Mayor's Report To City Council

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Mayor's Report to City Council 10/12/15

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Executive Office of the Mayor
Vaughn D. Spencer
Administrative Report
October 12, 2015
Fire Department
Fire Activity
On September 28, units responded to 1036 Buttonwood St. for a fire that originated in the rear yard. Once the fire entered the structure, it extended through numerous voids to the upper floors of the structure and the attached exposure building at 1034. The fire went to 2 Alarms because of the extensive work required to open up the voids. The fire was brought under control in just over an hour. There were no injuries, the occupants were assisted by the Red Cross, and the fire remains under investigation. 
On October 6, units responded to 336 North 5th, upon arrival they were confronted with heavy fire in the 2nd floor rear apt. The fire was brought under control in 20 mins. with 1 minor Firefighter injury. The cause of the fire was unattended cooking. 
Other Activity
The week of October 4th – October 10th was Fire Prevention week. This year’s theme was ‘Hear the Beep where you Sleep.’ The focus was on the installation of smoke detectors in every bedroom and on every level of the home. In line with that theme, the changes to the Department’s Smoke detector program are proving to be increasingly successful. In 2014, the department installed a total of 110 smoke detectors in owner-occupied residences that met the requirements. In 2015, the numbers have increased to 400 smoke detectors and 98 combination units in owner occupied single family dwellings. Changes were made to the program in June that allowed the Department to open the program to all owner-occupied single family residences regardless of income. 
On Sunday October 11th the Department held an awards ceremony to honor the several firefighters for their actions at an incident in 2014.
Mayor’s Office
The following table provides an overview of Mayor’s Clean City Initiative Projects done between September 28, 2015 and today. There are a number of clean ups scheduled for the week, most notably a clean-up of what appears to be a former encampment site for homeless people up on the mountain directly below the Peace Sign. Volunteers from ADDAPT and Safeguards Foster Care will be assisting Public Works at that site.
group/area date# of volunteers# of hourstotal hoursvalue
600 Blk. Of Weiser9/26/201520480$1,804.00
300 Blk. S. 5th.9/26/2015423$180.40
Reading Recreation Commission
300 Block of Spruce
Reading High ROTC
13th Street
Penn State University
Confluence Point
Reading City Church
100 – 1100 Penn St.
STAR Communities
Earlier this month, The City of Reading was chosen to mentor the 6 new cities and counties that comprise the Fall 2015 Leadership STAR Community Program. Last May, Reading lead the charge and became the first municipality in the state of Pennsylvania to achieve certification under the national STAR Community Rating System, receiving a score of 234.1, which qualifies the City as a 3-STAR Community, recognized for “national excellence” in sustainability.
A full press release is attached.
Public Works Department
ADA Compliance Project
The second and final part of the 18th Ward Strategic Phasing Plan is now completed with all of the intersections in the ward surveyed, assessed and rated. The highest priority intersections for ADA compliance upgrades are located on Kenhorst Boulevard. The curb ramps at these intersections are scheduled for construction starting this year. For the remainder of the City, the City’s ADA consultant has started the ground survey in the East Reading and South Reading wards. All of the field survey work and compliance assessment work for the remainder of the City is scheduled to be completed next spring.
2015-16 Repaving Project
Penn DOT has given the City the go ahead to advertize the repaving project for North 6th Street, South 9th Street and Hill Road. The project is scheduled to be bid this month with most of the construction work to be completed next spring. New federal and state regulations require that all of the intersections affected by the repaving work must be upgraded with ADA curb ramps and crosswalks. 48 ADA curb ramps at 14 intersections will be installed with this project
Penn Street Lighting Project
The Penn Street Lighting contractor is currently excavating in the sidewalk to prepare for the installation of new light poles in the 200, 300 and 700 blocks of Penn Street. In additional to installing these new “infill” lights, all of the other existing decorative pedestrian lights will be upgraded with new light fixtures. The City has decided to switch to LED lighting which will replace the current metal halide light fixtures. According to the City’s lighting consultant, the change to LED street lighting will benefit the City by significantly reducing maintenance and will save the City over $15,000 per year in energy costs. The switch to LED is being made at no additional cost to the project. This work is scheduled for completion next spring.
Community Events
The Reading Branch of the NAACP will hold their 28th Annual Freedom Fund Gala on October 24, 2015 at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel.
Keynote Speaker
Dr. David E. Goatley
Executive Treasurer, Lott Carey & NAACP
National Board Member
2015 Image Award
Lawrence Berringer
Executive Director, Berks Community Action
2015 Community Impact Award
Hope Rescue Mission
2015 Community Impact Corporate Award
The Reading Group, LLC
2015 Community Impact Youth Award
Penn State Berks - THON
Tickets: $55.00 in advance and $60.00 at the door. Youth Tickets are $25.00
Contact Adriane Hoke at (610) 413-1513 for tickets and information
The Central Pennsylvania African American Museum’s 17th Anniversary Celebration will be held this Saturday from 5 – 7 PM. Tickets cost $5. The guest speaker is Chandi Lowry of 69 News.
The Monument Preservation Committee will be working in City Park on October 17th with assistance from cadets from the Reading High School JROTC.


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