The department heads for the City of Bishop presented the City Council with updates from their respective offices at the council’s bimonthly meeting on Monday.
One of the busiest departments in the city right now is the Bishop Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Ray Saguine said August set a record with 39 calls and the volunteers are keeping busy in September with approximately one call a day.
The next busiest department would have to be Community Services and the non-stop activity at the Bishop City Park. Director Keith Caldwell said that there is a “plethora of activities on the plate” as the park is starting to fill up for autumn.”
Caldwell told the council about some programs just brought to the slate, including a bicycle training class, dog obedience courses, an art class and Movies in the Park. This is aside from the Saturday soccer action that has drawn more than 600 players.
Sponsored by the city and offered as a 4-H program, and with the generous donations of bicycles from Bureau of Land Management, a bike class, teaching safety and the locations of good rides around town, will be offered soon.
To fill up the City Hall on Mondays, an art class for elementary-aged kids will be given.
Starting in September, Community Services will begin offering Movies in the Park. The movies, two for September and two for October, will be appropriate for all ages and will be shown outside.
Caldwell added that the city is still accepting applications for its first-time homebuyers program. The program offers assistance as acting as a silent second loan agent.
Police Chief Kathleen Sheehan said the Bishop Police Department has been busy, but not nearly as busy as expected during the Labor Day Weekend. She reported 222 incidents were logged in during the five-day Tri-County Fair, mostly officer-initiated. Of those, 43 were made at the fairgrounds and of those, only four resulted in charges being filed. She said given the numbers in attendance at the Fair, four arrests is a tiny percentage.
Sheehan also updated the council on the many grants the BPD is pursuing or has received. She said a request from the state Office of Traffic Safety for $46,000 resulted in a grant of more than $55,000. The BPD has also received $123,000 for DNA and genetic cataloging and testing. “CSI has come to Bishop,” Sheehan said.
Sheehan added that the department is looking forward to receiving money from the Department of Homeland Security for advanced mapping services. These maps would highlight the residencies of indigent or disabled citizens who would need assistance in getting out of their homes during an evacuation or other emergency. The map would also show the current locations of buses, tractors and other equipment that may be needed during an emergency or disaster.
The city is also receiving reimbursements from the state for the Hanby Street project to the tune of $300,000 and more on the way, according to Dave Grah, Public Works director.
Grah also commented that there are many building permits being issued, albeit for small jobs, but the work is keeping local contractors busy.