FCEM&HS Implements Changes to Outdoor Warning Siren System

We’ve received a few calls concerning our outdoor sirens not being activated notifying Gahanna residents about a tornado warning. In an effort to provide residents with more accurate information, Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security has made some changes to its notification system. The Outdoor Warning Siren System is now divided into four warning zones, NW, NE, SW and SE. These four zones allow the existing system more flexibility to precisely predict tornadic activity in a specific area in Franklin County. If you would still like to receive all notifications for Franklin County, we encourage you to sign up for the ALERT Franklin County emergency notification system. To sign up for this FREE emergency notification system, click here.

It’s Mosquito Season

The City of Gahanna has contracted with Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) for mosquito control. FCPH uses an Integrated Pest Management approach with a public health focus to reduce and control disease carrying mosquitoes. Various tools and techniques are utilized throughout the mosquito season to help control the mosquito population. These include:

  • Larviciding areas of stagnant water and stormwater catch basins to prevent mosquitoes from hatching in these prime breeding sites.
  • Surveillance of adult mosquito populations by the use of traps.
  • Testing of adult mosquitoes for the presence of disease.
  • Adulticiding (spraying) using Ultra Low Volume (ULV) truck mounted equipment to treat residential areas to reduce adult mosquito populations.
  • Implementing a variety of educational materials and awareness approaches.

Franklin County Public Health uses the data they collect from these methods along with historical data about mosquito breeding locations, areas that traditionally have high adult mosquito populations and the frequency and distribution of mosquito-borne diseases to concentrate and focus their efforts. They also rely on residents to report areas that they suspect may be mosquito breeding areas and/or when there is an increase in adult mosquito activity.

Reporting
Call the FCPH Mosquito Bite Line at 614-525-BITE (2483) to submit a request for service or to report mosquito problems or concerns. The Bite Line is a voicemail system so please leave a detailed message. All submissions will be processed in the order received. FCPH will make an attempt to respond to reported mosquito problems or concerns within one business day. This may include a site visit to the location reported and/or telephone call to try and obtain further information.

Testing and Spraying
During mosquito season, FCPH will set traps out every Monday night throughout central Ohio and test the mosquitoes on Tuesday for mosquito-borne diseases, such as the West Nile Virus. The criteria for spaying is based on an increase of mosquitoes trapped and/or if mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus. If there is a need to treat a specific area in Gahanna, pre-spray maps will be featured on the City of Gahanna’s website prior to treatment.

Additional Information and Forms
Visit Franklin County Public Health’s Mosquito Management Program homepage at www.myfcph.org/environmental-health/mosquitoes/ for more detailed information regarding the general biology of mosquitoes, eliminating mosquitoes from your home, repellent information, management plan, spraying details and more. Forms are also available online to report problems or concerns (request for service) and do not spray requests.

Did You Know…

  • Mosquitoes are not only annoying, but they present a potential health risk as transmitters of diseases such as encephalitis and West Nile Virus.
  • Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. Standing water is required for their young to hatch and develop. A single water-filled bucket can produce hundreds of biting mosquitoes in little as one week.
  • Most mosquitoes spend their entire lives near their container-breeding site.
  • Female mosquitoes look for hosts to bite nearby.
  • Dawn and dusk are when mosquitoes are most active.
  • While the adult mosquito’s life expectancy is not usually more than a few weeks, the female may lay several batches of eggs each containing several hundred eggs during its life.

What Can You Do?
Mosquitoes are attracted to anything they can get a blood meal from. Not only are mosquitoes annoying, but they present a potential health risk as transmitters of diseases such as encephalitis and West Nile Virus. By eliminating potential breeding sites around your home and taking simple precautions, you can lower your chances of getting bit by mosquitoes and avoid mosquito-borne diseases. Follow the tips below:

  • Take a few minutes to go outside and look around your yard. Anything that holds standing water (pots, tarps, trash cans, toys, etc) could be a potential breeding site for mosquitoes. It does not take much water and it does not take much time. Dump these containers and turn them upside down or store them inside your garage.
  • Change the water in wading pools, planters and bird baths once a week. Change water in pet dishes daily. This will prevent the breeding and growth of mosquitoes.
  • Clogged gutters are an optimal environment for mosquito eggs. Ensure your gutters and downspouts are free of blockages and are properly draining to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
  • Drain or fill low areas on your property that hold water for more than three days.
  • Keep window screens and screened doors in good condition so mosquitoes cannot enter the home.
  • Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • When outside, wear light colors, long sleeves, long pants and socks. Mosquitoes can pierce tight clothing so be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Use repellent products that contain active ingredients which have been registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Products containing DEET and Picaridin typically provide longer-lasting protection than others, but products containing Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, PMD or IR3535 also provide a reasonable amount protection. Always follow label directions when applying mosquito repellents and see if it is appropriate to apply to children, as some may have concentrations not suitable for small children.
  • Avoid perfume, colognes or other heavy scents that may attract mosquitoes.

Report a Pothole

The City of Gahanna is responsible for maintaining residential streets, and portions of major arterials. To report a pothole or damage on a city-maintained roadway click here. You may also contact the Department of Public Service & Engineering at 614.342.4005.

 

Let the Adventure Begin with Gahanna Parks & Recreation

The 2018 Spring/Summer Gateway is now available! Learn about events, rental opportunities and more in this issue. Let the Adventure Begin by purchasing your pool and golf memberships, paddling the Big Walnut Creek, running a race, and so much more. The Department of Parks & Recreation wishes to recognize the Gahanna Parks & Recreation Foundation […]

Weather Safety Tips from Franklin County Public Health

West Side Intersection Improvement Alternatives Analysis Update

For those unable to attend any of the scheduled open houses concerning the West Side Intersection, we have provided a link to the materials disseminated outlining the proposed alternatives.  If you have additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please email the City Engineer Robert Priestas at robert.priestas@gahanna.gov.

City of Gahanna Awarded Certificate of Achievement of Excellence in Financial Reporting for Fourth Consecutive Year

The City of Gahanna has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States (GFOA) for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.  This award is the fourth consecutive year the City of Gahanna has earned this distinction.

“Earning this recognition for the fourth year in a row demonstrates our continued commitment to transparency and fiscal accountability to Gahanna’s taxpayers,” said Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland.  “I am very pleased by the efforts of our finance department, led by Joann Bury to ensure we are adhering to the highest standards of reporting to our citizens.”

The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate users and user groups to read the CAFR.

“It is always an honor to receive this recognition,” said City of Gahanna Finance Director Joann Bury. “Receiving this award demonstrates our continued dedication to providing comprehensive financial information and transparency to our citizens.”

The City of Gahanna’s Finance Department oversees all of the City’s financial operations, which includes the municipal income tax, city budget, annual appropriations, accounts payable, debt, banking and investment management and payroll.

A copy of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY16 may be found under the “Finance” section of the City’s website.

The Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association serving the needs of nearly 19,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. To learn more about the GFOA, click here.

City Buzzing with Enthusiasm for Bee City Projects

Original story by Marla Kuhlman, ThisWeek Community News

The buzz around Gahanna is that the city is officially a “Bee City USA.”

Gahanna landed the status after city council voted to pursue the program that helps communities recognize the importance of pollinators.

Residents can expect to see a variety of initiatives, including the installation and maintenance of three active beehives within the city.

Additionally, the city plans to landscape the newly opened roundabouts on Hamilton Road Central to create pollinator habitats.

Mayor Tom Kneeland signed a proclamation making Gahanna a pollinator-friendly community last spring.

The Bee City USA status reaffirms the city’s commitment to help create pollinator-friendly habitats that ensure the survival of animal species, such as bees, which improve regional food production and stimulate the local economy.

“I’m excited about the progress we have made from becoming a pollinator-friendly community to the Bee City USA status,” Kneeland said. “I encourage residents to look for ways in their own yards to create a pollinator-friendly habitat.”

Bee City USA is a nonprofit national organization that encourages communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with a healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free or nearly free of pesticides.

Some of the installations include gardens at McCorkle Park, Creekside Park and Plaza, the Geroux Herb Garden at Gahanna City Hall, Gahanna Swimming Pool and Veterans Memorial Park.

“When researching community ecological initiatives, I found Gahanna’s current practices to meet or exceed the requirements,” said Shannon Barnette, horticulture coordinator for the Department of Parks and Recreation. “Our city parks and local wildlife can benefit greatly from our ongoing efforts.”

The certification Gahanna received includes a requirement to annually celebrate being a Bee City USA community through public-awareness activities, including a proclamation, signs and web links; with the expectation to annually report activities to Bee City USA to renew the certification.

Gahanna plans to annually celebrate National Pollinator Week during the third week of June.

More information about Bee City USA can be found at www.beecityusa.org.

To learn more about Gahanna’s pollinator initiatives, contact the Ohio Herb Education Center at 614-342-4380.

Guidelines for Curbside Collection of Leaves and Other Yard Waste

It’s that time of year to enjoy the fall colors in Gahanna’s beautiful parks and neighborhoods.  It’s also a time when residents can help pitch in to keep our streets clean and to prevent flooding by raking up fallen leaves and pine needles.  Proper disposal of leaves is through the City’s yard waste collection service that occurs every Monday.  Leaves need to be put in a paper bag, or container clearly marked as “Yard Waste,” and placed curbside prior to 6 a.m.  Yard waste stickers are available from the Water and Refuse Department in City Hall.  The weight of any yard waste container must not exceed 50 pounds.  Yard waste may also be dropped off in the yard waste dumpster located behind the Service Complex at 152 Oklahoma Ave.  Access to the dumpster is available Mon.-Fri. from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

As a reminder, the City of Gahanna does not provide curbside vacuuming of leaves and needles.  It is important that leaves and any other yard waste not be raked or blown into the street.  This helps prevent stormwater drains from becoming clogged.  It is a violation of City code (Codified Ordinance of the City of Gahanna 941.02) to intentionally rake or blow leaves into the street.  Below are best practices to keep in mind when disposing of leaves in order to protect water quality and the local infrastructure:

  • Keep leaves out of the street and away from storm drain inlets.  Leaves left in streets get blown by the wind and carried by rainwater to the nearest storm drain.  They form thick mats that prevent water from flowing into the stormwater system, which in turn, causes street flooding.
  • If you use a professional landscape company to maintain your yard, request that leaves blown off sidewalks or driveways are directed back into the yard and not into the street.
  • If you live along a ravine or stream, do not dump leaves over the edge.  The leaf piles will form thick mats that will not decompose over the winter.  The vegetation under the leaf piles will then die, leading to erosion of the ravine or stream bank.
  • Excessive leaves entering streams pose water quality concerns.  Bacteria use dissolved oxygen within the water to decompose organic matter.  Increased levels of organic matter from leaves result in depleted oxygen levels and consequently kill fish and other aquatic organisms.
  • Leaves can be added to a composting bin; however, other high nitrogen ingredients may be needed for optimum results (due to the high carbon to nitrogen ratio).
  • Leaves can be mulched with a lawn mower and left to decompose on the lawn.

Leaves can also be used as mulch around trees, shrubs, flower bushes and vegetable gardens.  They help impede the growth of weeds, retain soil moisture, maintain lower soil temperatures in the summer and protect against temperature fluctuations.  Leaves will eventually decompose, adding their nutrients to the soil and improve soil structure.

For more information, contact the City of Gahanna Water, Sewer & Refuse Division at 614-342-4440.