stand in back seat, Vehicle has remote start with only 37,000 miles in great condition. Balance of Power Train Warranty for 100,000 miles until 08/2022 with zero deductible. Government Purchase Only. Call Kent for Details 317-279-7141 | 812-325-4465
Vehicle Government Pricing New - $40,820 JTN Upfitted Pkg. Completed for road ready use - $22,978 T33890 Total Pkg. when new - $63,798
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 53
Evolution Edges focuses on ‘innovation with an edge’ by eliminating full cover blades By DAREN LYNCH
In the 1990s, the introduction of a carbide insert blade for snowplow cutting edges was recognized as a major technological advancement for the wear parts industry. Carbide demonstrated the wear longevity to be seven times greater than a traditional hardened steel snowplow blade.
The Sabre Blade System will provide customers with improved carbide cutting edge performance. (Photo provided) 54 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
While carbide represented a significant advancement, there remained the need to use a traditional cover blade to protect the carbide inserts that would experience an initial, significant and direct impact. While the carbide longevity was an improvement, requiring two blades represented safety challenges for the installation by workers and additional stress on the truck assembly and plow frame. Fast-forward to November 2020 when Evolution Edges announced a revolutionary one-of-a-kind solution to eliminate the traditional fullsize steel cover blade, and did this by acquiring the patented Sabre® Blade System created by Built Blades LLC of Fairport, N.Y. For the first time in 30 years, the Sabre® design has created significant advancements for customers looking to improve carbide cutting edge performance. Below are Sabre’s safety, economic and functional advantages: • Offered on national cooperative agreements, such as NASPO and Sourcewell. • First manufacturer ever to use Hardox® steel in the cutting edge industry. • Hardox is two times more abrasion-resistant and three times more impact-resistant. • A Sabre blade is 40% lighter per foot to reduce work-related injuries. • Utilizes a 18% thinner blade surface contact, resulting in better scraping. • Wear indicators every inch across the blade allow for rapid visual assessment. • Multiple state departments of transportation evaluations demonstrate a three times greater longevity versus carbide. Evolution Edges, located in Elmira, N.Y., opened its doors in 2009 as a division of Chemung Supply Corporation — a municipal distribution supplier that has been in operation for 90 years now. Chemung Supply President Marc Stemerman created the snowplow wear parts manufacturing division in response to following industry needs: • To simplify and streamline the snowplow wear parts ordering process. •T o ensure high-quality products be delivered with rapid response. • To be the authority of quality and innovative snowplow cutting edges. Evolution Edges has six patents pending or in existence, and along with Built Blades, both companies represent many rapid, new innovations via shared patents. “We are confident that adding Built Blades to our portfolio will be a mutually beneficial acquisition for both companies’ customer base. Adding Built Blades products to the products offered by Evolution Edges will create a much broader product offering and the means to serve our municipal customers more effectively now and moving forward,” stated Stemerman. Built Blades created the Sabre® armored carbide snowplow blade in 2016, and it has been awarded both a fully issued utility patent and a registered trademark. It is currently being used in 29 snow states across the USA, which demonstrates its worthiness in diverse climates for snowplow applications. “Delivery of an affordable, innovative and quality snowplow wear parts portfolio in a rapid and efficient manner to the customer is our goal. The acquisition of Built Blades demonstrates our ongoing focus to improve snowplow cutting edge technology,” said Stemerman. For more information, visit www.evolutionedges.com or www.builtblades.com/sabre.
Sabre blades have wear indicators across every inch, which allows for rapid visual assessment. They are also 40% lighter per foot to reduce work-related injuries. (Photo provided)
Sabre is the first manufacturer to ever use Hardox steel in the cutting edge industry. It is two times more abrasion-resistant and three times more impact-resistant. (Photo provided)
Sabre is available through national cooperative agreements, such as NASPO and Sourcewell.
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 55
Our solutions help communities manage stormwater runoff that reduce flooding and improve water quality.
WEATHERING THE STORM. We’re Olsson, a nationally recognized engineering and design firm that adds purpose to every project we create. Learn how we promote sustainable stormwater development at olsson.com.
AMCS WASTE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
AMCS PLATFORM End-to-end cloud solution for waste, recycling and resource industries Built for change and innovation 56 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
News & Notes Rubicon joins The Climate Pledge by Amazon and Global Optimism
NTEA’s board of directors adopts a climate change policy
NEW YORK, N.Y. — Rubicon, a software company that provides smart waste and recycling solutions to businesses and governments worldwide, is proud to announce it has joined The Climate Pledge, an environmental protection initiative co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. Signatories of the Pledge commit to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the goal set out in the United Nations’ Paris Climate Agreement. “We believe that climate change is among the most urgent issues the world is facing today, which makes our joining The Climate Pledge a defining moment for Rubicon. It is our declaration of alliance in the fight against climate change and a restatement of our company’s mission,” said David Rachelson, chief sustainability officer at Rubicon. “Every day, our team works tirelessly alongside our partners to reduce the buildup of waste and to mitigate its damaging impact on the environment.” Through further business model innovations, the increased adoption of technology and data tools, and by identifying and scaling solutions that accelerate the transition to a circular economy, Rubicon and its partners will further reduce the adverse effects of carbon emissions on the planet’s biodiversity, natural ecosystems, and its climate. In addition, as a signatory of The Climate Pledge, Rubicon commits to: • Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis. • Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business change and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions and other carbon emission elimination strategies. • Take actions to neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040. “Putting our name to this pledge reconfirms our dedication to creating a cleaner, healthier, and safer planet for all humankind,” continued Rachelson. “We are proud to stand alongside the other companies who have signed The Climate Pledge in this most pressing of global missions.”
FARMINGTON HILLS, MICH. — NTEA’s board of directors adopted a climate change policy that commits the association to continue facilitating productive use of alternative fuels and advanced technologies for work trucks. The policy explains the work truck industry represents a positive force in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Further, it provides NTEA the opportunity to educate the public, regulators and legislators about how the industry is already putting in place solutions to society’s environmental concerns. “The work truck industry is at the forefront of alternative fuels and advanced technologies, and plays a key role as part of the solution to the environmental challenges we face,” said Peter Miller, NTEA chair. “NTEA’s policy emphasizes the importance of multiple technology and fuel options on the path to zero emissions, as work trucks do not represent a one-size-fits-all situation.” “Climate change is a serious global challenge that requires long-term commitments — and every industry has a role to play,” said Mike Kastner, NTEA managing director. “NTEA recognizes the work truck industry is wellpositioned to make a significant difference through continued development of innovative new technologies to reduce fuel consumption and vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. The industry will produce vocational trucks for the future that both increase overall vehicle efficiency and reduce GHGs on the path to zero emissions.” The work truck industry views the transition to a low-carbon future as a path to zero emissions that allows for multiple routes encompassing a wide range of fuels, technologies, innovations and new materials. “NTEA is dedicated to building knowledge and acceptance of technologies that will reduce GHG emissions,” said Steve Carey, NTEA president & CEO. “Further, we support and develop driver training and vehicle purchasing education to further enhance vehicle efficiency.” In the new NTEA policy, the board reiterates the imperativeness that work trucks are included in the national discussion. Commercial vehicles play a vital role in our productive economy and represent an opportunity through which alternative fuels and advanced technologies can be effectively and rapidly deployed. As part of a coordinated effort to reduce GHG emissions, NTEA calls for additional infrastructure investment along with research and innovative demonstration projects that could lead to policies mitigating road congestion. Additionally, fueling infrastructure for alternative fuels such as propane, natural gas, electric and hydrogen must be supported in order for these fuels to be adopted in the vocational truck fleet. NTEA will recognize and support programs that enhance North American manufacturing competitiveness globally through more fuel-efficient and sustainable vehicle fleets; promote evidence-based federal, state, provincial and municipal government policies and regulations as well as private-sector initiatives that effectively reduce GHG emissions from work trucks; encourage industry and government research that assists in determination of the best fuels or technologies for differing transportation and work truck applications; educate municipalities, private fleets and the general public on availability and value of alternative fuels and fuel-efficient technologies; partner with North American governments, agencies and laboratories to support development and integration of innovative technologies and strategies reducing GHG emissions from the work truck fleet; and work with industry to maximize the near-term benefits of deployable alternative fuels and advanced technologies that reduce GHG emissions and increase fuel efficiency. View the climate change policy at https://www.ntea.com/climatechange.
XL Fleet and Pivotal Investment Corporation II announce closing of merger BOSTON, MASS., AND NEW YORK, N.Y. — XL Fleet announced it has completed its previously announced merger with Pivotal Investment Corporation II, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. The transaction, which was approved by Pivotal’s stockholders at its annual meeting held on Dec. 21, 2020, resulted in the combined company being renamed “XL Fleet Corp.,” with its common stock and warrants to commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the opening of trading on Dec. 22, 2020, under the ticker symbols “XL” and “XL WS,” respectively. In connection with the merger and related private placement, XL Fleet received approximately $350 million in cash proceeds. The funds are expected to be used to: • Advance XL Fleet’s position as a leader in fleet electrification through the development of new products, including all electric and Class 7-8 solutions. • Further deployment of the XL Grid charging infrastructure division and its complete “Electrification as a Service” offering. • Accelerate XL Fleet’s plans to expand internationally. The full press release can be read at www.xlfleet.com. 58 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
News & Notes Monroe Truck Equipment aquires Southern Coach Commercial and Custom Vehicle Upfitting MONROE, WISCONSIN — Monroe Truck Equipment announced the strategic acquisition of Southern Coach Commercial and Custom Vehicle Upfitting in Kernersville, N.C. The acquisition is founded on many great congruences between the two companies. With similar business models, customer profiles and product families, Monroe Truck Equipment and Southern Coach are positioned to bring the exemplary level of service that the industry demands. “We are excited about the opportunities this acquisition creates for commercial work truck customers and our combined businesses,” said Tom Ninneman, CEO of Monroe Truck Equipment. “The Southern Coach brand has been built by helping its OEM partners and customers sell more — aligning perfectly with us. I am impressed with the Southern Coach team and track record, knowing we will provide additional resources to fuel their continued growth.” Southern Coach has been in business for over 40 years. It offers upfitting services for Chevrolet, GMC, Ford and RAM trucks, providing work-ready vehicles to OEM dealerships across the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. Southern Coach has won numerous awards for World Class customer service and has set an industry standard for integrity and commitment. “Great customers and great employees make a great company. Since 1979 Southern Coach has been blessed with both,” said John D. Link, Founder of Southern Coach. “The additional tools Monroe brings into play will create tremendous advantages for our customers and our employees, while creating one of the most prominent upfitting locations in the Southeast.” The addition of Southern Coach to the family of Monroe Truck Equipment brands ensure that customers in the region have access to expanded services and capabilities, as well as greater access to Monroe’s commercial work truck platforms, bailment pools and national ship-thru capabilities. Monroe now has eight facilities throughout the US. “Southern Coach blends well with our existing commercial work truck division,” said Scott Hanewall, vice president of sales, Commercial Division at Monroe Truck Equipment. “We are excited to combine our joint areas of expertise and expand our customer focused footprint in this region.”
News releases regarding personnel changes, other non-productrelated company changes, association news and awards are printed as space allows. Priority will be given to advertisers and affiliates. Releases not printed in the magazine can be found online at www.themunicipal.com. Call (800) 733–4111, ext. 2307, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 59
Spring 2021 Meet the Industry’s First Premium Air Conditioned Cab for the Kubota ZD1211. Ku
rMoMeoIrnenoVvaaltuioen. . curtiscab.com
Turn to a Higher Power With its high-quality, virtually indestructible alloy steel frame the Portable Scene Light II is waterproof and stackable–perfect for building a light tower when needed. Plus, with 10,000 lumens in a cordless and compact package, you can prevent trip hazards in already hazardous locations. 10,000 LUMENS
60 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
360° ROTATING HEAD
© 2021 STREAMLIGHT, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
12/18/20 3:59 PM
TOP 10 Ten best places to live Livability.com highlighted how much the world has changed in its 2020 Top 100 Best Places to Live America, particularly focusing on the large number of remote jobs now available. As jobs offer more freedom location-wise, the website poses the question, if you could work remotely and live anywhere, where would you go? “Right now, millions of people are reevaluating where they want to live. If you’re one of them, this list is for you,” Liveability.com shares. “We analyzed more than 1,000 small to mid-sized cities on factors
Ann Arbor, Mich.
62 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
like safety, affordability, economic stability, outdoor recreation, accessibility, community engagement. This year’s list was also informed by a new metric: an ‘opportunity score’ we used to determine each city’s landscape of opportunity, including variables like job numbers, broadband access, economic resilience and growth.” Fort Collins, Colo., scored the top position, with Liveability.com describing it as a vibrant and growing city that is “overflowing with opportunity.” We are sharing the top 10 cities from the list of 100,
but definitely check each entry out, including all their offerings that make them the best.
Fort Collins, Colo.
Overland Park, Kan.
Sioux Falls, S.D.
64 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
Advertiser Index A
Air Netix LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
KM International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
All Access Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Alumitank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 AMCS Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Andy Mohr Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
L Land Pride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
M Midwest Sandbags LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Midwest Tractor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
BendPak Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
MRL Equipment Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover, 10-11
Blackburn Manufacturing Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Bonnell Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
National Construction Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Brightspan Building Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Bucher Municipal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
O Olsson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Buyers Products Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
P C CBI Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Chemung Suppy Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54-55 CleanFix North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 CTech Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Clearspan Fabric Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Curtis Industries, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
E Everblades Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
F FCAR Tech USA, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Perma Patch Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
R Rapid View LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BACK
S Streamlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Strongwell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
T T2 Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Trinity Highway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
U Uline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Fluid Control Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Unique Paving Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Frost Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Utility Truck Equipment Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Henderson Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Versalift East, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
This index is provided courtesy of the publisher, who assumes no liability for errors or omissions. FEBRUARY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL 65
DESIGNED FOR MOBILE ENVIRONMENTS
MODELS STARTING AT
W W W. C T EC H M A N U FAC T U R I N G . C O M
DRAWERS IN 10 DAYS!
SUV Cargo Cabinets, Service Truck Drawers, even Van Cabinet solutions!
CTech Manufacturing has what you need; superior products, lightweight construction, premium ﬁnish!
Contact us today FEATURES: MotionLatch Handle, Aluminum Construction, Powder Coat Finish, Extruded Framework, Ball Bearing Drawers, Heavy Duty Drawer Liner, Locking Drawers, Lifetime Warranty, and more! 66 THE MUNICIPAL | FEBRUARY 2021
SALTDOGG MEDIUM DUTY MDS ®
SPREADS? CHECK. HAULS? CHECK. DUMPS? CHECK.
For Class 4-7 Trucks
Shown with optional pre-wet system LS15
ONE BODY DOES IT ALL NOTHING WORKS LIKE A DOGG
Find Your Local Distributor at www.BuyersProducts.com/dealerlocator OHIO IN
BETTER DECISIONS ORION-L 3 SD/HD camera on HD T76 with traction wheels.
Push | High Def | Mainline | Lateral Launch | 3D Mapping | PANO 4K Scanner | Rehabilitation | Software
(800)-656-4225 | www.rapidview.com | Past Proven. Future Ready. IBAK Inspection Equipment Manufacturing is CertiďŹ ed ISO 9001:2015 and ISO14001: 2015.