Senior staff writer
Ever wonder what a city really does?
Statistics revealed by Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley in his State of the City address provided residents with plenty of information about city services.
The focus continues to be public safety and infrastructure, according to Buckley.
“There’s nothing like living in a small, safe, clean community that has a good school district and offers amenities,”
Throughout his remarks he explained how city employees work for the city they serve.
The 2016 statistics:
• 24,400 responses by the Beech Grove Police Department.
• 4,690 ambulances responses with $1.25 million collected in billing and 3,545 fire runs by the Fire Department.
• 4,634 tons of trash picked up, 362 tons of debris (six months) through street sweeping and 334 tons of recyclable material collected by Department of Public Works.
• 50.6 million gallons of wastewater generated by customers of Beech Grove Sewer Works.
• 1,090 inspections by the Compliance Division.
• 1,895 seniors transported to appointments, stores and trips from the Senior Citizens Center.
• A $397,000 fire engine purchased for the fire department plus four new trucks for DPW and two new trucks for the Parks Department.
• Adding one police officer and one firefighter to enhance public safety.
• $650,000 spent last year on local road and street improvements with $3 million from state and federal funds since 2012.
“In 2016, and every year since 2012, we have seen a steady improvement in the delivery of services, equipment upgrades, municipal buildings and properties improvements, and most importantly, we have not had any decreases in employment,” Buckley said. “I believe the services that we provide are second to none.”
Improvements at the Hornet Park Community Center, the purchase of new body armor for police officers, repaving of areas at Sarah T. Bolton Park, closing out the Main Street Loan Fund and replacing four city fuel tanks for environmental purposes took place last year.
The dismantling of two vacated St Francis Hospital buildings is to be completed next year and should lead to multipurpose development at the same site.
Buckley, a former Beech Grove fire chief, looked ahead to various city improvements this year.
He wants elected and appointed city leaders to look at expanding police and fire buildings, replacing communications equipment for those departments, and continue adding police officers and firefighters to improve public safety.
The mayor warned that rates for Beech Grove Sewage Works customers could increase if the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approves a request by Citizens Energy Group to raise wastewater treatment fees.