Dublin Villager

Resilience Zone

City's program would help businesses affected by weather

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Businesses can lose money during storms and extreme weather.

Dublin is hoping to fight that by establishing a "Resilience Zone" that could protect and prepare businesses for extreme weather events.

Dublin City Council members last week approved a resolution allowing the city to apply for a $50,000 grant from the Ohio Local Government Innovation Fund to establish a pilot Resilience Zone.

"We were asked to take the lead on this program because of the business ecosystem here," Dana McDaniel, Dublin's director of development, told council Feb. 10.

The Resilience Zone would help prepare businesses for extreme weather events such as high rainfall or snowfall, tornados, heat waves, high winds, super cell thunderstorms and droughts, the staff report to council said.

The zone, a staff report to council stated, establishes an area that through engineering and land use strategies would "minimize risk and support rapid rebounds. Working through and getting back to business after an extreme weather event will provide a competitive advantage to prepared businesses."

The zone would include both public and private investments with solutions such as "infrastructure hardening, building system upgrades, strengthening environmental systems, managing greater volumes of rainwater with green infrastructure, creating redundancy for critical equipment and services and developing programs and processes to assess damages, repair equipment and reboot operations," the staff report to council stated.

If the city receives the grant, the Resilience Zone will likely be established at Metro Center, Blazer Parkway and in Historic Dublin, and include workshops and blueprints for how to put the zone in place.

McDaniel said the city should know if it will receive the grant within the next month and would execute a study over three months.

City staff plan to use TRC Solutions to assist with the project, the staff report said.

With many businesses in Dublin, a Resilience Zone will be one more thing the city can offer, McDaniel said.

"The Resilience Zone and de-risking strategies will help Dublin's businesses weather the storm so they can keep working," the staff report said.

Mayor Mike Keenan questioned the grant, however, and said although the city can supply a redundant power source and better wastewater management, plans are something businesses should do on their own.

"This is just an extra added service (to businesses)," McDaniel said.

Dublin does not have to supply matching funds for the grant, McDaniel said.

If the city does not receive the grant, there are no plans to go forward with a Resilience Zone.

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