Best Practices - Vol. IV

Mayor Carleton S. Finkbeiner
Water Treatment

The City of Toledo's Collins Park Water Treatment Plant can process up to 150 million gallons of water per day. Currently, the plant generates about 500 dry tons of spent lime sludge per week.

For many years, the Water Treatment Plant utilized lagoons as a method of dewatering the spent lime sludge. After upwards of five years, the dewatered sludge could be excavated from the lagoons and recycled. This was a costly process both in land acquisition and usage for the lagoons as well as the excavation and hauling of the sludge from the lagoons. There was also the disruption to a nearby neighborhood caused by the excavation and truck traffic.

It was for these reasons the City of Toledo had its consultant evaluate dewatering methods that would accommodate current demands and future increases in sludge production. The desire was to choose a process to dewater the sludge in an efficient, economical and environmentally sound manner. After evaluating several dewatering options, the choice of two plate and frame presses was made. Construction of a building to house the two presses was recently completed. The plates are two meters square with the presses measuring 42 feet long, 12 feet wide and 15 feet high. Each press weighs approximately 220 tons. The presses are currently undergoing start-up testing.

The spent lime coming from the presses will be recycled in several ways, including 1) land application, 2) use as a raw material at a cement plant, 3) use as a solidification agent at landfills, 4) use as a cover material in demolition landfills, and 5) use as part of a project to reclaim river dredging, wastewater treatment sludge and water treatment sludge.

The cost of the building and presses was $10 million. The operation of the facility is expected to save $1 million per year in excavation costs alone. Savings will also be realized by not having to acquire any more land for lagoon construction.

Contact: Thomas A. Doktor, (419) 936-3021

Residential Building Codes Program

In the State of Ohio, communities are not required to adopt a residential building code. However, a suggested residential code has been enacted by the Ohio Building Officials Association (OBOA) based on the Council of American Building Officials One and Two Family Dwelling Code.

In an effort to foster standardization of residential building codes in Northwest Ohio, the City of Toledo, the City of Oregon, the City of Maumee, and Lucas and Wood Counties have jointly adopted the Ohio Building Officials Association residential building code for use throughout the Toledo metropolitan area.

Advantages of this region-wide adoption include standardization of building codes for home builders and home remodelers regardless of which jurisdiction they are performing work in, pooling of governmental resources for training and education of building inspection staffs, and adoption of codes based on recognized national codes for insurance purposes. Presently, the Insurance Service Organization (ISO) is examining building departments across the country to establish a rating system based on the proficiency, professionalism and use of standard codes by these building departments.

The use of a residential building code based on a recognized national code has gained the support of local home building and home remodelers associations as well as the building departments in the region. Adoption of the same residential building code on a regional basis demonstrates a partnership between the regional governments and the home construction and remodeling industry. Toledo officials believe this region-wide adoption of a standard code is a model for those portions of the country where residential building codes are not mandated by the state.

Contact: Stephen J. Herwat, P.E., Commissioner of Building Inspection, (419) 245-1218.

Youth Family Court Community Connection (YFC3)

The Youth Family Court Community Connection (YFC3) is the result of a partnership formed between the Toledo Police Department, the Youth Commission for the City of Toledo, the Lucas County Sheriff's Office, the Lucas County Common Pleas Court Juvenile Division, Toledo Public Schools, the Lucas County Educational Services Center and the University of Toledo's College of Education and Allied Professions. YFC3 is designed to provide an alternative to court involvement, school suspension and other community actions which may consume excessive time and energy. Further, the realization in today's world is that juvenile courts are overwhelmed with serious offenders. As a result, they are able to devote less time, energy and resources to the relatively "minor" issues of curfew violations, truancy and other behavioral outbursts. This program provides a necessary community component which allows an intervention to occur with the youth and family.

The process for referrals is simple: A youth is referred to YFC3 through a citation by the Toledo Police Department or through a referral from the Dean or Building Administrator of the school. After the citation is received at the YFC3 office, notification of a scheduled meeting time is mailed to the family. If the family and youth do not attend the YFC3 program as scheduled, or if they fail to complete both sessions, a second notice is sent out. The youth is also referred at that point to a Saturday morning Toledo Police Department community service program.

YFC3 curriculum addresses a number of issues including local and state ordinances, communication skills, conflict prevention/resolution skills, thinking errors and behavioral choices. Attention is also given to the development of personal and family goals aimed at addressing the presenting problem. Deputy Sheriffs are the primary teachers covering local and state ordinances and describe the juvenile justice system. They also discuss the cycle of conflict and crime that leads to system entry and recidivism. Importantly, the process of certification which involves binding over a juvenile to the adult courts is also discussed. The teacher of the class discusses key elements pertaining to school and teacher expectations and interpersonal communication. Volunteers from a parent organization, Parents Helping Parents, share experiences pertaining to family dynamics, parent/youth responsibilities, family rights and the importance of respect.

In the three years of operation, 1,612 families have been referred to YFC3. Eighty-eight percent of these families have completed the program. Further, only 12 have entered the juvenile justice system after initially attending YFC3.

Contact: Dr. Marion Boss, University of Toledo, (419) 530-2185
Gary Q. Tester, Youth Commission, City of Toledo, (419) 936-3677.

Saving Police Overtime in Court

This program was developed in an effort to cut the cost of police overtime where the overtime resulted from the police officer's subpoena to testify in court. The Toledo Municipal Court schedules approximately 34,000 misdemeanor cases for trial each year. The majority of these cases require the appearance of a police officer to testify if a trial actually takes place. The reality in these cases, however, is that only three percent of the cases scheduled for trial actually go to trial. The remaining cases are terminated by guilty pleas, dismissals or warrants when the defendant fails to appear for trial. This results in the vast majority of the officers subpoenaed being sent home.

In response to this problem, the Prosecutor's Office selected two types of cases where no subpoena was issued to the police officer. Cases involving no operator's license and suspended operator's license violators are least likely to go to trial. Most defendants enter a plea of guilty to these offenses and the judge imposes a fine. If a trial is actually required, the court allows the cases to be set for a hearing at a later date.

In the first three months of this year, 524 no operators/suspended operators license cases were scheduled for trial. The average cost in overtime for a police officer to attend a hearing is $52.40. It is estimated, therefore, that about $27,550 was saved in overtime costs during this period.

This program involved the cooperation of the City Prosecutor's Office, the Police Department and the Toledo Municipal Court judges. Discussions are now taking place on expanding this program to all misdemeanor cases where officers are subpoenaed.

Contact: John T. Madigan, Chief Prosecutor, (419) 245-1020

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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