A historic mural in Bay City, Mich., is being covered because officials have deemed the wall a safety hazard. The city is requiring building owner Terry Spencer to repair masonry or cover the wall. Spencer, who has had masons inspect the wall and report it is safe, disagrees with the city and says being able to afford the repair will take a year.
A townhouse community in Memphis, Tenn., has requested that Shelby County deal with eight dilapidated units, which have attracted insects and other problems. The properties, which are in the process of being condemned, have been in decline since December 2012, when the first of two intentional fires was set.
The Ukiah, Calif., City Council has scheduled a special meeting today to tackle four strategic-planning areas. They include prioritizing infrastructure needs and upholding part of downtown as an economic hub.
Nebraska's regulation of groundwater use and supply is the strongest in the U.S. It has paid off so consistently that other states are asking for specifics. Local control is key, with 23 natural-resource districts run by elected board members. Additionally, Nebraska allows local taxing to fund conservation.
A budget proposal would have Orlando, Fla., spending millions of dollars on projects such as park improvement and street repair. Another priority is online access to permits, which could reduce people's trips to the permitting office. "We had substantial growth in 2006 and 2007 and had a major public-safety initiative that had a substantial investment back then, but over the course of the last five years, this is certainly what I would call an investment budget," Mayor Buddy Dyer said.
The La Crosse, Wis., Plan Commission has received public comments on how a budget for capital improvement should be allocated. The draft budget totals about $121 million, but only about $3.15 million is available for requests. Park, police and fire departments are among agencies seeking funds.
The Ballwin, Mo., Board of Aldermen has approved Indianola, Iowa, City Manager Eric Hanson as city administrator. Hanson also has experience as city administrator of Monmouth, Ill. Ballwin chose him from a pool of 40 applicants largely because of his ability to handle finances, Mayor Tim Pogue says.
Los Angeles' Angels Flight, a funicular constructed in 1901, was condemned two years ago by the National Transportation Safety Board after a derailment. Mayor Eric Garcetti has proposed revamping and reopening "the shortest railway in the world." Safety upgrades and operation costs are among challenges in bringing it back to life.
Emergency management agencies are increasingly using social media in their operations to increase first responders' situational awareness. Using social media in training exercises can help increase capacity and develop best practices. "With every storm, more and more citizens are reaching out to us using social media. Sometimes that's one of the only ways they can reach us," said Justin Kates, Nashua, N.H.'s, director of emergency management.
Some emergency response times are ticking upward in Fort Worth, Texas, and City Council member Dennis Shingleton said increasing traffic is an issue for police officers. Shingleton expects construction to start on a new division station within a year, adding up to 200 personnel.