For Immediate Release
Public Works Creates Lasting Impressions
Media Alert: Director Phil Broyles chosen as one of Top 10 Public Works Professionals in America
National Award presented prior to City Council Meeting Today, 5 p.m., Monday, May 21
Busch Municipal Building Main Lobby
While Springfield sleeps, professionals from the City's Public Works department are busy sanding streets or, in winter weather, plowing snow. Sometimes taken for granted, one of the City's largest and most diverse departments, Public Works is responsible for nearly every public facility, roadway and public space that a citizen sees and uses in his or her daily life.
"From the time you get up in the morning and leave your home, to the time you return, you are encountering the work of Public Works," said Phil Broyles, director.
The department employs 220 people responsible for street design, construction and maintenance, traffic engineering, storm water management, solid waste and recycling efforts, and maintaining publicly owned trees and grounds.
Springfield Public Works professionals maintain 1,935 lane miles of streets, 138 traffic signals and 38,000 traffic and street signs, 100 public buildings (nearly 1,200,000 square feet), 70 bridges and waterways.
If that's not enough, they also run Hazelwood Cemetery, and service 800 City vehicles.
It is work that has drawn national and international attention, both for innovative project design and leadership in the field of public service.
Director Broyles will be recognized this week, National Public Works Week, by the American Public Works Association (APWA) as one of the Top Ten Public Works Leaders in America, at a reception, prior to City Council meeting, 5 p.m. Monday, May 21, in the Busch Municipal Building main lobby. APWA annually recognizes ten of the most outstanding public works professionals from across the U.S. and Canada for their career-long dedication and service, professionalism, and expertise in public works infrastructure. He will be recognized again at the APWA 2012 International Public Works Congress & Exposition in Anaheim, California August 26-29, 2012.
Broyles has served the people of the state of Missouri in local, regional and statewide roles for over 40 years. He began serving a 30-year career in the Missouri Department of Transportation, where he directed all the operations and maintenance staff for the state as the Director of Operations. Retiring 11 years ago, he resumed service to the people of Springfield as the Assistant Director of Public Works, and he replaced the retiring Director of Public Works on an interim basis two years ago. Broyles was confirmed in the position permanently last year.
Broyles oversaw the emergence of the newly created Environmental Services department, managed by Director Steve Meyer. The new department maintains over l,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 and manages Springfield's solid waste management and recycling programs, including disposal of household chemicals and operation of the Springfield Municipal Landfill.
The department's ongoing investment in the City's sewer collection and waste water treatment system recently received praise by the Missouri Attorney General's Office as the City signed an agreement with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to make $50 million dollars in improvements.
"Clean water comes at a price, but with years of proactive updates, planning for anticipated new federal regulation and a lot of hard work, the bill has been reduced by tens of millions," explains Councilman John Rush.
Broyles also facilitated the reorganization of the Public Works Department, consolidating responsibilities for capital projects and maintenance into single work groups.
"In a two-year period (2010-2011) he effected a complete reorganization of one of the largest departments in the City and continued a tradition of award-winning excellence," said President of the APWA Missouri Chapter, William L. Schwer, P.E.
Broyles also sanctioned and supported the creation of Neighborhood Traffic Committees to work with neighborhood associations and area stakeholders to solve small-scale, traffic problems that might not otherwise merit attention from traffic engineers. He placed engineers and neighbors into a cooperative committee, and they all worked together to go beyond the textbook in creating workable, maintainable, and effective solutions to satisfy the needs of the neighborhood.
"Public Works activities touch our citizens' lives every day in many ways they may not even realize," Broyles said. "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."
Steve Meyer, director of Environmental Services, said 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.
For more information, please contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or Phil Broyles, Director of Public Works, at 417-864-1902.
For more information on APWA's Top Ten Public Works Leaders, visit the APWA National Awards Program web page at: www.apwa.net/awards. For APWA media queries, contact APWA Media Relations/Communications Manager Laura Bynum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Public Works Week
Mayor Bob Stephens will recognize representatives of the various divisions of Springfield Public Works at 9 a.m., Monday, May 21, in his office in the Busch Municipal Building. In addition, other local activities will feature Public Works exhibits, displays and equipment demonstrations at local schools.
The American Public Works Association (www.apwa.net) is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 28,500 members involved in the field of public works. APWA is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, has an office in Washington, DC and 63 chapters in North America.