Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2018 spending plan, which includes tax increases on concert tickets, Uber rides and phone bills, received preliminary approval this week. The plan includes an increase to the 911 phone tax of $1.10 per line per month, which was opposed by city council members.
The lack or inadequacy of mobile alerts about approaching fires in Sonoma County, Calif., has drawn criticism from residents and local officials, who say the cellular industry has dragged its feet on updating its technology to enable more effective emergency alerts.
Dealing with "overtourism" -- the ill effects of too many visitors to places such as Venice and Barcelona -- has become a part of city management around the world. Some cities are changing their marketing and promoting different neighborhoods, new sites, offseason visits and walks in less-touristy areas.
An increased public awareness about stormwater quality would be beneficial to parks and recreation areas, as "each supports the other, and each depends on the other," write Scott Taylor and Seth Brown. Parks and recreation agencies should look to provide input on stormwater efforts, and public-private partnerships also offer potential, they write.
Nearly $400,000 in funding has been approved for a spray park at Elwood Park in Huntington, N.Y., which is slated to open next summer. The park, which will be named after the late Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo of the New York City Police Department, will cover 2,500 square feet and will feature play structures and park benches.
Columbus and Franklin Park Metro Parks in Ohio will pay $1.86 million for a quarry site that will be used for housing development and a new park. The plans call for a park with lakes, rock cliffs, trails, climbing and biking areas, and other amenities.
Playground renovations are in the works for Park Street Park in Rexburg, Idaho, thanks to a $15,000 grant from Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and KaBoom!
A 10-year master parks and recreation plan for Billings, Mont., has been approved by the City Council. The plan includes $30 million for an indoor recreation center.
During the first few hours of the "October Fire Siege" in northern California, many 9-1-1 calls were forwarded to two dispatchers at the command center in St. Helena, Calif. Cal Fire is currently reviewing records of calls handled during the fires and is considering altering its dispatch system to better respond to the next disaster.
AT&T remains committed to public-safety professionals and has been boosting its network, personnel and disaster-recovery efforts, said Chris Sambar, the company's senior vice president for FirstNet. The team overseeing FirstNet deployment will have "roughly 300" employees in sales, service and program management, and many of them have experience with public safety communications, he said.