March Community Meeting
- This month the meeting was conducted via conference call. There were 15 residents on the call, Chief Spence and 6 Gahanna staff members (Mayor Laurie Jadwin, Stephania Ferrell – Director of Parks and Recreation; Keith Winn – Director of Public Safety, Grant Crawford – Director of Service and Engineering, Brian Reynolds – Code Enforcement, and Jeff Wright – Mifflin Township Fire Department).
- Chief Spence started the meeting greeting everyone, and then went on to indicate no major crimes with some auto break-in and thefts. It’s been a quiet month. The GPD has been using the NextDoor app to communicate with residents.
Mayor Jadwin announced City Hall is officially closed to visitors with all business being conducted by phone or online. A drop-box at the door is being monitored. City Council meetings will be conducted online with internet access available.
The deadline for state and local taxes has been extended to July 15th in line with the Federal income tax date.
Grant Crawford indicated that recent flooding was due to unprecedented rains and sup pump releases resulting in a 600 million gallon water release. The City of Columbus has had over 4,000 flooding complaints.
Keith Winn, the new Gahanna Director of Public Safety, said he’d be meeting with the Chief and community groups once the health emergency quiets down.
The Mifflin FD runs are not as busy as usual, but firehouses are in a lockdown status for health reasons, indicating the kinds of pre-arrival questions that dispatchers will be asking by phone when contacted for emergency runs. EMS runs will operate somewhat differently, with just one technician making an initial contact with others participating as necessary. Medics are being decontaminated now with UV lighting after every run involving a potentially infections condition, with 10 or 20 minutes of exposure… this light WILL kill the COVID-19 virus. They are experiencing 2-3 such runs per day… but not everyone is infected, this is just performing for safety.
- Going around the room, I reported that the VFW Hall was closed and undergoing some cleanup/renovations. There were three teen or pre-teen girls walking closely together down the street, not observing distance… perhaps sisters but they didn’t look like they were. There were some neighbors visiting others, and some soccer ball practice in Hanna Park (but no matches). I also mentioned the Giant Eagle Mon-Tue-Wed early opening time for seniors (6-7 AM) and those at higher COVID-19 risk. There was some paper goods but it was being rationed. Otherwise everything quiet and peaceful. Giant Eagle has also put up plastic screens to separate Cashiers and customers.
- A Woodmere resident saw some kids playing football and when she talked to them about distancing they stopped and just walked the track. She also reminded all that shopping bags can be contaminated, so bags should be wiped, with food taken out also wiped down and placed on cleaned surfaces.
- One resident from the Creekside area thanked the Chief for GPD assistance during recent high rain garage flooding. She indicated that people walking on Mill Street didn’t seem to be observing proper space distance (6 inches vice 6 feet).
- One resident had observed a “tall” trampoline being set up underneath some low hanging power lines, but no unfortunate incidents appear to have happened… yet.
- Some Royal Manor “Totes” have been set up for people to contribute food for others to pick up food.
- The Middle School West will remain open for the time being for residents to use for walking.
- The Sycamore Woods clubhouse has been closed, with a number of people volunteering for transportation of foods, etc.
- When asked if he expected increased “malicious mischief” due to no school, the Chief said they were optimistic that wouldn’t happen, the GPD was maintaining a high visibility, and while grocery stores were very busy, things have generally been quiet.
- One resident asked if anyone in Gahanna was infected and was told that Franklin County Public Health would not reveal such information locally due to privacy and HIPPA requirements, but that local authorities would be notified if “hot spots” were encountered. He indicated that confirmed case numbers currently being ween were about a week old due to testing delays.
- Franklin County EMA (Emergency Management Agency) at Strawberry Farms is in critical need of clean cardboard boxes, packing tape or any kind of medical supplies. Contributions can be dropped off at 5300 Strawberry Farms between 9 AM and 4 PM every day.
- Mayor Jadwin praised everyone in Gahanna for their efforts in these times and announced that a “Gahanna Senior Buddy” program was about to begin to aid those that cannot get out to take care of needs.
- Chief Spence reminded everyone to STAY HOME, AVOID UNNECESSARY TRIPS and MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING then indicated the April meeting would also be conducted as a conference call, and the meeting was adjourned.
Gahanna Division of Police
460 Rocky Fork Boulevard
Gahanna, OH 43230