City Council Agenda – 4/21/2009

The Fort Wayne City Council

The City Council meets tomorrow in Committee Session at 5:30 pm in Room 128 in the City-County Building.  The agenda may be downloaded here.

Of interest to be discussed:

AN ORDINANCE establishing the Harrison Square Parking Garage Operating Fund

Establish a fund for the purpose of collecting and holding Revenues, paying maintenance, operating and improvement expenses

AN ORDINANCE establishing the Harrison Square Maintenance and Improvement Fund

Establish a fund for the purpose of collecting and holding Revenues, and paying maintenance, operating and improvement Expenses

AN ORDINANCE approving purchase of an Interactive Intelligence Call Center System between G3 Technology Partners
and the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, in support of City Utilities Customer Service Total cost of $221,556.83

The first two are self-explanatory and will probably stimulate some discussion of the funding streams and contributions from Hardball Capital (aka owner of the TinCaps).

The last item is mainly for the 3-1-1 Call Center.  This new software will give officials the ability to set up an on-site call center.  Let’s say that we have extensive flooding on Theime Drive.  The City could, very easily with this system set up a call center on Theime Drive that would have all the capabilities of the 3-1-1 system in the City-County Building.  Additionally, if there were some sort of city-wide emergency, say like a blizzard, instead of having to trek down to the City-County Building, 3-1-1 operators could essentially handle calls and assignments from home.  

This portability, even the ability to move around inside the City-County Building itself, is a huge step forward for this department and the City in general.  I’ve heard old-timers in the City talk about setting up the City’s response center in the Omni Room during the 1978 Blizzard and later during the flood of 1982 – unloading all the phones and then running lines into the room to hook the phones into.  All told, they remembered the process taking several hours to set up before the first call could even be taken.  In a disaster, this could spell, well I was going to say disaster, but that would be obvious, right?

It is a no-brainer as far as things like this go and I think the next step in the 3-1-1 Call Center evolution.  However, the decision that will probably be debated by the City Council is whether or not it is fiscally responsible at this time.  What must be weighed in this decision is the value of the 3-1-1 call center as proven in two disasters in the last six months the December ice storm and this year’s flooding vs the timing of the request.

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