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Since the walk-thru with the Emergency Services Personnel last week, I have made several presentations on a proposed Knox Box program for Culver. Initially I spoke on this topic with the Town Council on Tuesday the 14th. The Fire Chief and the EMS Director were both at that meeting and were charged by the Council to come up with a program. They also asked the Clerk to look into any insurance implications. The Council also agreed with my recommendation that it go before the Plan Commission as a possible addendum to the Zoning Ordinance so that when additional Knox Boxes are installed, they are installed in a uniform fashion. I agreed to carry that suggestion to the Plan Commission, which I did on Tuesday the 21st. They expressed interest as well, though no action was taken to move this forward at this time.
I have also contacted the Culver School System regarding this new program as I think they should consider implementing it. The Culver Union Township Library has also expressed interest. I’m hoping the program will take off! This will bring Culver in line with other area communities.
Tonight we’re going to have a walk-thru at Culver Garden Court for Culver’s Emergency Services personnel. We’ve invited any of the Culver Fire Department, Culver EMTs and Culver Police that would like a tour of the building. As this is housing for the elderly, we feel it is important to familiarize them with the facility. This is something we have done in the past with other Garden Court facilities we have built.
Culver Garden Court has the first Knox Box in Culver. (Wikipedia description here.) A Knox Box is a small safe that is installed at the front door of a building. It will contain a master key to the facility. In case of a 911 call, whether a fire, medical emergency or other, the emergency service personnel arriving at the site will be able to access the key using a key to the Knox Box.
Now that the program has been initiated in Culver, I would anticipate that other Culver facilities will want to install them as well. While the boxes are somewhat expensive, they are generally less expensive than the cost of the door replacement due to the the fire department taking an axe to the door. It is also a life safety issue. Opening the door with a key is the most efficient way to get to a life in jeopardy on the other side. In my opinion the Culver Schools, the Culver Library and the Culver Town Hall should all have Knox Boxes. In the spirit of the one installed at Culver Garden Court, the Culver Cove, Beachside Condos and Beach View Condos should consider them as well. Knox Boxes can also be installed on private homes.
I believe the next step for Culver should be to develop a policy regarding Knox Boxes. There’s a lot of responsibility involved in their use. All the Knox Boxes in a community have a master key. A chain of custody for these keys should be established. A policy should be adopted on how to handle them. (Some communities have controlled access safes in each emergency vehicle to establish accountability and a chain of custody for anyone that accesses the key.) Depending on the type of policy developed, Culver may want to apply for a grant from the Marshall County Community Foundation (MCCF) to implement a program. (Thanks for the suggestion B3!)
I would also like to see a standard set for the location of the boxes. The Knox Box company has a recommendation, but it should be established. It does no good for the box and key to be there if emergency services have to search for it. A second step forward here would be a program that initiates emergency plans for the buildings with Knox Boxes. An emergency services walk-thru for each of these buildings, similar to what we have planned tonight, would help them if they ever had to enter that building in an actual emergency.
I plan to follow up tonight’s meeting with a discussion at the Town Council to get them thinking about implementing this policy. I believe doing this by ordinance would be appropriate, but that would be up to the council to make that determination.
Heard at the January 24th Culver Town Council Meeting where Tony was requesting that Culver become the first Come Alive Outside community in the United States. Tony Sellers is owner of Sellers Services, Inc. He has taken on Come Alive Outside to promote getting children outside and active.
We previously discussed efforts to make Culver Garden Court “Greener” than previous Garden Court projects. Apparently our project architect, Brent Martin, took that a bit literally when selecting the color scheme as you can see as the siding installation progresses. The siding is Certainteed’s Cedar Impressions and the color is Cypress.
There is a flurry of activity at the site now that the drywall and painting has been completed. The vinyl tile has been installed. The cabinets are in place. This is allowing installation of door frames, plumbing fixtures, electrical devices and electrical fixtures. On the exterior the siding is nearly complete as well as the soffit. The gutters and downspouts are scheduled for completion this week as well.
Above is the new map NextEra Energy has provided showing the area they are considering for their wind farm. This is the latest map provided to the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC). NextEra has moved the area they are considering further east than originally planned due to some of the concerns that have been expressed.
This map shows not only Lake Maxinkuckee, but a delineation of Lake Maxinkuckee’s watershed boundaries. As currently planned, there would be no towers within the watershed or within Union Township. I am pretty much putting this up here for informational purposes without much comment as it doesn’t really change my thoughts expressed here and here.
I had a brief conversation about this with the County Plan Director, Ralph Booker, today at the Broadband and Bagels event. He asked me if Culver was still planning to lynch him. It’s obvious that Culver as a community is straining some relationships with the County over this. I hope this doesn’t create a rift that makes future projects such as the recently completed Town/County outlet project impossible.