Rocky Fork Enterprise

Council considers putting cameras in police cruisers


Impaired drivers in Gahanna could be recorded on camera by local police.

Gahanna City Council is considering the appropriation of $18,000 from the unencumbered and unappropriated balance of the OVI Enforcement & Education Fund to purchase three in-car digital camera systems from B&C Communications in Columbus.

Lt. Jeff Spence said the cameras would be installed in three recently approved-for-purchase Dodge Chargers. He said the camera systems are a vital piece of in-car equipment used primarily for obtaining evidence in the apprehension and subsequent prosecution of impaired operators of motor vehicles.

The police department is requesting that legislation be passed by emergency May 19 to permit the ordering and arrival of the needed equipment to coincide with the arrival of the approved vehicles.

Council also is considering the appropriation of $74,000 from the unencumbered and unappropriated balance of the Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund for the purpose of purchasing equipment and upfitting services for the three new police vehicles purchased via the trust fund.

Spence said the request would fund the purchase of in-car computers, network connectivity devices, traffic radar units, emergency equipment and the upfitting services necessary to produce fully functional police vehicles.

Council also is considering legislation to authorize the mayor to enter into a contract with Waugh Excavating to design and construct the Price Road sanitary sewer system, which would provide sanitary sewer service to a section of the city that is without it.

City engineer Karl Wetherholt said bids were opened and reviewed April 25, and the lowest responsive and responsible bidder was Waugh Excavating of Crown City. The bid price is $169,079.50 to perform the work.

Wetherholt said all of the area addressed by the project is in Gahanna.

Mayor Becky Stinchcomb said the new sewer district would provide service to 22 parcels that are using on-site treatment systems.

Wetherholt said phase 1 of the project would including constructing the main trunk sewer to the west across city property and would serve three parcels: one owned by the city, one that's vacant and one on the south side of Price Road.

The funds to pay for the project are from the 2014 appropriations: sewer capital fund.

Wetherholt also requested that council consider statutory resolutions of necessity and intent for right-of-way acquisition in connection with the Carpenter Road culvert replacement.

He said the bridge on Carpenter Road that crosses Sycamore Run is in need of replacement.

Although it is safe for now with reduced load limits, Wetherholt said, it should be replaced within a few years.

The project is identified in the five-year capital improvement plan, and the design of a replacement culvert to replace the existing bridge is completed.

The new culvert will be wider to accommodate pedestrians and bicycles, Wetherholt said. That will require additional rights of way from three of the adjoining properties, he said.

Construction is scheduled for next year, so right-of-way acquisition is needed this year, he said.