Category Archives: Meetings

Columbus 311 at FPCA meeting

Manager of the city’s 311 service promotes new features at FPCA meeting

Carmen Duckens and Darian Price from the City of Columbus 311 Department (fourth and seventh from left) with FPCA officers and other residents at the November 2022 FPCA meeting.

One of the most important services that the Forest Park Civic Association provides is our close relationship with the City of Columbus and its officials.

With nealy 3,000 households in Forest Park and more than 100,000 households in the Northland Area, we are able to speak with a common voice that is larger than our voices as individuals.

As a result, we were happy to welcome representatives from the city’s 311 service at our November FPCA meeting. Carmen Duckens, 311 Service Manager, and Darian Price, a 311 Service Representative, provided a presentation the service’s new features.

The 311 service is your primary customer service connection to the City of Columbus. It is available online, by phone, via email, and with the 311 mobile app for your smartphone.

For 20 years, 311 has connected residents to the city’s services and resources. The improved website and the new CBUS 311 mobile app makes it easier to submit your service requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can look up your trash collection day, report code and animal violations, request information about social services, ask about licenses and permits, contact officials, and perform dozens of other similar tasks. Carmen noted that bulk trash pickup requests are the most popular requests from residents.

Notably, Columbus now will pick up old televisions. Previously, it did not accept older model tube TVs.

Carmen explained that her staff of 18 Customer Service Representatives handle nearly half a million 311 contacts a year. The representatives field the requests and route them to the appropriate city department. The 311 service is available live Monday through Friday and recently expanded its hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After maintaining the same number of staff members since 2006, the 311 staff is expanding this year to handle a continual increase in contacts. They are actively hiring now to add staff. The staff expansion will allow the department to staff the center on Saturdays.

Carmen and Darian walked the attendees through the service and answered questions from Forest Park residents. She also distributed tote bags full of information about city services, magnets, and COVID-19 test kits.

The newly improved 311 version includes several convenient new features:

SMART GROUPING OF REQUESTS
Learn right away if an issue has already been reported. View the community map to see other requests in your area.

UNIQUE RESPONSE FIELDS
New information fields to speed the accurate routing of requests to the right areas.

PIN DROP ACCURACY
Describe your request with pinpoint accuracy by dropping a pin on the exact location where service is needed.

NEW INFORMATIONAL ARTICLES
Access the library of articles in the Knowledge base to learn about city processes and policies.

You can contact 311 online at www.columbus.gov/311, by phone at (614) 645-3111, and by email at 311@columbus.gov. You can also download the CBUS311 mobile app.

Columbus 311

Representative of Columbus 311 Service is the featured guest at the November FPCA Meeting

A representative from the City of Columbus 311 Call Center will be the featured speaker at the next Forest Park Civic Association meeting. The rep will give a presentation on how to use the city’s new online 311 reporting system and answer questions from attendees. As a resident of Columbus, the 311 service is our one stop “customer service” contact for all non-emergency city services.

https://www.columbus.gov/311/

All Forest Park residents are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The church where we meet each month (thank you for donating your space, Epworth United!) will also host voting on that day. We meet in a separate room.

If you have not yet joined or renewed your membership for the year, you can join at the meeting, via your November Forester Newsletter, or online below.

November FPCA Meeting
7 – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022
Epworth United Methodist Church
5100 Karl Rd.

Volunteers

What does your $25 FPCA membership do? A lot.

What does your $25 do?

Some benefits of FPCA membership are easy to see. Some are not.

By Scott Biggs, FPCA Volunteer Coordinator

Thank you to everyone who has already joined the Forest Park Civic Association this year. We are below our membership goals for 2022 and we are doubling our efforts to invite more households to join.

As of September, only a fraction of the nearly 3,000 households in Forest Park are members of the civic association.

I am asking you to join today so we can continue our work to keep Forest Park a great place to live. You can join the FPCA online right now.

Across Columbus, you can see the difference between neighborhoods that have an active civic association and those that do not.

We are not a homeowner’s association. We do not enforce neighborhood rules. We are a civic association that works to benefit all Forest Park residents.

Membership in the FPCA is only $25 per household. The FPCA is entirely run by volunteers who are residents just like you. That means every dollar is used to directly benefit our neighborhood.

We are dedicated to transparency and publish our Treasurer’s Report every month in this newsletter. Our volunteer treasurer also provides an update at every FPCA monthly meeting (I invite you to join us for our October meeting).

What do you get for your annual membership contribution? Some benefits are obvious because you see them every day.

Benefits that you see:

  1. We pay to maintain the landscaped islands at the Satinwood Pl. entrances at Karl Rd.
  2. We recently paid to replace all Welcome to Forest Park signs at all entrances to Forest Park East and West.
  3. We pay to print The Forester newsletter every month and pay for the bags which allow volunteers on your street to hang the newsletters on your door.
  4. We pay the professional supplemental security patrol officers who regularly drive through the neighborhoods in their marked cars. Planning a vacation? Every FPCA member can request free home checks with the form in each Forester newsletter, at www.fpcivic.org or by emailing our volunteer Supplemental Security Coordinator Daryl Van Mercetta at dvanmercetta@gmail.com.
  5. We pay for the welcome folders and printed materials that we drop off to new residents who just moved into our neighborhood. These packets include information about Forest Park, maps of the streets, nearby businesses, voter registration information, and other helpful items to make our new neighbors feel at home.
  6. We pay for programs that recognize neighbors for their beautification efforts in the annual Beautification Contest, rewarding our neighbors who enrich our streets with improvements.
  7. We pay for supplies to build our float for the Northland Fourth of July Parade.
  8. We pay for awards for kids who decorate their bikes and trikes in the Fourth of July Parade.
  9. We pay for printing and postage to mail our annual Membership Packet to nearly 3,000 households, encouraging residents to join the FPCA.
  10. We pay for advertising to promote two Community Garage Sales each year, attracting buyers from around Central Ohio.
  11. We pay to design and print the Forest Park Directory, which is updated every several years and delivered to all member households.
  12. We typically pay for neighborhood social events, including the Easter Egg Hunt, Block Parties, and the Halloween Party. These events were cancelled during the pandemic, and we plan to revive them in 2023.

Some benefits are not obvious but are just as important.

Benefits that you do not see:

  1. We pay dues to the Northland Community Council.

    The NCC is a critical organization that represents 26 area civic associations and organizations in the Northland area. The NCC represents more than 100,000 households and ensures that the City of Columbus recognizes Northland as an important political voice. Two FPCA volunteers currently serve on the commission and provide detailed reports at every FPCA meeting. The NCC is our most effective connection to the City of Columbus and makes recommendations to the city on behalf of Forest Park residents. Among many other services, the NCC protects us from many development and zoning plans that would harm our neighborhoods and maintains a direct two-way channel to city officials.

  2. We pay for insurance that is required for our non-profit organization.
  3. We pay for a P.O. Box and office supplies that are necessary to conduct our operations.
  4. We pay for payment processing fees that are necessary for online membership payments.

Join your neighbors today with your FPCA Membership

You can join the FPCA right now and pay online.

We also welcome your participation and talents.

Want to learn more and get involved? Join us at our next monthly meeting.

 

Toro Meat Market

Toro Meat Market will be the featured guest at the October FPCA meeting

A representative of the new Toro Meat Market will be the featured guest at October’s FPCA meeting. They will speak on their experiences taking over the former Carfagna’s market location at 1405 E. Dublin Granville Rd. and serving the Forest Park community.

The meeting will also include updates from committee chairs, including area development updates from the Northland Community Council and neighborhood security reports from our police liaison and security chairman. Attendees can raise issues and ask questions.

We are looking forward to seeing all FPCA Area Reps at the meeting.

All residents of Forest Park are invited! (We will wrap it up on time so we can watch The Guardians win!)

FPCA October Meeting
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022
7 – 8 p.m.
Epworth United Methodist Church
5100 Karl Rd., Columbus, OH 43229