FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor Bob Stephens proclaimed May 18-24 as National Public Works Week in Springfield at a ceremony in his office at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 20. In addition, other local activities will feature Public Works exhibits, displays and equipment demonstrations at local schools.
The theme for the 2014 National Public Works Week is "Building for today – planning for tomorrow," speaking to the pervasive effort of public works professionals and their projects, enhancing quality of life and providing the necessities of community to the citizens of the world.
Springfield Public Works and Environmental Services have a strong tradition of outstanding leadership and accomplishment throughout the department. For example, the American Public Works Association annually presents a Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year Award. Since the program began in 1960, there have been a total of 400 Top Ten Leaders recognized by APWA, including 14 individuals from Missouri. Of the Missouri recipients, four have been from Springfield. Springfield recently earned accreditation from the American Public Works Association – a distinction that fewer than 1 percent of communities in the country have attained.
The first National Public Works Week was instituted by the American Public Works Association (APWA) and observed in 1960. The observance is designed to bring about greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of Public Works services and programs in community life, and to enhance the prestige of professional engineers, administrators and staff serving in Public Works and Environmental Services positions, as well as arousing the interest of young people in pursuing careers in the field. Today, the nearly 29,000 members of APWA use the week to energize and educate the public on the importance of the contribution of public works to their daily lives.
Springfield's Public Works and Environmental Services Departments maintain more than 1,200 miles of sanitary sewers with 28,000 manholes, two waste-water treatment plants processing an average of 40 million gallons of sewage each day, 1,935 lane miles of streets, 138 traffic signals and 38,000 traffic and street signs, nearly 100 public buildings (nearly 1,200,000 square feet), and manages Springfield's solid waste management and recycling programs, including disposal and recycling of household chemicals through the Household Chemical Collection Center and operation of the Springfield Sanitary Landfill. Other services include Hazelwood Cemetery maintenance, fleet management (over 800 vehicles), urban forest management, maintenance of 70 City bridges and waterways, air quality control and environmental compliance activities as well as providing environmental/conservation public education programs and managing the 48" or 18.5 billion gallons of storm water that falls on Springfield in an average year.
"The activities of Public Works and Environmental Services touch our citizens' lives every day in many ways they may not even realize," says Jonathan Gano, co-interim director of Public Works. "The vital infrastructure, services, and programs that our employees provide 365 days a year range from where the water goes when you brush your teeth in the morning, to the sidewalks and streets you travel on," adds Kirk Juranas, co-interim director of Public Works. "The wide range of activities, from preservation of open space and floodplain management, and protecting the air we breathe, to important environmental services and education efforts are essential to protecting and enhancing Springfield's quality of life," adds Steve Meyer, director of Environmental Services.
For more information, please contact Jonathan Gano or Kirk Juranas in Public Works at 417-864-1902.