"Our transfer station is near enough to the bay that we attract large numbers of seagulls and other large birds to the site. Do you have any suggestions for keeping them away?"

While visiting the City of Berkeley's transfer station as a part of their reaccreditation site visit, we saw their solution and it was working well. They string fishing line (monofilament) overhead at intervals too close for the birds to fly through them. They say it's been working well for several years and has dramatically cut down on the bird invasions. You might contact Tom Farrell at for more information.

"I recently read about some land-use forecasting software and am curious about what it does and where I might find out more about it."

The software program is called "Paint the Town" and it was originally used in Chicago but has spread to other locations, including Kansas City, MO. The program allows a regional map that captures comprehensive plans from cities and counties around the metropolitan area, "painting" areas of the map with different colors to depict different land uses. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, this map will show existing land-use patterns, along with forecasts for future growth and development in 10-year increments.

Until recently, land-use forecasts have been created at the census tract level. With this new program, forecasts can be made at the census block level. "Paint the Town" can be used not only to make forecasts for growth and development, but also to evaluate alternative land-use scenarios for their consequences on regional travel behavior, air quality, and the cost of providing infrastructure and other services. For more information you can contact Frank Lenk of the Mid-America Regional Council in Kansas City at

"Our department has been asked to provide material for a segment to be run on our local access television channel. Aside from street closings, etc., what can public works include that would interest anyone?"

Wow, what a great opportunity. Everything public works does should be of interest to someone in your community. The depth of your production will be based on the funding you have available to produce something. Stop and think about projects you have underway and how their construction may affect the traveling public. What about projects you may be considering and need to encourage citizen participation? Do you have new routes or collection items for your solid waste department? One of the very finest productions on public works I've seen is produced by the Public Works and Municipal Utilities Departments in Chandler, Arizona. You might contact Lexie Rosenfield at; or Rick Becker at for information. Having recently been approved for accreditation, they have a great program and are more than happy to share the information.

"I understand APWA has legislative priorities for each year. I may have seen them on the website, but where can I find them now and what are they used for?"

APWA does, indeed, develop legislative priorities for each year. You may find them on our website at

As each Congress reconvenes, APWA sends letters to each member of Congress urging support for our advocacy priorities. The letter voices concern for the state of the nation's decaying infrastructure and urges action in support of our priorities. APWA members are frequently asked to submit letters to their own congressional delegations by means of the Legislative Action Task Force (LATF). If you have not subscribed to this infoNOW Community you may do so at our website at

Ask Ann...

Questions are welcome.

Please address all inquiries to:

Ann Daniels
Director of Technical Services
APWA, 2345 Grand Blvd.
Suite 500
Kansas City, MO 64108-2625
Fax questions to (816) 472-0405