For Immediate Release
Mayor Proclaims May 16-22 National Public Works Week
Mayor Jim O’Neal proclaimed May 16-22 to be National Public Works Week in Springfield at a signing ceremony in his office at l0:45 a.m., Tuesday, May 18, 2010. The signing ceremony included the Mayor and representatives of the various divisions of Springfield Public Works. In addition, other local activities will feature Public Works exhibits and displays in the lobby of the Busch Building showcasing Springfield Public Works. Equipment demonstrations and Career Day presentations will take place at Horace Mann Elementary School on the morning of Wednesday, May 19. A ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of the intersection improvements at Sunshine Avenue and Fort Street will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 21.
The theme for the 2010 National Public Works Week is “Above, Below & All Around You” speaking to the all-pervasive effort of public works professionals and their projects, which enhance the quality of life and provide the necessities of community to all.
Springfield Public Works has a strong tradition of outstanding leadership and accomplishment throughout the department. Most recently, Earl Newman was the recipient of the prestigious American Public Works Association 2009 Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year Award. He is the fourth Springfield Public Works official to receive this honor. Since the program began in 1960, there have been a total of 500 Top Ten Leaders recognized by APWA. Included in the 500 are 21 individuals from Missouri. Of the Missouri recipients, four have been from Springfield. Previously recognized were: 1962 — William E. Hedges, Director of Public Works; 1982 — David G. Snider, Director of Public Works; 2002 — Marc J. Thornsberry, Director of Public Works.
The first National Public Works Week was instituted by the American Public Works Association (APWA) and observed in l960. 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 positions, as well as arousing the interest of young people in pursuing careers in the field. Today, the 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 Public Works, for example, maintains more than l,200 miles of sanitary sewers, two waste water treatment plants, 1,935 lane miles of streets, 137 traffic signals and 36,000 traffic and street signs, 77 public buildings (nearly 800,000 square feet), and manages Springfield’s solid waste and recycling programs, including disposal of household chemicals and operation of the Springfield Municipal Landfill. Other services include Hazelwood Cemetery maintenance, fleet management, urban forest management, maintenance of 70 City bridges and waterways and providing environmental education programs.
“Public Works touches our citizens’ lives every day in many ways they may not even realize,” says Steve Meyer, Interim Co-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, to preservation of open space and floodplain management, to important environmental services and education efforts that are essential to protecting and enhancing Springfield’s quality of life,” says Phil Broyles, Interim Co-Director of Public Works.
Media Contact: Steve Meyer or Phil Broyles, Springfield Public Works Department, (417) 864-1902.