Our first priority is public safety.
As you know, the City-owned parking garage at Port Clinton and the Highland Park Movie Theater were closed two weeks ago after an independent fire inspection revealed that their sprinkler systems were not functioning.
We know that the temporary closure of this parking garage impacts residents and local businesses and it was not an easy decision. It was, however, a necessary one from a safety standpoint and we are currently making every effort to get the garage re-opened quickly. I was over at the garage Sunday morning and they are making good progress.
We currently expect one level of the garage to be reopened within the week and the second level to follow shortly thereafter.
Regarding the Highland Park Movie Theater, the situation is more complex as the old theater has both sprinkler and emergency exit issues to address. I hope to have an update for you later this week. Our goal is to re-open the theater safely as quickly as possible.
Neither of these fire safety projects were included in our 2012 Budget. We are fortunate, however, to have healthy reserves to appropriately rely on inemergency or unforeseen circumstances such as these. We went to the lowest responsible bidder for the garage project. Appropriate and efficient use of tax dollars is always a goal and we will approach the movie theater similarly.
|Photo of the original sprinkler pipe inside the City-owned garage. We were assured that the sprinklers were regularly maintained and tested.
Significant amounts of sediment prohibited the flow of water.
Again, our first priority is to ensure your safety. Despite assurances that both buildings were safe, we received reliable tips that an independent inspection was necessary. Luckily, we were able to identify the problems, stabilize the situations before an emergency occurred and had money available to address mistakes of the past. As improvements are now within reach, we want to know how this happened and you deserve that answer. We are scrutinizing our processes to ensure that history will not be repeated. You have my word.