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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Springfield is celebrating National Public Works Week May 16-22 by releasing its 2020 Public Works Annual Report and offering special media opportunities meant to highlight Public Works and Environmental Services professionals, infrastructure and services vital to maintaining public health, quality of life and well-being of Springfield citizens.
“Stronger Together” is the theme for 2021’s National Public Works Week, challenging public works professionals and citizens to think about the role public works plays in creating a great place to live. Public works helps maintain a community’s strength by working together to provide an infrastructure of services in transportation, water, wastewater and stormwater management, public buildings and spaces, public grounds, emergency management and first response, solid waste and right-of-way management. Public works functions provide togetherness needed for collaboration with all the stakeholders in capital projects, infrastructure solutions and quality of life services.
The 2020 Public Works Annual Report includes a focus on the department’s response during the pandemic, a budget breakdown for fiscal year 2020, roadway crash data, and details infrastructure improvement projects completed and in progress.
At the City of Springfield, traditional public works responsibilities are split between the departments of Public Works and Environmental Services, both of which have been challenged to adapt operations during the COVID-19 threat.
“Public works functions are vital to the sustainability and resiliency of our community,” explains Public Works Director Dan Smith. “Now, more than ever, citizens are depending on Springfield’s infrastructure to support the community and local economy as it gets moving again. Throughout the pandemic they relied on our sidewalks and trails to provide an outlet for recreation outside their homes and they also looked to upcoming projects like the Grant Avenue Parkway, Renew Jordan Creek and others as a vision of hope for the future.”
“The pandemic has served to highlight the critical nature of the work our employees do every day,” says Environmental Services Director Errin Kemper. “Our services are vital to our residents’ ability to remain safe and healthy in their homes. Regardless of what is happening in the world, our citizens need reliable sewer and solid waste services in order to meet their most fundamental needs. I couldn’t be more impressed with the dedication exhibited by our employees at this time.”
“Public Works Week is dedicated to recognizing an extraordinary group of professionals who dedicate their lives to maintaining services we often take for granted,” continues Kemper. “Under whatever circumstances come our way, these folks rise to the occasion, ready to respond and serve.”
A number of special opportunities are available to media this week to help highlight unique projects and functions of both departments. Some opportunities are weather dependent and all will require following current COVID-19 masking and distancing guidelines. National Public Works Week media opportunities include:
About Springfield Public Works and Environmental Services
Springfield’s Public Works Department manages more than 1,770 lane miles of roadways, 140 traffic signals and 38,000 traffic and street signs while also managing Hazelwood Municipal Cemetery and caring for the urban tree canopy.
The city’s Environmental Services Department is in charge of more than 1,200 miles of sanitary sewers, guiding wastewater to the city’s two treatment plants which process an average of 40 million gallons per day. Environmental Services staff also manage solid waste and recycling programs, air quality control and environmental compliance activities.
Both departments have long held a reputation for leadership, innovation and environmental stewardship.
In 2017, Public Works and Environmental Services collectively achieved reaccreditation from the American Public Works Association (APWA) – achieving 100% compliance. The reaccreditation certifies the departments met all requirements of the best management practices established nationally in the public works industry. Only 1% of communities across the country have attained this distinction. Springfield Public Works and Environmental Services first achieved accreditation by APWA in June 2013 and are embarking on another round of reaccreditation in summer 2021.
About National Public Works Week
Since 1960, the American Public Works Association has sponsored National Public Works Week as a way to energize and educate the public on the importance of the contribution of public works to their daily lives.
“Every year National Public Works Week gets bigger and better. The number of participating municipalities continues to grow, which means the number of citizens who are exposed to the value of public works grows. At APWA, one of our main goals is to educate the general public about the value and necessities of public works projects throughout North America, and public works professionals are our best ambassadors,” according to apwa.net.
For more information and to schedule a media opportunity, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected]