Assistant Chief of Police Brian Holmes reports that the Spring Hill Police Department has achieved a lot and visibly changed over the last year. The first department canine officer and dog for the city are now in place, the commercial motor vehicle inspection program has been reinstated, and the department’s Chaplaincy Program and Public Safety Advisory Board have been launched. The department has also undergone an administrative re-alignment. Chief Richard Mann filled the vacant position of Assistant Chief, promoted two sergeants and created two new corporal positions to provide 24 hour supervision for officers and a unified chain of leadership in the department.
The governing body directed the conversion of the old Post Office at Nichols and Main Streets in downtown Spring Hill to a new police department. This will bring the department closer in and respond to citizen requests that the historic downtown be revitalized. The new department at 418 E. Nichols should be open by the end of February.
2014 plans for the department prepare for growth with the community through the addition of future officers and a detective. Chief Mann would like to get the police department back into the schools with the School Resource Officer program. The city of Spring Hill is a growing community, and the police department is poised to grow and move forward as a partner with the community and to continue to provide the highest quality law enforcement services to the citizens.
Building permits increased 2013
Community Development Director Jim Hendershot reports that seventy-one building permits were issued in 2013 for new homes, up from thirty-eight in 2012 ~ an 87 percent increase. He credits expanded incentive programs to residential construction builders with some of the success.
2014 goals include maintaining or surpassing the 2013 statistics for building permits by continuing to work with developers for residential, commercial and industrial growth. Plans are to implement new permit software to better organize, track and schedule inspections, which will also allow for online permit and inspection requests and streamline the application process for all land use issues.
Public works completes manhole project
Public Works Director Rory Hale reports that 2013 saw the completion of Wastewater Treatment Plant projects, including the installation of catwalks around the treatment basins, new offices and plant building, and a new North Lift Station. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) sewer and manhole relining project was completed, along with the mill and overlay project on Webster Street from the Maple Ridge subdivision to the intersection of 199th Street. Add to that the construction of a new gazebo, picnic shelter and playground at the Spring Hill Aquatic Center and the plowing of 682 miles of city streets during the eleven 2013 snow events, and you have one busy year for Public Works!
2014 Public Works goals include addressing the turn and accelerations lanes for the 199th Street Prairie Ridge Johnson County Connecting Arterial Road System (CARS) Improvement Project, the painting of the internal and external surfaces of the 500,000 gallon elevated water tower near the AGC Glass Plant, and Phase III of the Wilson Street Storm-water Management Advisory Council (SMAC) Project, which includes storm-water, curb, gutter, sidewalks and Race Street road widening improvements.
SH boasts A-plus bond rating in 2013
Finance Director Melanie Landis added that the city of Spring Hill acquired an A-plus bond rating for debt issuance from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services in 2013, which will allow for lower interest rate bids in the future and could represent major savings over time, decreasing the city’s total debt service. The city also began a study of the organization’s employee compensation program to ensure best practices and report on how it compares to relevant market conditions.
2014 goals include addressing the city’s capital needs by developing a 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan, reflecting citizen input from the 2013 Community Survey and the 2014 Project Connect visioning process. Reducing receivables through the use of a collection agency and creating efficiencies with increased vendor and customer payment options are additional 2014 goals.