The Municipal July 2021

Page 1

The Premier Magazine For America’s Municipalities

July 2021

Public Works

INSIDE: Newark accelerates pipe replacement Bolingbrook, IL Permit No. 1939


Provo digs for water resiliency

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July 2021 | VOL. 12 No. 4 |

Shutterstock photo


21 Focus on Public Works Focus on Public Works: 52 Water & Energy: Public 32 22 Newark accelerates its lead line education key to healthy replacements


28 Focus on Public Works:

56 Streets, Highways &

32 Focus on Public Works:

58 Building & Construction:

Teamwork kept Hot Springs’ water flowing

Reston receives distinctions for aquatic center makeover

Focus on Public Works: 56 36 Provo prepares for future water needs

How multiple partners came together to save historic Central Hotel — twice

62 Parks & Environmental

40 Focus on Public Works: Denison plans for the future

Services: The Bridge: Bringing year-round sports tourism to Bridgeport

48 Public Safety: Building

66 Municipal Management:

a bond: Novi Public Safety Mentorship Program is a win-win


Bridges: Grant enables Terre Haute to improve streets

Tehachapi sees overwhelming success with a small business loyalty program

ON THE COVER Cranes are not a one-size-fits-all solution, which is why Venco Venturo guides municipalities through a thorough selection process that includes several foundational questions. These questions ensure cities have the right crane for their varied needs. Learn more about how Venco Venturo helps cities pick cranes that adequately meet their needs on page 12.

Public Works

INSIDE: Newark accelerates pipe replacement Provo digs for water resiliency



Meet our Staff publisher RON BAUMGARTNER

10 Editor’s Note: Funding available for seekers

editor-in-chief DEB PATTERSON


12 From the Cover: Crane Gain — The importance of selecting the right crane for the right job

14 On The Road Again: Souvenir City, Gulf Shores, Ala.

16 What’s In a Name: Nehawka and Weeping Water, Neb

publication manager CHRIS SMITH

20 Holiday: Independence Day 46 City Profile: St. Joseph, Mo., pursues economic vitality

senior account executive REES WOODCOCK

In Compressed Air Innovation®

graphic designer MARY LESTER

business manager CARRIE GORALCZYK

68 Conference Calendar 69 Product Spotlights 70 Company Profile: VMAC: The Leader 74 News & Notes 76 Guest Column: Public Works

director of marketing STEVE MEADOWS

mail manager KHOUEN KHOEUTH

Procurement: Moving beyond transactional relationships toward partnerships

80 Top 10: Most patriotic states in America

85 Advertiser Index WWW.THEMUNICIPAL.COM

PO Box 188 • 206 S. Main St., Milford, IN 46542 866-580-1138/Fax 800–886–3796 Editorial Ext. 2307; Advertising Ext. 2505, 2408 or 2489


The Municipal does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does The Municipal or its staff assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial content appear in any publication. The Municipal reserves the right to determine the suitability of all materials submitted for publication and to edit all submitted materials for clarity and space. The Municipal has not independently tested any services or products advertised herein and has verified no claims made by its advertisers regarding those services or products. The Municipal makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability for any claims regarding those services or products or claims made by advertisers regarding such products or services. Readers are advised to consult with the advertiser regarding any such claims and regarding the suitability of an advertiser’s products. No reproduction of The Municipal is allowed without express written permission. Copyright © 2021.


Editor’s Note

Funding available for seekers Sarah Wright | Editor

“Stronger together” was the theme for National Public Works Week this past May. It highlighted the critical roles of public works employees in keeping communities running. This task isn’t getting easier as the age of the U.S.’s infrastructure rears its head. This fact has been on city radars for years, with perennial potholes always catching notice and the Flint, Mich., water crisis shining a light on infrastructure hidden under our feet. However, knowledge doesn’t overcome the financial ability to tackle needed projects, particularly as the current global pandemic has driven up prices for most infrastructure and building projects. Many of the municipalities within this issue pursued creative funding solutions at local, state and federal levels to realize the completion of needed infrastructure improvements. Newark, N.J.’s, lead line replacement program, which is featured in this issue, is a prime example of securing multiple funding sources to not only complete but also to accelerate a project for the benefit of residents. As of press time, the city has replaced 19,000 lead service lines out of 24,000. Newark has received calls around the globe about how it was able to accelerate its replacement of water lines, and writer Denise Fedorow is sharing the city’s process and some of the challenges it faced during the endeavor. She’s also spotlighting Nappanee, Ind.’s, proactive line replacement efforts, which are utilizing the State Revolving Fund. Future drinking water reserves are on the minds of officials in Provo, Utah, which has launched the Provo Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project to search for viable surface water sources and ways to move water to aquifers for future use. Partially funded by

10   THE MUNICIPAL  |  JULY 2021

the city of Provo, the rest of the funding comes from a combination of cost-sharing among the Utah Board of Water Resources, a loan from the Drinking Water Board and a WaterSMART grant. Writer Janet Patterson will be expounding more on this intensive undertaking. Writer Dani Messick will highlight the renovation of Reston, Va.’s, Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center, for which Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services was honored by the American Public Works Association Mid-Atlantic Region. Working with a set of double doors, the end results are truly remarkable. The fact public art was included on the front end of the project is also evident. The need for workers to step into key positions within public works is also addressed in this issue, with Janet Patterson speaking with Denison, Iowa, which recently had to fill two vital positions within its public works department. Finally, Amanda Demster connected with Hot Springs, Ark., to learn its strategy when faced with the 2021 winter snowstorm, which grounded much of the South to a halt. Despite the unnatural cold and snowfall, Hot Springs kept its water flowing with a sizable amount of teamwork and a timely investment in smart water meters. Thank you, public works employees, for the many and varied tasks you all perform year-round. From roadwork and ensuring essential services continue even in the most challenging conditions to liberating critters from storm drains, you keep us all going.


From The Cover

Crane Gain — The importance of selecting the right crane for the right job Venco Venturo offers a wide selection of solutions for municipal applications By IAN LAHMER | Venco Venturo

Cranes have an essential place in society, serving a variety of functions for multiple industries. Nowhere is that more apparent than in municipalities, which rely on this equipment more than any single industry. Given the varied functions of municipalities, it’s easy to see why. Municipalities are responsible for nearly every service aspect associated with their respective cities. They don’t only handle road repairs and general maintenance. They are also responsible for landscaping, construction, utility work, general loading and general repair services, among many others. This all-encompassing set of responsibilities requires the use of heavy equipment to get those jobs done. That’s why municipal service trucks require a boost in the form of cranes. But cranes are not a one-size-fitsall solution for municipalities, which is why it’s imperative that they select the right crane for the right job. Having the wrong crane for the wrong application can prove costly, unproductive and even dangerous. When Venco Venturo works with municipalities, we guide them through a thorough selection process that includes several foundational questions to ensure they have the right crane for their varied needs. Our goal is to give them a crane that properly meets their needs, is versatile for those needs, has longevity and has the capabilities for safe and effective operation. We ask three foundational questions: How will the crane be used? How much weight will the crane lift and how far will it be moved? Are there other considerations to take into account? How will the crane be used? When we ask this question, we are looking to discover several key details, such as the nature of the municipal work, how often the crane will be used in a one-hour period and how often the crane will be used during a 24-hour period. The duty cycle is important because it allows us to understand how the crane will be used and the stress it will encounter. With this information, we can determine what type of crane is needed — electric, hydraulic or electric-hydraulic. How much weight and how far? This essential question allows us to determine the specific type and model of crane needed for the job. We use the foot-pound rating to 12   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

With the ET23KX’s 25,000 foot-pound crane rating and a maximum capacity of 5,000 pounds, operators can handle all the necessary tasks related to propane jobs. (Photo provided)

discover the best crane for your needs. The foot-pound rating comes by multiplying the weight of the maximum load — what the crane will lift — by the maximum distance the load will travel. Other considerations When we build a service truck for a specific job or application in our Upfit Center, we start with the aforementioned variables: duty cycle, application and the foot-pound rating. But sometimes — before these variables come into play — the decision for what crane to use starts with the desired or available truck. This shows that even before considering the duty cycle, application or foot-pound rating, the truck and crane service body choices also can play a prominent role in the decision-making process. In our Upfit Center, we also broaden the scope to ensure we’ve considered all the necessary tools and accessories for the application as well.

It’s electric (literally) While they have a wide swath of crane choices available, we tend to see municipalities favor larger electric cranes, which are versatile by design and also compatible for shorter duty cycles and a variety of lighter-duty jobs. Electric cranes are known for their portability and versatile functionality. They offer flexibility in the field, cost less to acquire, do not require hydraulic components and can be used without the truck engine running. These cranes are also easy to mount on a service truck and leave enough work and cargo space. Venco Venturo has four crane models in its light-duty electric lineup — the CE6K, the CE1500FB, CT310KX and the CT2000 Series. These cranes have a foot-pound rating ranging from 4,500 footpound (CE1500FB) to 6,650 foot-pound (CT310KX). The CT2000 Series includes the CT2003FB and CT2004FB models, which include winches with manual rotation, manual extension and a folding boom. The CT2005, also part of the CT2000 Series, shares those same features but has a longer boom. Collectively, this series has a 1,000- to 2,000-pound maximum capacity rating, a 6,000 foot-pound rating and a maximum reach that ranges from 5 to 9 feet. The CE1500FB is an economical crane that features an electric winch, manual rotation and extension, as well as a folding boom. Designed for light- and medium-duty applications, this crane has a maximum capacity of 1,500 pounds and a maximum reach from 3 to 5 feet. The CT310KX serves as a four-function electric mast crane contained in a compact footprint. The 1,900-pound crane features a heavy-duty planetary electric winch with hydraulic rotation, hydraulic elevation and hydraulic boom extension. Proportional controls are optional. The crane’s maximum reach is 9 feet, 3 inches. The CE6K is a 2,000-pound crane available in multiple boom sizes, mast heights and winches. The 6,000 foot-pound rated crane features an electric winch, manual rotation, manual extension and manual elevation. It has a maximum reach of 3 to 5 feet with the option to extend that range to 4 to 7 feet.

The ET12KXP can be installed on trucks with a minimum Class 2 rating. This service crane also features improved strength because of its one-piece hexagonal boom. (Photo provided)

Hydraulic options Sometimes municipal demands require higher foot-pound ratings and/or longer duty cycles than an electric crane can support. Under those circumstances, we recommend using an electric-hydraulic or hydraulic crane to meet those higher load needs. These two crane options offer increased lifting capacity and reach. Venco Venturo’s electric-hydraulic cranes, which include the ET12KXP-16 and ET25KXX models, feature maximum capacities ranging from 2,000 to 6,000 pounds; crane ratings from 6,000 to 36,000 foot-pound; and maximum reaches from 10 to 20 feet. The company’s hydraulic cranes provide even higher capacities, foot-pound ratings and reaches. These models have maximum capacities ranging from 5,000 to 11,500 pounds; crane ratings from 25,000 to 66,000 foot-pound; and maximum reaches from 20 to 30 feet. When it comes to selecting the right crane or service truck for your municipality, the good news is Venco Venturo has a robust selection to meet any and all demands.  For more information visit,

The ET-25KX works well in construction jobs because of its ability to move heavier loads short distances. (Photo provided) JULY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL  13


On The Road Again

Souvenir City, Gulf Shores, Ala. By RAY BALOGH | The Municipal

Embarking on this roadside adventure begins with walking into the mouth of a 70-foot-long shark.

ABOVE: The Souvenir City kitchen produces a prodigious amount of homemade fudge every day. TOP PHOTO: The giant shark at the entrance of Souvenir City is an iconic landmark in Gulf Shores, enticing “hundreds upon hundreds” of shutterbugs to capture their moment with the beast every day. (All photos courtesy of Souvenir City, except the shark photo, which is courtesy of Lynn Jordan) 14   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

The kitschy gimmick marks the entrance to Souvenir City, located just a couple blocks from the Gulf of Mexico in Gulf Shores, Ala. The family-owned business started in 1956 and has grown with the city, which has burgeoned from 356 residents, according to the 1960 census, to its present population of 13,203. Souvenir City’s story begins in the 1940s when Josie Weaver Weir ventured to open a small cafe dubbed Jo’s Lunchbox. In 1956 she converted the 1,000-square-foot eatery into The Anchor Gift Shop. Three years later, her son, Clyde Weir, took over the gift shop and rechristened it Souvenir City, a name he “kind of stole” from a store he visited in Miami Beach, Fla., during his honeymoon. His efforts to “sell inexpensive little trinkets and things” scored well with the growing populace and escalating number of tourists. The entrance was originally marked with a giant conch shell, but when Weir learned that a competitor planned to open across the street, he installed a 50-foot shark to catch the attention of passersby. Business went, er, swimmingly until Feb. 4, 1996, when the building, its contents, the conch and the shark were all destroyed in a fire.

There is virtually no end to the variety of trinkets found at Souvenir City. Many reviewers remark that the store “has everything you want or can think of.”

Shells of all sizes are available at Souvenir City.

The new carousel in the candy store allows children a fun way to select treats and other treasures.

Clyde worked assiduously to resurrect the store and reopened in a Souvenir City’s kitchen dishes up homemade fudge, featuring a 30,000-square-foot facility barely a year later on March 1, 1997, com- selection of perennial favorites: chocolate, vanilla, rocky road, butter plete with a new shark, made of concrete and rebar, to greet customers. pecan, maple, peanut butter, tiger butter and the like. The candy store The shark remains a consistent draw, with Paul Johnson, the Sou- recently installed a new toy carousel. Johnson is motivated by his devotion to God, and the store offers a venir City’s owner since 2007, estimating that visitors snap “hundreds upon hundreds” of photos every day of friends and family members rack of inspirational literature from Choice Books for devotional time standing in front of or inside the 20-foot-high jaws. Visitors can also on the beach. “A relationship with God is the most important relationcapture photos with the pirate ship behind the store. ship you can have,” he said. “Embrace it every day.” Souvenir City underwent a severe pummeling from Hurricane Sally, Before becoming the owner, Johnson worked at Souvenir City in a Category 2 storm that made landfall on Sept. 16, 2020, 16 years to the the summers during his high school years. “It’s been a blessing to be day after Gulf Shores was hit by Hurricane Ivan. The store announced here and be part of it,” he said. The store remains a local icon, with the city of Gulf Shores designatits Feb. 1, 2021, reopening with a post on its Facebook page, including the sentiment, “Our Souvenir City family has been through some ing every July 1 as “Souvenir City Day.” rough times, but as every family does, we stay through these hard Souvenir City supports several charities and carries a full line of times together.” apparel from Puppie Love, a family-owned business dedicated to The store is invariably crowded during tourist season and is packed facilitating dog adoptions by donating profits to rescue centers and to the gills with an almost incalculable assortment of souvenirs, adoption agencies. Customer feedback is largely positive, as attested by the 4.0 overall mementos, curios, trinkets and knickknacks, including: • Air-brushed T-shirts, with a custom airbrush department open score from more than 250 reviews on Reviewers repeatedly note how “the kids love the place” and that seven days a week. • Beachwear, swimwear and fishing outerwear. “the staff is very nice.” Downsides include the crowds and narrow • Jewelry. aisles and a recurring complaint that Souvenir City personnel would • Shoes, sandals and flip-flops. hardly take offense to: “I spent way too much money here,” wrote one • Sunglasses, sun hats and baseball caps. reviewer. “I ended up buying three T-shirts because I found so many • Picture frames and other home decor items. I liked and couldn’t choose,” wrote another. • Candles and Christmas ornaments. Souvenir City is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. The • Sand buckets and shovels and other beach toys. business is closed Christmas Day, and hours may vary on other holi• Stuffed animals. days and during the off-season. • Coffee mugs and shot glasses. For more information, call (251) 948-7280, email souvenirs@gulftel. • Seashells, sand dollars and live hermit crabs with painted shells. com or visit



What’s In A Name

Nehawka and Weeping Water, Neb. Two municipalities in Nebraska have names derived from the same root meaning, though they tacked in different directions when they chose their ultimate monikers. Nehawka and Weeping Water were both named for a word or phrase meaning “rustling or weeping water,” albeit in two different languages.

Shown is the downtown of Weeping Water, Neb. Ironically, the 0.95-square-mile town poignantly dubbed for a body of water consists entirely of land. (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons) barbershop, billiard hall and the office for the weekly newspaper, “The Nehawka Register.” The town’s population peaked at 353 in 1930 and has steadily decreased since then. The remaining residents, however, still “reflect on the proud heritage of their little town and the people who made it such a nice place to live.” For more information, visit  The Nehawka Public Library was among the spate of buildings erected in the 1890s when the railroad came to the small community. (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Nehawka The homes and businesses in the town of Nehawka, population 214, were first built out of stone from a nearby quarry, and the town became firmly established at the arrival of a railroad line. The settlement went through a series of names before settling on Nehawka, including Cassville, Factoryville and Waterville. The original claim was staked in 1855 by Iowa denizen Samuel Kirkpatrick, who built a sawmill on the north bank of Weeping Water Creek. Two years later, surveyor Isaac Pollard laid out the town dubbed Waterville, but no lot sales were ever recorded. On a trip to Washington, D.C. in 1874, Pollard petitioned the federal postal service for a local post office designated Weeping Water. The name was already taken by another settlement and neither Pollard nor his brother, Levi, could pronounce the Indian word for “weeping water.” They, therefore, settled on the more pronounceable Nehawka, an Omaha and Otoe Indian word meaning “rustling water,” and received approval for a postal address for that name on Jan. 8, 1875. Upon burgeoning rumors of a railroad cutting through town, the residents anticipated a local boom and began selling — and in some cases donating — their land to the railroad, which completed the line and built a station in Nehawka in 1887. The following spring, a lumberyard was opened, quickly followed by a grain elevator, meat market and general store. In all, 30 businesses were founded before the town reached its first birthday. The population reached 200 by 1893, and the townsfolk erected two churches, several other general stores and another meat market, a hardware and furniture store, drug store, bank, 16   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

Weeping Water On July 20, 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark happened upon a “twenty-five yards wide” creek named L’eau Qui Pleure, the French phrase for “weeping water.” The name is said to derive from an Indian legend about an intertribal feud that started when one tribe stole the daughter of the other tribe’s chief. After a three-day battle, “all the braves lay dead” and “the tears cried by the families of the fallen warriors were said to have formed the ‘weeping waters.’” The first white settlers, who arrived in March 1865, built a log house used variously as the local church, school and stable. A post office named Weeping Water was established in 1857, 17 years before Isaac Pollard attempted to obtain the name on his trip to Washington, D.C. Ten years later, the settlement was platted and a general store was opened. The town was incorporated in 1870. The population reached 317 in 1880, and after the railroad arrived in 1883, the census ballooned to 1,350 by 1890. At the turn of the century, the number decreased to 1,156 and has hovered just over 1,000 from 1900 to its present count of 1,103. Since its founding, according to its website,, “many things have changed. The steam whistle of an approaching passenger train no longer echoes across the valley, and the livery stable has been replaced by Keckler’s filling station and Mogensen’s garage. “Rail cars still load grain from the elevator, and limestone from three quarries is still transported all around the globe. “Gone with the fire and forge of the blacksmiths are the opera house and movie theatre, but baseball games still bring out a crowd, and the whole town shuts down when the basketball team makes the state finals.” For more information, visit













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“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”— Thomas Jefferson

Happy Independence Day from The Municipal 20   THE MUNICIPAL  |  JULY 2021

Focus on: Public Works

The number of lead lines the city of Newark, N.J., has abated so far.

Learn more about the city’s extensive lead line removal program on page 22.

52 million gallons Hot Springs, Ark., produced this many gallons during the coldest days of the 2021 winter storm in February.

Learn how Hot Springs kept its operations going during the storm on page 28.

2 miles Provo, Utah’s, aquifer storage and recovery project will see the placement of more than 2 miles of 24inch ductile pipe to carry water to Rock Canyon.

More about this project can be found on page 36.


Focus on:


27,210 square feet

Bellingham, Wash.’s, planned 27,210-square-foot administration building will include space for Public Works, Natural Resources and Parks Operations staff. Construction cost is estimated at $20 million. It will be paid for with real-estate excise taxes and a bond issue that the council will consider as a separate measure.


4,000 Corpus Christi, Texas, Department of Public Works launched a pothole blitz initiative in May with the intent to eradicate 4,000 potholes across the city in two weeks. Residents were encouraged to call in potholes or note them in the “My City” app. Source: how-to-report-potholes-for-corpus-christis-street-repair-initiative

$5.5 million The cost to remodel the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center in Reston, Va.

Read more about this award-winning public works project on page 32.

1st The nation’s first monument recognizing public works is coming to Grand Haven, Mich. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 or 2023. Source:


M Focus on: Public Works

Workers replace lead service lines in a Newark, N.J., neighborhood. The city accelerated its program to replace the lines in two to three years instead of eight to 10. It expects work to be completed in a month or so. (Photo provided)

Newark accelerates its lead line replacements By DENISE FEDOROW | The Municipal

There’s no denying that the Flint, Mich., water crisis in 2014 shone a light on the issue of lead in drinking water and the potential hazards lurking underground in many cities and towns. There’s also no denying the nation’s infrastructure — including water mains — is aging and in need of replacement. Officials in Newark, N.J., said thanks to the collaborative efforts of government officials and private parties, they’ve made “remarkable” progress in replacing the lead lines in the city, one of the oldest in the U.S. They could accelerate what was initially expected to be an 8- to 10-year project to a two- to three-year one. Director of Water and Sewer Kareem Adeem said Newark’s first lead lines were installed in the 1850s, with the last one being installed in 1952. The city has good records going back that far, and through them, there are 18,700 known and another 6,000 unknown lead lines, for a total of 24,000. As of mid-May, the city has

22   THE MUNICIPAL  |  JULY 2021

already abated almost 22,000 households and Newark Water and Wastewater Director 19,000 lines. Kareem Adeem speaks at a town hall meetAdeem said it was June 2017 when officials ing while holding up a segment of copper notified and provided data to the Environ- pipe. (Photo provided) mental Protection Agency that the city had its first exceedance violation in 25 years. The city tested a sampling of 100 homes, and 11 of them Agency came up with new testing requiretested over the allowable 15 parts per billion. ments for all water purveyors, according to The prior year, in 2016, a school system had Adeem. lead in its water, but officials found there was Officials later discovered under a prior no connection to the city’s lines. Once that administration around 2010-2013, the city had was discovered, then governor, Chris Christie, “struggled to meet simultaneous compliance,” ordered testing for 150 of the largest schools in and a change in the sodium silicate at that the system. It was at that time, the New Jersey time could have played a part in later effecDepartment of Environmental Protection tiveness of protecting the pipes from corrosion.

Newark city officials get in the act with shovels at an area working on replacing lead service lines. (Photo provided)

Adeem has been with the city for 30 years, 24 to 25 of them with the water department. Water and Wastewater Spokesperson Mark Di Ionna said after the former superintendent passed away in November 2018, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka “felt confident enough in him” to put him in charge in the middle of this challenging time. Di Ionna praised the work Adeem has done. The city of Newark is served by two water treatment plants. The Pequannock plant serves half the city, and it was that portion of the city where issues were occurring. The Wanaque treatment plant serves the other half of the city, and there were no issues at that plant. After the first exceedance, the city began holding community meetings and sending out press releases, mailings and other forms of communication to inform the residents. In August 2017, Gov. Christie and the NJDEP launched a campaign with a $30 million fund to start replacing lead service lines across the state and ramped up required testing. “Newark started engaging with the state as early as the summer of 2017,” Adeem said. In fact, he reported Newark had an application in with the state as early as 2012 to

replace lead service lines with state revolving funds, but the money wasn’t there yet. In March 2018, the city launched its lead service line replacement program, and for several months, workers went door-to-door informing residents of the program while handing out test kits and water filters. Adeem said they went block by block to every house because they wanted residents to know they weren’t skipping anyone and could verify when they knew their house — because it was built later — did not have a lead line. The city invested $195 million into this program, and in June 2018, the city of Newark passed a bond ordinance of $75 million. Adeem said the city also received $120 million through the county. Another thing the city did that most municipalities have not done, according to Adeem, is test the filters workers had handed out after they were in use. This testing found three of them were not performing as expected “under extreme conditions.” Adeem said with “an abundance of caution,” the city distributed bottled water for two months — August through September 2019.

Legislation passed There were two pieces of legislation passed, which accelerated Newark’s lead service line program. In June 2018, a collaborative effort between the city of Newark, the governor’s office and the Essex County Delegation created an amendment to legislation, allowing the use of public funds on private property for the purpose of replacing lead service lines going into homes. The legislation passed Aug. 18, 2018, and was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy. The city also passed legislation allowing them to go on private property without the homeowner’s permission. The “right of access” ordinance passed in September 2019. Adeem said this was critical because 70% of the properties are rentals. “Sometimes there’s like five layers to get through to find the property owners,” and Adeem noted the owners might not give permission because of fear the city might find other violations. Creating economic growth Adeem and Di Ionna said the mayor wanted to ensure if the city was spending all this money,   JULY 2021  |  THE MUNICIPAL  23

continued from page 23

that a large portion of it would be returning to the city. According to Adeem, the mayor set up programs to get “mom-and-pop businesses in the city proper licenses to bid on government contracts,” which would allow them to bid on county and school projects, too. In addition, the water department required contractors to hire Newark residents. He said 50 unemployed Newark residents were sent for apprenticeships and 35 were placed on the lead service line replacement project. “Residents who live in the city got union-scale jobs,” Adeem said. “We used it as an economic engine, putting money back into the city. We had residents replacing their own lines or their neighbor’s lines.” He said this was especially helpful when workers were going doorto-door because residents saw their neighbors or their nephews were working on the project. “They see us out on the street, see us expediting the program and that we really cared — cared enough to the point of ensuring money was going back into the city; that we hired residents and helped them learn a trade.” This also helped get Newark residents on board. “Residents rallied with us to get the lead service lines replaced,” Adeem said. Adeem said Newark residents are 70% black and brown, and the mayor is investing in the community with the thought, “We’re no longer going to allow companies to take money out of our community.” Lessons learned Adeem and Di Ionna talked about what the city did right and what it could’ve done better. Di Ionna said he thinks it goes back to an initial conversation between the mayor and Adeem when this first began. The mayor asked Adeem how the city could fix this, and Adeem said pull out the lead lines. The mayor asked how much would it cost, and Adeem replied probably $150 million. “The mayor’s response was ‘Let’s figure out a way to do it.’ He didn’t want to kick the can down the road,” Di Ionna said. Adeem said one thing the city did right was “we weren’t afraid to think outside the box. We gave out water filters almost immediately, (and) we tested the filters; no one’s ever thought of that. We gave out bottled water, we hired Newark residents; we got the money so we could accelerate the program.” “Treat it like the public health emergency it is and fix it,” he added. Di Ionna said, “The short answer to what the city did right was the will to get it done. We had the will to get legislation passed to use public funds on private property, we had the will to get legislation to allow us to go on private property, we had the will to take port authority money and throw it at this program, (and) we had the will to work with the county and state to get it done. The theme of this is ‘How do we get it done?’” “And to get it done in the most economic, effective and efficient manner,” said Adeem. “For generations to come, kids in the city of Newark will not be affected by lead levels going into the water, and another mayor will not have to worry about it.” As for what the city could’ve done better, Adeem said, “When we first started communicating with residents, we didn’t use social media to the level we should have and that we’re doing now.” Officials followed regulations and sent out mailings, put notices on water bills, etc, but they realized state and federal guidelines could be enhanced through the addition of social media. People said the city was downplaying the issue because they weren’t on social media. 24   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

“When we improved communication by using Facebook, Instagram, etc. in 2018, we saw results — residents embraced us and came on board and pushed back against the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council),” Adeem said, noting the NRDC had filed a lawsuit against the state and city “demanding” Newark do a variety of things it had already implemented before the lawsuit was filed. Adeem also said the city could’ve been more aggressive about trying to get its side of the story out about what it was doing to correct the issue. Newark’s advice Newark officials advise municipalities not to wait. “Start having those conversations with your community now. Make sure you have an inventory of your lead service lines — don’t wait till the last minute,” Adeem advised. “Work on a strategy on how to replace the lead service lines effectively, economically and efficiently and move forward. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Have a plan in place — don’t kick the can down the road.” Di Ionna said, “No city the size of Newark has done as many as we have as quickly at no cost to and no rate increase to residents. What we’ve done is pretty remarkable.” Adeem said the city is getting calls from around the country and as far away as Germany asking how it accelerated the program. Keeping the program free to homeowners is key. Adeem said when Newark first launched the program, it was charging $1,000, and only 750 lines were replaced in six months. Once the city made it free, workers replaced 1,200 in one month. Adeem said the program has given city officials “a level of pride on a national level that you can create a jobs plan for every community if you upgrade the city’s infrastructure.” He added, “The country needs to have a real conversation about the real cost of water.”

Nappanee Water and Wastewater Superintendent Gale Gerber (yellow vest, white hard hat) looks at a new opening alongside contractors, who are working on the city’s water main project and lead line replacement project. The city is taking advantage of a program through the State Revolving Fund that allows it to use interest on its loan to replace lead lines. (Photo provided)

Proactive in Nappanee, Ind.

Contractors from Indiana Earth work along South Main Street in Nappanee’s downtown replacing aging water lines. (Photo by Denise Fedorow)


he city of Nappanee has taken a proactive approach to lead service line replacement. The city’s water main was installed in 1892, and despite being that old, Water and Wastewater Superintendent Gale Gerber said the pipes are not lead, but the joints and goosenecks are. The city has not had any instances of lead exceeding recommended levels. He said the pipes under the city are cast iron, ductile iron, asbestos concrete and PVC. And even though there is a protective barrier between the lead joints and the water, the city is taking the opportunity to replace those potentially problematic joints. Gerber explained after what happened in Flint, Mich., Congress decided it needed to do something and made funding available to the states for local communities like Nappanee to be able to draw from. The funding is available through the State Revolving Fund. When a city or town has a water project funded through SRF, the amount it would’ve paid in interest on that loan can instead be utilized to replace lead service lines.

James McGoff, COO and director of Environmental Programs for the Indiana Finance Authority, said, unlike New Jersey, the state of Indiana did not need to pass any legislation in order to use public funds on private property. According to a fact sheet about the program dated April 2021, “The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program offers a reduced interest rate incentive for communities to include lead line replacement as part of their SRF projects. Lead line replacement projects include replacing complete lead and galvanized service lines. Based on the type and cost of these components, a community may be eligible for improved ranking on the SRF Project Priority List, as well as an interest rate as low as $0.00% on its SRF loan.” The fact sheet goes on to state, “(the) SRF will only finance complete lead service line replacement projects. That is, the SRF will only finance projects that replace the entire service line from the public water main to the point at with the line connects to the customer’s premise plumbing.” McGoff said, “We provide financing for both stand-alone lead service line replacement projects or those coupled with another project. The most economical time to replace the lead service lines is at the same time as a service main is being replaced.” The city is also able to replace what would’ve been the property owner’s portion of the line up to one foot of the house or business. Gerber said that cost could vary anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000. Nappanee is currently replacing a portion of its water main in the downtown area and other parts of the city. There have been multiple leaks along the aging water main. City officials contacted homeowners and obtained 264 easements. Gerber said some decided not to participate; however, he noted when workers went door-to-door, “We tell them here’s an opportunity, do it or not.” Some even preferred to hire their own plumbers. Mayor Phil Jenkins said, “We can’t reduce all chances of lead — if they have lead in their house, for example, but we can significantly reduce the chances.” Gerber said part of the requirement of the grant is that after the city gets residents hooked up, someone from the water utility has to go in and take the water meter out and flush the system before reinstalling the meter. The first time the city took advantage of the program was in 2018 when it had an infrastructure project with new wellheads at Wellfield Park. It used the interest from that project to replace lead service lines on South Main and North Main streets — some of the oldest in the city. Gerber believes Nappanee was the fourth city in the state to take advantage of the program and learned about it from the city’s engineers and financial consultants. Mayor Jenkins said he thinks some “ignore the issue because it’s underground, and they don’t see it or they don’t have the funding to do it.” Gerber said after the Flint disaster, the city had to have a sampling site plan of 40 homes. “I’m thankful for those people who were willing to participate in the program,” and the city passed without any exceedance of the allowable 15 ppb at 90 percentile. Nappanee also tested the schools and daycares in town at that time. Gerber credited the polyphosphate the city uses to coat the pipes with keeping the water from corroding the pipes. He also credits the  JULY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL  25

continued from page 25

administration for open communication and being proactive. “I feel we’re providing a great service to our citizens,” Gerber said. The mayor agreed, saying, “I like to think we’re being proactive.” Jenkins offered this advice to other communities. “Do an inventory of the age of the pipes in your system and get a good database, so you know the type of pipes you have and the risk based on the condition, the type of soil they’re in and then look at a long-term strategy asset management plan to regularly replace them.” Gerber said now that the city has a written asset management plan, it’s helpful for planning these projects financially. “We used to go until things fell apart and order an emergency fix — it’s best to be proactive,” he said. “Another key factor is that the administration needs to know what’s going on with the utilities so they can properly fund.” Future lead service line replacement in Nappanee will be based on that asset management plan, and there are further projects planned because of the aging infrastructure. Asked how much help it was to have the state and federal assistance, Jenkins replied, “There’s no way we’d be able to do what we’ve done without the help of federal and state programs. We hope more funds will be available for infrastructure — it costs a lot to maintain. Create an asset management plan as a way to fund projects with the cooperation of local, state and federal agencies.”


Contractors working on the Nappanee water main replacement project are also replacing lead service lines going into homes as part of the project. (Photo provided)

M Focus on: Public Works

Teamwork kept Hot Springs’ water flowing

By AMANDA DEMSTER | The Municipal

Winter 2021 wreaked icy wrath on much of the southern part of the United States. Cities throughout the region made the news daily, with tales of mass power outages, water shortages and even fatalities. Despite the tragedies that arose, there were below for 11 days, with seven of those reacha few success stories, and in the face of ing the teens or colder. It began with a winter storm that buried unexpected cold temperatures and heavy snowfall, entities like the city of Hot Springs, some parts of Hot Springs in as many as 16 Ark., Utilities Department were able to con- inches of snow. “The February winter storm dealt a harsh tinue servicing customers. Keeping the water flowing was easier said blow to communities all over Arkansas and than done. Despite the city’s name, the frigid the surrounding states,” Ledbetter said. air continuously threatened to freeze pipes “During the almost five-day event, recordlow temperatures led to damaged water solid. According to Hot Springs Utilities Direc- mains and frozen service lines.” tor Monty Ledbetter, a normal winter for Many residents, Ledbetter said, were the area ranges between 36 and 53 degrees not aware their pipes had burst under the Fahrenheit roughly. In February, however, ground, hidden beneath the snow. The burst nighttime temperatures fell to freezing or pipes meant a potential decrease in water 28   THE MUNICIPAL  |  JULY 2021

ABOVE: Hot Springs, Ark., is known for its naturally heated springs, but a massive winter storm in February 2021 threatened to grind its water operations to a halt. (

pressure, which the utilities department needed to address head-on. “Hot Springs was dangerously close to running out of an adequate water supply,” he said. The city moved into action, issuing public notices and making calls asking residents to reduce their water usage. “During freezing temperatures, people often allow water taps to run in order to prevent frozen pipes,” Ledbetter said. “Residents were asked to reduce the flow to a drip.” Besides having adequate water for drinking and hygiene, fire protection was also a concern. Should a fire break out in someone’s home or business, the fire department

Under homes and beneath the ground, it is difficult to tell at a glance where pipes have burst. This was one of many challenges the Hot Springs Utilities Department faced during February’s snowstorm. would need adequate pressure to run hoses. In order to help maintain this pressure, the utilities department also closed water tank supply valves. “That meant pumping water directly into the distribution system,” Ledbetter said. “(The) utilities’ two water production facilities had to operate 24 hours a day to keep up with demand.” The city produced roughly 52 million gallons more during the coldest days than it normally does, he added. “All of this was done to prevent a loss of pressure in the distribution system that would require the city to issue a boil order notice,” Ledbetter said. “Because of the rapid response to shutting down leaks and conservation efforts, the city was able to maintain the required pressure throughout the system and prevent contamination of the supply.” While this may sound simple, it was anything but easy. Besides the cold temperatures, snow made the streets dangerous, delaying travel time. The department allowed nonessential employees to stay home, while those who came in to work were there for the long haul. “Being a utility, most of our people are very essential,” Ledbetter said. “Most of them, once on-site, stayed until the situation was under control.”

The Hot Springs Utilities Department worked extra hours to make sure adequate water pressure was maintained throughout the city.

Normally, the plants slow production at night, but during the extreme cold, they had to produce continuously to keep water in the system, he added. Ledbetter also attributes the utility’s success to forward-thinking. In 2010, he said Hot Springs installed a smart metering system known as advanced metering infrastructure. The system can detect leaks for individual customers and then generate a list of locations requiring attention. “Using that list, Hot Springs utilities, along with the fire department, shut off approximately 4,000 water services to prevent further damage and water loss,” Ledbetter said. “Crews worked around the clock for four-plus days, shutting off water services and repairing main leaks.” Winter 2021 was a learning experience for numerous cities, and Hot Springs was no different. “In an emergency, our mission is to protect the health of our customers,” Ledbetter said. “Our goal is to identify the emergency quickly and initiate a timely and effective response. Such events are happening more frequently, so our department must anticipate the worst-case scenario and be proactive to minimize the impact on our system and customers. Cold weather events have enhanced status in our response management plan.”  JULY 2021  |  THE MUNICIPAL  29

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M Focus on: Public Works

Reston receives distinctions for aquatic center makeover By DANI MESSICK | The Municipal

When it became clear their 40-year-old community center pool was obsolete, management and community residents agreed to spend an estimated $5.5 million to remodel the entire aquatics center. Built in 1979, Reston, Va.’s, Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center initially consisted of a singular 25-meter pool with seven lap lanes and a deep end with a diving board. The indoor swimming area was named after Terry L. Smith, who was a long-time board member for the Reston Community Center and also a swimming instructor for nearly 20 years. “Terry taught hundreds of kids to swim in that pool, and when he lost his battle with cancer in the early 2000s, before he died, we decided to name the aquatics center for Terry in recognition for all the service he had given, not just on the board but in his capacity as a swimming teacher to the community,” said Leila Gordon, executive director of Reston Community Center. In 2017, management began considering renovations to the project, and they realized they’d need to completely replace the pool shell underneath. As a small tax district, Reston Community Center receives 4.7 cents per $100 from any taxpayer living inside the tax district. The tax district was created in the 1970s in order to build and operate a community center that Gordon said was far beyond what was available to community members at that time — a 50,000-square-foot building with an aquatic center, professional theatre, meeting rooms, culinary classroom, catering kitchen, woodworking shop, ballroom and other amenities.

32   THE MUNICIPAL  |  JULY 2021

The new Reston Community Center Terry L. Smith Aquatic Center includes two pools, one with temperatures that athletes prefer and a warmer one for families and therapeutic activities. (Photo provided)

With sufficient capital reserves for the project, the community center began to further explore the idea and discovered the community would fare best with not one but two pools in the newly renovated aquatic center — one with six lanes and cooler temperatures for athletes and the other with warmer temperatures for therapeutics and swimming lessons. With designers, contractors and all other necessary assistance in place, the project began. “If we had known then what we know now, we would have been considerably more panicked, I think,” Gordon said.

The first struggle began right at the front doors. The two sets of double doors were the only access to the area. “They were essentially going to dig out a 40-year-old swimming pool and deck and surrounding infrastructure and do all that going in and out of these two sets of double doors.” Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services’ Martha Sansaver, project manager, explained that the size of equipment also had to be taken into consideration due to the height of the double doors. The contractors developed a system. “They had a plan where they came in one door and went out the other, and that was

maintained very well and perceived very well,” Sansaver said. In addition to that, the building’s water lines also had to be protected since the building was never intended to be shut down during the renovation process. The building operates nearly 12 hours a day most days of the week. “We were still open and operating, so it wasn’t just like if they had an accident and hit something, they’d be able to figure out what went wrong and fix that,” Gordon said. “There was never a time for this contractor that they could count on just doing their work without being sensitive to the building around them.” Problems did arise, nonetheless, but the forced closure due to COVID-19 from March to July 2020 allowed workers to fix some major plumbing issues. As is typical, the construction team met every two weeks. “We are lucky that the aquatics staff is a very highly skilled and knowledgeable staff,” Gordon said. “We have a building engineer who’s been with us for 15 years, so he was fluent and familiar with building equipment systems, and we had a (Fairfax County) DPWES team with really incredible experience and background and capabilities. There was somebody from DPWES every day, just as there was a building engineer and our aquatics team here every day.” Sansaver added the Reston staff, too, were “there all along and very much partners in the project.” The project was such a success that it also won several awards from the American Public Works Association, including the Mid-Atlantic Region’s Project of the Year for Structures $5-$25 million. Sansaver explained the ways they chose to handle the project were the cause for the notoriety. “While the project scale was not conducive to pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications, we did use LEED strategies and design efforts, whether it was the mechanical equipment that was provided was very energy efficient, the air containment was minimized during construction and the interior finishes were selected to minimize the off-gassing of materials,” she said. Workers managed to recycle 177.6 tons of construction waste. They also performed demolitions of concrete in a contained

The complete renovation project took roughly a year to complete and cost approximately $5.5 million. (Photo provided)

Construction crews began tearing down the pool’s shell in January 2020. (Photo provided) JULY 2021  |  THE MUNICIPAL  33

continued from page 33

facility with ample air movement in a smokefree environment. Safety was also paramount to the project. In fact, Sansaver said, any person who entered the construction site for any reason had to sit through a safety video that was nearly an hour long. With the $3.4 million construction budget, the community center also committed 1% to public art, and mosaic artist Valerie Theberge sat in with the design team during all of the early meetings. “That ended up being critical because it enabled the design team to move things and Lifeguards practice at the newly reopened change routing for things like fire pole sta- The new aquatic center includes a spa, locker rooms and many amenities for comTerry L. Smith Aquatics Center. (Photo tions and wire runs to those so that the public munity members. (Photo provided) provided) art pieces — beautiful mosaic Pisces — would sit appropriately in a clean space without having to manage around other equipment features or find out about that late in the project, and I think being they didn’t forget anything; everything has a seamless, beautiful, aesserious about the incorporation of public art and having those con- thetically pleasing home,” said Sansaver. versations early was very unusual for a renovation project of this scale. Despite all of the labor that went into the project, Gordon is still It influenced the selection of everything — the paint colors, the tile expecting that $800,000 will return as unspent contingency allocacolors, the play features. Now, when you go down there, it looks like tions. The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center reopened in January 2021.

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M Focus on: Public Works

Provo prepares for future water needs

Pictured is a manufactured channel at Riverview Park, where another ASR pilot study occurred in Provo, Utah. The view faces the east with Rock Canyon in the background. (Photo provided)

By JANET PATTERSON | The Municipal

When it comes to water, rainfall and snowfall can seem like a feast or famine commodity. Right now, it’s definitely famine in the western United States.

A monitor well is drilled near the mouth of Rock Canyon to observe groundwater levels during ASR pilot studies. (Photo provided)

36   THE MUNICIPAL  |  JULY 2021

In March 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned that nearly half the country is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought conditions. Its seasonal drought prediction for 2021 is that most of California and all of Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico will have droughts that persist. Provo, Utah, is one of those places and has been working hard to deal with how to manage its precious water resources for the city’s future. The fourth largest municipality in Utah and located about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, Provo has experienced population growth that equates to an increased demand for water. Couple that with climate change, and the amount of useable water for

A temporary pipe transports water to the south side of Rock Canyon during the ASR pilot project. (Photo provided)

Pictured is a view from Rock Canyon looking west with Utah Lake in the background; the natural channel is on the right, and the diversion pipe transporting water to the south side of Rock Canyon is also shown. (Photo provided)

the city of 126,000 has declined in recent years. The city provides drinking water to about 17,500 residential, 1,900 commercial, 171 institutional and 17 industrial customers. So, three years ago, the city started a pilot program to study how the city can recover groundwater and store it for future use. The Provo Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project searches for surfacewater sources and ways to move water to aquifers, where it can be stored in anticipation of future drought cycles. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, aquifer storage and recovery is a water resources management technique for actively storing water underground during wet periods for recovery when needed, usually during dry periods. Water storage can be for months or as long as decades. This intentional water storage technique has been used for hundreds of years but is being further developed and refined as demand for fresh water threatens to exceed supply in many other parts of the world, including the southwestern United States. According to Dave Decker, Provo’s public works director, Utah is one of the western states that are drought prone. “We flip-flop between adequate and less than adequate rainfall and snowfall. Right now, we’re in a less-than-adequate part of the cycle.” Less than adequate means “the static water level in the city’s wells has seen steady decline, dropping between 2 and 58 feet over the lives of the respective wells,” states a feasibility report from the Utah DNR Board of Water Resources. In wetter climates, Decker said rainfall reduces drought conditions, but in places like Utah, Nevada and New Mexico, the winter snowpack is critical to easing drought conditions. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Utah Snow Survey, the winter of 2020-21 saw a snowpack of only 75% to 80% of normal. While that may not seem too terrible, the less than average snowfall was on the heels of the driest summer in the 126 years of rainfall record-keeping.

In other words, Decker said, “Things could get serious pretty fast.” During the pilot program, Provo has worked with engineers from Utah companies — Barr Engineering and Hansen Allen and Luce — and global company AECOM to study ways for capturing and conserving water. The pilot project has monitored five of the city’s 16 wells. Testing drills dig for water sources and measure how far into the earth they are, and then by pumping the water from the wells, workers can transfer it to local aquifers where it can be stored for later use. Decker said the results so far have been “quite positive.” Harvesting groundwater will increase the area’s drinking water supply and will make it possible to “bank” water in the underground aquifers where it can stay for years. “It really is like money in the bank since there is more storage volume underground than above.” The final project will include two pump stations and more than 2 miles of 24-inch ductile pipe to carry water to Rock Canyon, which is east of the city. The project anticipates that 12,000 acre-feet of water will be pumped each year to help recharge the aquifer supplying the city wells. Without channeling groundwater into the aquifer, the precious resource is “essentially wasted,” he added. According to Decker, the pilot project has cost $3 million. The permanent phase of the ASR project, which will also include a surface water treatment plant, will cost about $20 million and is being funded by cost sharing among the Utah Board of Water Resources, a loan from the Drinking Water Board, a WaterSMART grant and the city of Provo. He expects construction on the permanent phase will begin next spring, and the components of the project will be functioning in 2023. “There is a lot of talk about sustainability with environmental issues. The ASR project is about sustaining water for our future,” Decker said.  JULY 2021  |  THE MUNICIPAL  37

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M Focus on: Public Works

Pictured is uptown Denison, Iowa. (Photo provided)

Denison plans for the future By JANET PATTERSON | The Municipal

The city administration of Denison, Iowa, found itself in a bit of a dilemma last year when two key employees of the public works department decided to retire within a short time of each other. The announcements got City Manager Terence Crawford thinking about succession planning. “We’re a small enough city right now that we deal with our succession planning mostly through open lines of communication.” Those open lines have worked well for the government of the city of about 10,000 nestled in the Boyer River valley in west central Iowa. So, when Doug Wiebers, the city’s public Terence E. Crawford, works director, and Dave Nemitz, a 44-year City Manager and employee and long-time Denison street comEngineer missioner, decided to retire within months of each other, the communication lines became extra important. The main concern when the retirements were announced was getting people in place before the tough Iowa snow-removal season. “Winters tend to wear on our public works people,” Crawford said. He also noted that one of the advantages of being a small municipality is the contacts that people have with others in the community. Those have helped in finding people to step into the vacancies that retirements create. But the small community also means small departments suffer when even just one employee is gone. Nemitz’s retirement in the

40   THE MUNICIPAL  |  JULY 2021

spring of 2020 left the city’s public works department with only six workers and one supervisor. Crawford said the city came out of that transition in good shape. The new public works director, Eric Martens, was director of maintenance at Smithfield Farmland Foods, the largest employer in Denison. The new street superintendent worked for Crawford County, maintaining secondary county roads around the Denison area. “He had created spreadsheets on all of the county equipment from the day it arrived until it was retired,” Crawford noted one of Mike Vogt’s strengths when applying for the Denison street superintendent position. In the ongoing conversations about succession planning for the public works department, Crawford said the city considers not just the ability to do the jobs as they open but also ensures candidates and current employees have the proper certifications to make the transitions smooth regardless of the time of year. In the public works department, making sure that they always have adequate employees with a state commercial drivers’ license is important. But public works was not the only department that focused the Denison city government on succession planning. The manager of the city-owned Boulders Conference Center decided 2020 was time to step back from her position, and the city library’s assistant manager and children’s librarian both reached retirement age.

Crawford said the conference center position caught the city by surprise. “We had no succession plan in place.” The manager had been on the job since the center opened in 2006. Again, communication with the community played a role in finding a solution. “City council negotiated with a lady who came forward to lease the center. Laura Matthews owns The Stables at Copper Ridge. She restored a barn on her property after her husband’s death and turned it into an event venue.” Crawford credited city council representative Corey Curnyn with finding a way to keep the city’s conference center functioning. “He led the effort and negotiated with Laura so that she’s leasing it with the option to buy it.” According to Crawford, the library dilemma might have been tougher to figure out if the COVID-19 pandemic had not limited the library’s full operation. “That gave our library director, Monica Walley, more time to find a replacement for the assistant librarian. “While the pandemic has been a terrible thing, it has given us a little grace in this situation, having more time to fill those positions while the library was not fully open.” In May, the city hired a new assistant director. Crawford said the two would begin a search for a children’s librarian to bring the staff back to full operation. Conversations about succession planning have been ongoing in city council meetings and work sessions. The latest of these conversations has to do with the future of Crawford’s combined city manager and city engineer position. Crawford began his work with Denison in 1991 as the city engineer. In 2012, the city manager left that position to work for another area of the state. Since the mayor of Denison is a part-time advisory position elected for two-year terms, the city council wanted someone with an understanding of the community to step into the city manager position. A member of the city council asked Crawford if he thought he could do the job of city manager and the job of city engineer. “I didn’t think there would be enough time to do both.” Crawford and the councilman set to work redefining the city manager position, calling on the skills of long-time city clerk Lisa Koch to manage the city’s financial and budgeting functions. “I also said that I wouldn’t have time to micromanage the department heads,” Crawford noted. With those caveats, Crawford and then-mayor Denis Fineran, along with the city council, agreed the city manager would spend 25% of his time managing and 75% of his time engineering. “And we’ve been plugging along ever since,” he said. So, now nine years later, the city manager is approaching his 10-year anniversary in the position and his 70th birthday. “We recently had a work session where council asked me when I plan to retire.” Crawford said he wants to reach that 10-year milestone but also wants to give the city council adequate time to prepare for a new breed of city manager. “I’m kind of a rare bird being city manager and city engineer.” So, the city of Denison is working on how to prepare for 2022 and planning for the succession of another key employee. “They’re considering options, so there is no gap in leadership.” While the city has tried to be wise in its planning, Crawford said the open communication key has worked well. “At some point, there

Communication has been key when Denison has been faced with openings in the past, with many candidates having been found through existing contacts. Pictured is City Hall in Denison, Iowa. (Photo provided)

The water tower in Denison, Iowa, pays tribute to actress Donna Reed, who had been born in Denison and starred in the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful LIfe.” (Photo provided)

will be a definite plan for every department, but right now, this has worked for us.” He said the city is growing, particularly in its cultural diversity. “We have a growing Hispanic population, mostly because of Smithfield.” Crawford estimates that nearly half the population of Denison is now Hispanic. “They are a big part of our culture. They’ve gained citizenship and are growing their families here. And they’re involved in all aspects of the city.” Like the public works department, the work of keeping those communication lines open citywide is important and continuing in city council work sessions and budget planning where conversations on the future occur. With these continued conversations, Crawford believes Denison has a “bright future” ahead.  JULY 2021  |  THE MUNICIPAL  41

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City Profile

St. Joseph, Mo., pursues economic vitality By LAUREN CAGGIANO | The Municipal

Historically, St. Joseph, Mo., was a stopping off point for settlers on their way to the West Coast. Pictured is an antique wooden wagon on display outside of the Pony Express National Museum. ( 46   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

Like many former Rustbelt towns, St. Joseph, Mo., is straddling both the past and future. According to Tama Wagner, the director of the Community Alliance of St. Joseph, the city of about 75,000 is at what she considers at a “crossroads.” The group represents entities from both the public and private sectors who share a vested interest in the economic vitality of the area. Wagner said this metaphorical junction is steeped in a rich history woven into the community’s narrative. “We were kind of the stopping off point before settlers moved to the West Coast,” she said. “So, we did the outfitting for the wagon train, that sort of thing. We were a very prosperous community, and our downtown reflects that. Our housing reflects that.” However, as time went on, the city lost population, from 120,000 at its peak to the current Tama Wagner’s level, she said. Aging housing stock and infraorganization is structure haven’t helped its cause, either. looking to what’s Still, despite the population loss, Wagner said next for St. Joseph, the city is making up for it in other ways. Missouri. (Photo “We are the third-largest exporter of products provided) in the state of Missouri, so just behind Kansas City and St. Louis,” she said. We tend to be agriculture-based. We have a corn plant and a Tyson (Foods) plant.” On the note of production, Wager said a cereal company now has a presence in St. Joseph. In her words, “we’re beginning to find it’s because we have such a strong agricultural base … that a lot of value-added companies are beginning to look at us. So that’s very productive.” In a similar vein, she said the city has an incubator at the local university, and her group is working with it on encouraging new agriculture developments and ag tech startups to consider St. Joseph as a potential location. Well-paying jobs might not be enough to attract people to the area, though, if you ask Wagner. That’s why St. Joseph is competing with other cities and towns in the region for population growth. “We are about 30 minutes from Platte City, which is on the northern tip of Kansas City. And I think it is the fastest-growing area in Missouri, likely in part because the housing stock is new. They invest and fund their schools very well. And so, I think it’s very attractive for a lot of executives and leadership to live in north Kansas City because it’s relatively easy to commute 30 minutes on an interstate highway. As a result, we’re facing the challenge that leaders who once lived in St. Joseph — and were part of the decision-making process — are no longer around.” With respect to decisions, Wagner knows today’s policies impact future generations. That’s why she’s proud of one recent win in particular. “We expanded early childhood education within the district,” she said. “And the Early Education Center is moving to a stand-alone school, where early education will be integrated with children at all levels, in one location. And so that was very exciting.” But a program is only as good as the workforce behind it. To that end, Wagner said they advocated for a program called “Grow our Own Teachers,” which seeks to recruit educators at every level of educational attainment. Bryan Carter, who serves as the city manager, said St. Joseph is making gains in other areas, too.

St. Joseph is home to a growing agricultural base. (Photo provided)

The St. Joseph Park and Parkway System is a national historic district located in St. Joseph, Mo. The system ribbons through the city for 26 miles. (Photo provided) “We’ve had some major sewer infrastructure projects that have been completed over the last few years,” he said. “Of course, we’re an old city so we had an old sewer system that merited some pretty significant upgrades. That took a lot of attention.” Speaking of improvements, Carter said St. Joseph is also in the midst of work on the River Bluff Trails Park. “This is a new park that was funded through a hotel-motel tax that we’re anticipating will draw people from around the region. It takes advantage of river bluffs along the Missouri River that were not previously utilized.” Carter is bullish on the downtown as an asset, too. Several years ago, the downtown was falling in disrepair and was an afterthought for many residents. It was when the city council started investing in the urban core that things started to change for the better. As private development tends to follow public investment, Carter said he’s seen interest from local business owners that’s resulted in a revived downtown business community.  JULY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL  47


Public Safety

Building a bond: Novi Public Safety Mentorship Program is a win-win By JULIE YOUNG | The Municipal

The presence of a trusted adult in one’s life can help make the transition from child to young adult so much easier. When community members step up to serve as mentors to young people in need of a positive role model in their lives, friendships are forged and lives are changed. No one knows this better than Novi Youth Assistance in Novi, Mich. Since 1973, the organization has been working to match young people with stable adults they can count on, and in 2018, it partnered with the Novi Public Safety Team to create a new program designed to build bonds between police officers/ fire protection officers and the public they serve.

Finding a new avenue According to Detective Julie Warren, coordinator of the Novi Police Department’s mentoring program, Novi Youth Assistance is a nonprofit 50c3 organization that prides itself on strengthening youth and their families within the community. For nearly 50 years, Novi Youth Assistance has been matching adult volunteers with kids in need through the Mentors Plus Program, the Silver Linings Mentoring Program and now the Novi Public Safety Mentorship Program. “Officers have been informally mentoring youth in the community for decades, but it wasn’t until one officer, who was a mentor with a local youth, wanted to join with Novi Youth Assistance to form a program specifically where the mentor is a public safety member,” Warren said. The Novi Public Safety Team believed involving police officers and fire protection officers as youth partners would enhance the existing programs and the Novi Public Safety Mentorship Program was born. Once a youth is identified as a potential participant in the program, the mentorship coordinator will speak first to the child’s parent/ guardian. This is done to determine the interests of the youth and to see if the responsible adult has any additional concerns. After this information is assessed, the mentorship program coordinator will evaluate the participating public safety team members to find one 48   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

Many of Novi’s public safety mentors find the program rewarding, making it a truly win-win situation for local youth and first responders. Pictured is Sgt. Mark Boody, who serves as a mentor. (Photo provided)

who they believe will be a good match for the young person. Once a match is made, the public safety member will reach out to the parent or guardian to coordinate a meeting between them and the youth. If all goes well, the pair will plan additional activities such as a police ride-along, dinner at a local restaurant, a school visit, sporting event or an evening poring over homework. Warren said referrals to the program can be made through the Novi Youth Assistance, school principals, counselors, parents/guardians or by a member of the public safety team. “Currently, there are six public safety team members involved in the program and eight youth,” she said. “Since its inception in 2018, there have been 14 public safety team members involved and 15 youth mentees who attend school in the Novi Public School District in grades K-12.” Eudora Yorke was referred to the Novi Public Safety Mentorship Program after looking for a Big Brother program for her boys. She was

From the left, Officer Deanna Stevenson, Officer Sarah Moulik and Officer Ryan Haney are among the team members who participate in the Novi Public Safety Mentorship Program in Novi, Mich. (Photos provided)

connected with Officer Blake Webb, who has been a positive influence in her children’s lives. “My boys enjoy going with Officer Blake to spend time. They have enjoyed fun activities, such as go-cart racing, eating out, video game time and cooking together. They always look forward to time with him when he is available in person, but he also checks in with them via text message periodically,” she said. “We are truly happy this program is being offered, and as COVID restrictions are lifted, hopefully, they can experience more outings together.” Warren said communities interested in starting a program similar to the Novi Public Safety Mentorship Program should contact their local youth assistance program and propose a partnership. Then they should start spreading the word so the community knows the program is available. They can do this by speaking to school principals, counselors and school resource officers in addition to having information about the program on various websites so the word gets to the people who need to know about it the most. “I’m very proud of the men and women serving on our public safety teams who give tirelessly of their personal and professional time to mentor youth in our fine community,” said Novi Mayor Bob Gatt. “There is no greater way to build trust than to listen to, mentor and teach our generation the right thing to do.” However, it’s not only the youngsters who benefit. The goal of the program is for all of those involved to grow as individuals, including the parent/guardian, youth and public safety team member themselves. While the focus is understandably on the youth, Warren said the program impacts everyone. “The youth gains a role model and someone they can talk with. The parent/guardian develops a relationship with someone from the public safety team, and the mentor is afforded an additional opportunity to serve the public that they care for so much,” she said. “It is truly a win-win situation.”

Sergeant Steven Snell poses with a squad car. He is one mentor involved in the Novi Public Safety Mentorship Program. (Photo provided)

Officer Jerry Webb is part of the Novi Public Safety Mentorship Program, which aims to give young people a positive role model in their lives. (Photo provided)





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Water & Energy

Public education key to healthy stormwater By DEB GERBERS | The Municipal

Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, Mass., is one point where stormwater enters. For its continued health, it is imperative to keep stormwater free from contaminates. (

52   THE MUNICIPAL  |  JULY 2021


tormwater, which is defined as any water from rain or melted snow running untreated into storm basins, has a significant environmental impact most people do not fully understand. Untreated stormwater has the potential to pollute local water bodies and cause other harmful effects to ecological health and the environment. In order to increase social awareness of this issue, the town of Wakefield, Mass., has implemented an educational program that includes goals based on stormwater issues of significance within the municipal separate storm sewer system area. The ultimate objective of a public education program is to increase knowledge and change the behavior of the public so pollutants in stormwater are reduced. Stormwater can become polluted by various chemicals, including household cleaning products, car fluids, detergents, road chemicals, fertilizer and pesticides, yard waste, pet waste, everyday litter, soapy car wash water and other items. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the water bodies used for swimming, fishing and providing drinking water — impacting native plants, fish, animals and people. Excess sediment can also cloud the water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow, potentially destroying aquatic habitats. Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards, often making beach closures necessary. Litter and debris like plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles and cigarette butts are often washed into water bodies and can choke, suffocate or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles and birds. To help uphold the integrity of Wakefield’s water bodies, the town’s department of public works has encouraged residents to modify their lawn care, such as by limiting fertilizer use. When fertilizer is needed, the department has also suggested residents choose brands with low nitrogen and phosphorus. The exterior of the home is not the only proponent of Wakefield’s educational programming. Most people don’t think twice about tossing out old household cleaners, nail polish, glue and other items, but hazardous chemicals like these need to be disposed of properly so as to not pollute

Wakefield, Mass., works to inform its residents of ways they can improve the health of nearby waterways by being stormwater aware. (

the water supply. The department of public works encourages residents to instead call it or visit one of the town’s hazardous waste drop-off days to safely dispose of old household chemicals. In 2021, Wakefield and neighboring Reading organized two collections for hazardous waste. Reading’s occurred June 26 at its department of public works garage. Wakefield’s drop-off will follow Nov. 6 at Wakefield High School. During these events, the public could bring antifreeze, arts and crafts supplies, car batteries, engine and radiator flushes, floor cleaners, furniture polish, gasoline, glue, mothballs, nail polish and remover, photo chemicals, radiator cleaners, tires (with or without rims), transmission fluid and window cleaners. Outside of these local collections, residents are asked to check out the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s website for collection sites. Dog waste is another thing people might not think about harming local water supplies. When left on the ground, the waste is picked up by stormwater during rainstorms, carried into catch basins and runs untreated into Lake Quannapowitt, Crystal Lake, the Mill and Saugus Rivers and other brooks and streams. The waste carries bacteria, viruses and parasites that pollute water and can make people sick. To reduce the amount of pet waste in the water, Wakefield launched the “Scoop the Poop Pledge,”

which residents can sign when renewing dog licenses each year. It’s a simple pledge to pick up after one’s furry friend. Those who sign it also receive a free waste bag dispenser. The public works department also has the pledge forms available online at wakefield. Another way the public can help protect Wakefield’s water is to use rain barrels. Collected rainwater can be recycled into use for watering lawns and gardens; in fact, the town of Wakefield has a community rain barrel program and educates residents about the benefits of rain barrels. At least $200 of precious rainwater can splash off a 1,000-square-foot roof in one season — rainwater that could easily be repurposed. A rain barrel is economical and can pay for itself in one season. Rainwater has no chemicals, chlorine or fluoride, which is great for plants and lawns, and using rainwater can help stressed trees and gardens during dry spells. Rain barrels also help towns manage water supplies and stormwater runoff. Keeping local water bodies clean and free from pollution is an integral step to maintaining a healthy water supply. By being responsible and reducing the amount of toxins released into Wakefield’s stormwater, local residents, pets and the native ecosystem will be able to thrive — making the overall environment healthier for all. For more information about stormwater in Wakefield, visit  JULY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL  53

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Streets, Highways & Bridges

Grant enables Terre Haute to improve streets

Like many municipalities in the U.S., Terre Haute is faced with infrastructure in need of updates. The city is using Community Crossings funding to repair streets that are in particularly bad shape. (

By LAUREN CAGGIANO | The Municipal

It’s a problem facing many of America’s smaller cities and towns. Their infrastructure is decaying, but budgets don’t always allow for improvements. That’s why a grant program from the state of Indiana is a boon to the city of Terre Haute, Ind., and its residents. Marcus Maurer, who’s been with the city for 13 years, said the Community Crossings grant will make roads safer for motorists. In a December 2020 statement, Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Transportation announced award funding to over 200 cities for this purpose. The Indiana Department of Transportation provides a 50/50 cost split for the city to complete this project. This project includes work to the old interurban train tracks and streetbased repairs such as paving, digging and striping. According to Maurer, old roadways are a legacy of yesteryear when downtown Terre Haute was more of a destination. “We’ve got a few stretches of road that we’ve fixed,” he said. “We have the old interurban lines, the old streetcar lines that were here from the turn of last century. There were rail lines down the streets. During World War II, they came in and took the rails for scrap iron 56   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

and left wooden ties on our streets. This led to some of the worst potholed roads we have in the city, as the wood rots away.” The problem only got worse with time, and Maurer said public sentiment indicated that a project like this had to be prioritized. In his words, “we didn’t even know (these materials) were under old streets, until one day we started getting complaints about how terrible the rough roads are. And then you know, within a year or two after the initial complaints, the roads were just literally almost not drivable.” According to the Council on Foreign Relations, situations like the one in Terre Haute are more than just nuisances. It’s deeper than that. Per its website, economists argue prioritizing infrastructure in the 20th century set the stage for the nation’s robust growth in the decades following World War II.

Work gets underway to resurface one of Terre Haute’s roads. Wooden ties were left after the city’s rail lines were removed during World War II to be used for scrap iron. These remnants led to some of the worst potholed roads in Terre Haute. (Photo provided)

They also cite comments from engineer and historian Henry Petroski, who made the case that poor infrastructure can come with significant economic costs. “In addition to the threat to human safety of catastrophic failures such as bridge collapses or dam breaches, inadequately maintained roads, trains, and waterways cost billions of dollars in lost economic productivity,” the CFR’s website states. Though President Joe Biden has rolled out a sweeping plan to overhaul the nation’s infrastructure, it’s still a matter of approval and timing. There’s a sense of urgency in America’s cities and towns, and Terre Haute is among them. “That was a lot to bite off for local funds,” Maurer said. “Our paving program would just be taking care of one or two streets a year at that rate. So, we’ve looked to use this Community Crossings grant to make that go further. And it’s been a big plus for us.” According to Maurer, in addition to the matching nature of the program, it also helps that the city has received this type of funding before from the state. He said Terre Haute started road work in earnest in 2017 with a focus on other urban projects. He said it’s only a matter of time before city officials and workers modernize the city’s infrastructure and make the roads safer for all stakeholders. “Hopefully, within the next couple of years, we will be done removing some of these wooden ties, at least in the areas where they showed their head,” he said. Speaking of timeline, Maurer said the city will have two years from when funding was awarded to complete the work, but he notes work is currently ahead of schedule. “We knock those out really quickly because the streets were going downhill quickly,” he said. “And we wanted to make sure that the major thoroughfares were covered, as they were in really bad shape. And we couldn’t repave them because we needed to take out what was underneath them. And so, we were waiting for a way to be able to afford to do it. And this grant allowed for that.” INDOT has stated Community Crossings has awarded more than $930 million in funding since the initiative’s inception in 2016.

Pictured is work underway in Terre Haute to repair roadways. The city used a Community Crossings grant to conduct the repairs. (Photos provided)



Building & Construction

How multiple partners came together to save historic Central Hotel — twice By MARY JANE BOGLE | The Municipal

ABOVE: This old postcard shows the Central Hotel in the 1940s when it was The Hotel Talbott. (Photo provided) TOP PHOTO: Central Hotel has been a Galion, Ohio, landmark since before the Civil War. Multiple entities worked collectively to transform it into an affordable housing project after it had fallen into disrepair. (Photo provided) 58   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

Most municipalities are familiar with the concept of saving historic downtown buildings, preserving architectural history for generations to come. These types of projects are often complex and bring together multiple partners to revive older buildings for new uses. Such was the case with Central Hotel in downtown Galion, Ohio, where multiple entities worked collectively to transform a dilapidated building on the square into an affordable housing project, which opened for residential use in 2005.

What makes this preservation project unique, however, is how the city, investors and public housing officials came together not once but twice, ensuring a safe and secure environment for residents after flaws in the structural integrity of the building threatened both the residents’ safety and the building’s long-term viability a few short years after the grand opening. A building worth saving Built in 1846, Central Hotel holds a prime spot in the Galion downtown square — and has for 175 years. “Central Hotel has been a key corner in our main square since before the Civil War,” said Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary. “If you look at an aerial photo of downtown Galion, Central Hotel provides the foundation of the southwest corner. In fact, the town kind of grew up around this structure.” So when the building fell into disrepair in 2000, everyone knew something must be done to save it. Reimagined as affordable housing in 2004, the project caught the interest of developers working with Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, a nonprofit that raises private capital from corporations and invests in affordable housing projects around the state. Tasked with putting together pools of investors who buy tax credits to offset the costs of providing affordable housing, OCCH knew this was a project worthy of investment. “Central Hotel is right in downtown Galion,” said Hal Keller, former CEO of OCCH. “It’s the kind of building where everybody went to dinner before prom. Central Hotel is integral to this small town.” Other partners join the project Saving Central Hotel would be quite the investment, requiring multiple sources of income. Enter the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which provides tax credits to developers who can use those dollars to invest in affordable housing. “Every year,” said Dorcas Jones, chief communications officer, OHFA, “developers from across the state apply to receive housing tax credits. It’s a competitive process.”

The numerous parties involved in the Central Hotel project came together for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 5, 2016. (Photo provided)

The Central Hotel project received more than $2 million in housing tax credits and more than $2 million in loans and other funding from OHFA. “The Central Hotel application received points on its application for preserving a historic building, receiving local and state government support and meeting the needs of a special population,” said Jones. The project also received federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. The city of Galion also played a crucial role in the renovation project, receiving permission from the state to transfer money from its Community Development Block Grant revolving loan fund to invest in the reconstruction. “During a period of time when interest rates were low, the revolving loan balance in the CDBG funds kept building up,” said O’Leary. “We took money where it was dormant and put it to active use.”

The many uses of Central Hotel Repurposing Central Hotel is not a new idea. In fact, the property has changed hands — and uses — multiple times since it was built in 1846. Here’s a brief timeline of the many uses of Central Hotel. • Built by Joel and Daniel Riblet in 1846 as an inn and dry goods store. It became a hotel in 1852 called The Western House and later The Riblet House. • Enlarged to three stories in 1869. The name changed to The Central Hotel in 1874. Purchased in 1940 by Dean Talbott, a Galion attorney, who remodeled the inside extensively and reopened it as The Hotel Talbott. • Changed hands three times within a year after Talbott died in 1962, lastly to First Federal Savings & Loan, which planned to tear down the hotel and construct a new bank office. Charles Ritchey then intervened to save the building and remodeled it, reopening it as a hotel, restaurant and cocktail bar called The Ritchey House in 1963. • After the death of Ritchey in 1973, new owner Donald Baker kept only the restaurant, changing the name to The Heritage Inn. The structure was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 as the Central Hotel-Hackedorn Building-Zimmerman Building. • The restaurant closed in 1982, and redevelopment of the property never occurred. A group of local citizens then purchased the building at public auction in 2000.


continued from page 59

As a senior affordable housing development, Central Hotel is conveniently located downtown, allowing seniors to remain active. (Photo provided)

Grand opening While the project involved extensive renovations, the undertaking was successful, and the building opened for residential use in 2005. Offering a variety of one-, two- and three-bedroom residential apartments, Central Hotel can house close to three dozen people at full occupancy. Located within walking distance of several shops and local amenities, Central Hotel is in a great location for this type of senior affordable housing development, especially with a pharmacy located right next door. In addition to its convenient location, the building offers residents unique interiors, with each apartment presenting high ceilings, distinctive baseboards and trim and large windows — some with great views of downtown. Each apartment’s floor plan is slightly different, and wide hallways create spacious walkways throughout. Structural problems create a new challenge All was going smoothly until structural issues began to surface. “Floors were never totally level,” said Keller, “but they were becoming more uneven, and cracks started appearing in the drywall.” A team of engineers and architects determined that a structural beam on the second floor had begun to slip. They also discovered major issues with the foundation. With no other similar locations for affordable housing, OCCH’s investors determined that renewed efforts to restore Central Hotel were in order. And so the project moved forward once again, with contractors fixing structural issues, shoring up the foundation, repairing cracks and leveling floors. Recently, the project took one final turn. With the value of the tax credits coming to an end, investors were looking for an opportunity to transition to a new owner. Since the city of Galion had already invested funds in the project, it was decided to turn


Pictured is an aerial shot of the Central Hotel, which is located on Galion, Ohio’s, main square. (Photo provided)

the responsibility of ownership to the city itself. “It was a logical succession,” said O’Leary. “Nobody expected the city to own a residential facility, but that’s what local government does: handle what the circumstances present.” Today, residents of Central Hotel are safe and sound in their historic home, thanks to the commitments from multiple partners who stepped up to save this architectural treasure called Central Hotel — not once, but twice.

Low-income housing tax credits at work Step 1 —  The federal government, through the Internal Revenue Service, allocates tax credits to states. Step 2 —  States develop a Qualified Allocation Plan, which describes the criteria for awarding tax credits and invite public comments. Step 3 — Developers apply for the tax credits. Step 4 —  States award the tax credits to housing developers based on project construction or rehabilitation costs. Step 5 —  A financial intermediary (syndicator) connects developers with investors, who offer cash to the developers in exchange for the tax credits. Step 6 —  Using capital from the sale of the tax credits, developers begin construction. Step 7 — Residents move in upon completion. Step 8 —  State housing agencies, syndicators and investors monitor the compliance during development and operations. Step 9 —  Investors receive tax credits over 10 years and exit ownership after 15 years.

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Parks & Environmental Services The Bridge’s field house features multiple hardwood courts that can be partitioned for games and tournaments. (Photo provided)

The Bridge:

Bringing year-round sports tourism to Bridgeport By AMANDA DEMSTER | The Municipal

Recreation is the main focus of any parks system, but Bridgeport, W. Va., is taking things a step farther. The Bridgeport Parks Department recently completed construction on a 156,000-square-foot facility known as The Bridge Sports Complex, which will be entirely city-run. According to Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Director Joe Shuttleworth, The Bridge features a 42,500-square-foot field house; a 19,000-square-foot aquatic center; 40,000 square feet of indoor turf; plus a Clip ‘n Climb with 31 climbing stations, which he described as looking “like something from Nickelodeon.” “The kids are going to flip over it,” he said. A membership-based fitness center offers strength and cardio equipment, rack systems and free weights. “Our members will also have access to many group fitness classes in our two-group fitness classrooms and aquatic center,” Shuttleworth said. “We are also planning many sports performance


programs … we will offer everything from personal training to sport-specific training and combine-type training.” Ceiling-mounted equipment in the field house features touchscreen technology that controls the ceiling-mounted basketball and volleyball equipment and allows each to be raised or lowered to accommodate different age groups. Six hardwood courts accommodate basketball, volleyball, wrestling, pickleball, futsal, tumbling and any other sport requiring a large, flat surface. Circling the courts is a three-lane, elevated walking and jogging track. The aquatic center features a 25-yard-by-25-meter competitive pool for competitive swimming, water polo, lap swimming and recreational swimming. A smaller, four-lane warm-up pool is designed, as its name suggests, for competitive swimmers to

An indoor turf area can host sports like indoor soccer, football, lacrosse and other field-type sports. (Photo provided)

Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Director Joe Shuttleworth likens The Bridge’s indoor climbing wall to “something from Nickelodeon.” (Photo provided)

warm up. However, it is also intended for things like learn-to-swim classes, water aerobics and Aqua-Zumba. “We have a state-of-the-art HVAC and filtration system, including the use of UV technology,” Shuttleworth said. The indoor turf area features drop-down curtains that can divide the spaces into halves and quarters for multiple games at once, including football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, sports performance training and special events. There are also two ceiling-mounted, drop-down batting cages. The building can accommodate up to 3,515 occupants; however, the city will continue to follow the latest state COVID guidelines. Rigorous cleaning procedures are also in place for the fitness and climbing rooms. In all, the complex cost around $50 million. To help fund this project, the city placed a 1% sales tax on items purchased within the city, permitted through West Virginia’s Home Rule. The city generates around $4 million a year, earmarked specifically for The Bridge. The city also sold $40 million in bonds and is securing sponsors for different sections of the complex and for programs. It is also exploring the possibility of a title sponsor for the overall facility. “The bond payments are going to be $2.1 million per year, with the remainder utilized for operations, improvements and future development,” Shuttleworth said. To save energy, the facility uses LED technology for lighting. Windows and translucent panels are designed and placed to allow as much natural light in as possible.

$9 million outdoor baseball field across the street from where The Bridge now stands. The baseball complex hosts between 13 and 16 kids’ travel baseball and softball events and tournaments each year, with the larger ones bringing in close to 100 teams at a time. Teams come from Ohio, Kentucky, the Baltimore, Md., area and Virginia, to name a few. Bridgeport is roughly an hour and 40 minutes from Pittsburgh, Pa. “Location-wise, we’re at the crossroads of two major interstates, and we’re within a six-hour drive of almost half the population of the United States,” Shuttleworth said. All of this places Bridgeport in a strategic spot for what Shuttleworth calls “sports tourism,” which has served the city well economically, bringing added businesses to restaurants and hotels, sporting goods stores, the shopping mall and other shopping areas. While baseball and softball are primarily summer sports, with an indoor complex like The Bridge, Bridgeport could begin reaping the benefits of sports tourism year-round, with the ability to host basketball and volleyball tournaments and any other sport the facility can accommodate. “This is kind of the same philosophy we take with The Bridge,” Shuttleworth said. “Monday through Thursday, we have worldclass facilities for our citizens to use, for our little league and everybody else to use. Then on the weekends, we bring in travel baseball and events and travel softball events.” Plans are also in the works to rebrand the entire complex. “It’s been called the Bridgeport Recreation Complex, and now we build The Bridge indoor sports complex right across the street, but it’s all city run, a little bit different on the operations, but it’s very confusing to our visitors,” Shuttleworth said.

Economic impact For years, Bridgeport has been a location for large sports events, particularly baseball. Several years ago, Bridgeport built a 40-acre,


continued from page 63

Looking ahead The parks department has big dreams for The Bridge’s future. The project’s second phase is getting ready to begin, which will include a large outdoor area, adaptable for football, soccer and any other sport that can be played on an outdoor field. “The funds for this project have been earmarked, and we have anticipated completion of this project by late summer, early fall,” Shuttleworth said. Revenue from The Bridge will be reinvested back into the facility for future upgrades and improvements as needed. Another future dream for the recreation complex is an inclusive playground, with features that allow children with different abilities to

play together. This will go hand-in-hand with Bridgeport’s challenger baseball league, a little league that brings in students from nine surrounding counties, all with differing abilities. “We hope to expand that program as well, but then we’re also going to have this really cool playground that they can use when they come,” Shuttleworth said. All of this will take time. “I hope to continue to grow our facility to the full potential it has, to the master plan that we have, and continue to make an impact on lives, whether our visitors or our region or our local people here,” Shuttleworth said.

The Bridge facts and stats Concrete • 10,505 cubic yards of concrete placed through May 3 • Approximate weight of concrete placed: 42,545,250 pounds, or more than 21,272 tons (heavier than 150 Statues of Liberty, 150 blue whales, 250 empty space shuttles, 3,000 T. rexes or 10,000 cars) • 253,000 square feet of asphalt placed (the equivalent of 2 miles of two-lane roadway) *Concrete weighs an average of 4,050 pounds per cubic yard *These totals do not include the amount of concrete used for pre-cast panels Wood Flooring •G ym floor is 312 feet by 135 feet, or 42,120 square feet, or.9669 acres • 1 ,317 sheets of plywood, each sheet containing six anchor points • 7,902 total anchor points • Each strip of tongue and groove is 2-¼ inches wide • 720 rows of tongue and groove • 224,640 linear feet of wood, equaling 42.5 miles of wood • Each tongue and groove piece is 7 feet with eight nails per board • 256,731 nails total Electrical Conduit •A pproximately 36,960 linear feet of conduit or 7 miles laid end to end Indoor Plumbing • 18,000 linear feet of piping or 3.4 miles Pre-Engineered Metal Building • 157 feet, 4 inches by 247 feet, 4 inches, equaling 38,981 square feet • 6.02 pounds of sand mix per square feet • 241,019 pounds of sand or 120.45 tons • 2.60 pounds 14/30 rubber per square foot • .04 pounds 10/14 larger rubber per square foot • Total weight of 9.20 pounds per square foot • Total pounds of 14/30 rubber 101,072 pounds, or 50.5 tons • Total weight of 357,641 pounds or 178.8 tons (heavier than one blue whale, 90 cars, 200 cows or a locomotive engine)


Competition Pool • 75 feet by 82 feet • 322,543 gallons of water (laying gallon milk jugs end to end would extend 387,051.6 feet or 73.3 miles) • At 8.3 pounds per gallon, the water in the pool weighs 2,677,106.9 or more than 1,338 tons (heavier than 382 SUVs, 191 T. rexes or 13 loaded space shuttles) • At 112 gallons per minute, it takes 48 hours to fill • At 1,000 gallons per minute, water can be turned over in 5.3 hours • 246 occupants • 6 feet, 7 inches to 8 feet deep Warm-up pool • 75 feet by 35 feet • 64,485 gallons • At 8.3 pounds per gallon, the water in this pool weighs 535,225.5 pounds, or 267 tons (heavier than 44 African elephants, 19 school buses or six fire trucks) • At 90 gallons per minute, it takes 12 hours to fill • At 500 gallons per minute, water is turned over in 2.25 hours • 145 occupants • 4 feet deep Pre-cast panels • 178 precast concrete panels • Heaviest panel: 52,000 pounds • Lightest Panel: 25,000 pounds Plumbing • Five water fountains • 15 showers • 53 toilet fixtures • 260 public lockers • 12 employee lockers General • First-floor occupant load: 1,238 • Second-floor occupant load: 1,342 • Pool area occupant load: 935 • Total building occupant load: 3,515 • Disturbed area of approximately 65 acres



Municipal Management

Tehachapi sees overwhelming success with a small business loyalty program By NICHOLETTE CARLSON | The Municipal

As a way to stimulate the local economy, promote community engagement and support small businesses, the city of Tehachapi, Calif., created a small business loyalty program in March. Utilizing ideas from a previous Main Street card program as well as a similar program in another California city, the city of Tehachapi wished to combine incentives for shopping at local businesses while also providing a boost to local restaurants.

Ammie Fisher, who owns Alligator Rose, supported Go2Girlz Antique Boutique with a $100 purchase and selected a Prime Bar and Grill gift card. (Photo provided by the city of Tehachapi, Calif.)


In this small business loyalty program, all city residents received an incentive to shop local. When residents brought in receipts totaling $100 or more from local stores, they could choose a $20 gift card from a local restaurant. These receipts could come from any combination of independently owned small businesses within city limits. The only items that did not qualify toward redemption were alcohol, tobacco, grocery items or gasoline. Restaurant gift cards were placed in a book, and those redeeming receipts were able to choose from whatever was currently available. Each person was limited to one gift card per week. Receipts were stamped and returned to the participant. With this plan in mind, Corey Costelloe, economic development coordinator and assistant to the city manager, approached the city council for permission to use $1,000 to $2,000 of economic development money for the loyalty program. The amount was approved. However, Costelloe admitted, “We burned through that in a week and a half.” Not wanting to end the monthlong loyalty program after less than two weeks, Costelloe was thrilled when residents and businesses began donating money and gift cards to the loyalty program in order to continue to support one another. Though gift cards still ran out early, the program was able to run through the majority of March. The primary means of promotion were word of mouth and social media. The loyalty program was mentioned on the city’s free podcast TehachaPod. Promotional videos were created and shared. Signs and flyers were also made with the loyalty program’s own logo design. Costelloe stated it was important in that first stage to “make it look as professional as possible.”

The city of Tehachapi’s small business loyalty program received a $1,000 donation from local realtor Stacey Peel toward purchasing more gift cards from small businesses to keep the program going. After running through all the gift cards, the city had purchased in less than two weeks, such donations kept the program going. (Photo provided by the city of Tehachapi, Calif.) Jim Randy Wallace made a $100 donation to the small business loyalty program to honor his wife Tammy Wallace’s memory on her birthday. Wallace said, “I wanted to do this because Tammy loved this town so much, and it’s her birthday today.” He requested the city purchase five additional $20 gift certificates from Jake’s Steakhouse. (Photo provided by the city of Tehachapi, Calif.)

One of the program’s primary goals was to not make things more difficult for small businesses. Therefore, participants were asked to bring any receipts in for redemption to city hall. Gift cards were available there, too. Therefore, the small businesses had no extra work placed upon them by the loyalty program. No one expected the overwhelming response the loyalty program received. Overall the receipts turned in during that time totaled $53,556. The average amount turned in per person in receipts for redemption was $240. In total, 223 $20 gift cards were distributed to participants. Combined, the receipts, money put into the program by the city and donations totaled $57,656 — all helping stimulate Tehachapi’s local small businesses. Costelloe praised the success of the program as a communitywide effort. He worked alongside the city manager, a community engagement specialist and employees at the city hall to deal with the program planning, implementation and receipt redemption process. As people came in to redeem their purchases, city officials would also take photos and post them on social media. While the purpose of the loyalty program was to help counteract the negative impacts from the pandemic, Costelloe was pleased to see that Tehachapi actually had seven new restaurants open in the past year, with six out of the seven being local, independently owned and still open today. However, the larger goal was to “retrain people to think local.”

Maria Tamay was Tehachapi’s first gift card recipient in the small business loyalty program. For every $100 or more in receipts from small business purchases brought into city hall, participants received a $20 restaurant gift card. (Photo provided by the city of Tehachapi, Calif.)

For Costelloe, it also strengthened his connection with the local businesses. With the loyalty program, he was able to visit each business within the city limits and make a personal connection with them. These businesses, in turn, were appreciative that the city cared enough to put such a loyalty program together. For other cities that might consider putting a similar loyalty program together for their small businesses, Costelloe stressed, “Keep it as simple as possible in terms of the business owner.” Since the primary goal was to help local businesses, cities don’t want to put more work or stress on them. He also emphasized, “Don’t underestimate the impact it can have.”  JULY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL  67


Conference Calendar To list your upcoming conference or seminar in The Municipal at no charge, call (800) 733-4111, ext. 2307, or email the information to

J U LY July 7-9 Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities Annual Conf. (Rescheduled: July 2022) The Westin Snowmass Resort, Snowmass Village, Colo. July 9-12 NACo Annual Conference & Exposition (In person & virtual) Prince George’s County, Md. conferences July 11-15 CADCA Mid-Year Training Institute Virtual July 12-23 GFOA’s Virtual Conference Virtual July 13-14 UtiliTech Conference Music City Convention Center, Nashville, Tenn. utilitech-conference July 13-15 Navigator 2021 Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev. https://navigator. July 14-17 NYSAFC 115th Annual Conference & Fire Expo (previously was June 15-19) The Oncenter, Syracuse, N.Y. July 15-16 33rd Annual ARTBA Public-Private Partnerships In Transportation Conf. Webinar



July 16-20 Florida Fire Chiefs Association Executive Development Conference Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort, Panama City Beach, Florida

July 22-24 Municipal Association of South Carolina Annual Meeting Virtual education-events/associationevents/annual-meeting

July 19-20 Maryland Municipal League Summer Virtual Conference Virtual

July 26-28 Mississippi Municipal League Annual Conference Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center, Biloxi, Miss.

July 19-21 American Water Resources Association Summer Conference Virtual July 20-29 ITE 2021 Annual Meeting (Aug. 3-5 Council & Committee Meetings) Virtual https://www.iteannualmeeting. org/ July 21-23 Arizona City/County Management Association 2021 Summer Conference (Rescheduled: Aug. 31-Sept. 3) Arizona Biltmore Resort, Phoenix, Ariz. July 22-24 Municipal Association of South Carolina Annual Meeting Hilton Head Marriott, Hilton Head Island, S.C. July 22-24 Louisiana State Firemen’s Association 2021 Conference LaCrown Plaza, Baton Rouge, La.

July 27-29 SIMA 24th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium Roadshow Earle Brown Heritage Center, Minneapolis, Minn. July 28-30 Fire-Rescue International Conference The Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, N.C. (Oct. 20 & 21 Virtual options) July 29-31 Louisiana Municipal Association 84th Annual Convention Raising Cane’s River Center, Baton Rouge, Louis. July 31-Aug. 3 Tennessee Municipal League Annual Conference (Rescheduled: Sept. 18-20) Chattanooga Convention Center, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Aug. 1-4 AL/MS Water Joint Annual Conference Arthur Outlaw Convention Center, Mobile, Ala. Aug. 2-4 IMSA Forum & Expo Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio events/ Aug. 2-7 FDIC International Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind. Aug. 3-6 Building Officials Association of Texas Annual Conference Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center, Denton, Texas Aug. 3-6 Arkansas Municipal Police Association 2021 Convention Hotel Hot Springs, Hot Springs, Ark. Aug. 4-6 New England Parking Council Annual Conference and Tradeshow Seaport Hotel, Boston, Mass. newenglandparkingcouncil. org/events Aug. 6-10 GMA 2021 Annual Convention Savannah, Ga.

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Company Profile

VMAC: The Leader In Compressed Air Innovation® By Anne Fortin, Digital Marketing Specialist | VMAC

Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, VMAC has earned a reputation for manufacturing innovative mobile air compressors and multi-power systems with extraordinary build quality, durability and reliability. Public works fleet managers and operators in the United States, Canada and around the world rely on VMAC systems to work in the most challenging applications, climates and environments. VMAC was founded in 1986 by two mechanical engineers, Jim Hogan and Tony Menard, who started a small machine shop, building disposable jet engines for the military. Once that contract ended, Hogan and Menard began working with a service truck builder who needed new air compressor mounting brackets. The truck builder’s current brackets kept breaking, resulting in air compressors falling 70   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

off its trucks on the highway. VMAC delivered high-quality and durable brackets, which landed it a loyal customer and established it within the mobile air compressor industry. In 1996, VMAC changed the industry by inventing the first engine-mounted rotary screw air compressor, UNDERHOOD™. In the years following the release of UNDERHOOD, VMAC developed several new product lines

ABOVE: Pictured is a VMAC demo truck with 6-in-1 Multifunction Power System. (Photo provided)

and gained a reputation for world-class mobile air compressors. Suez North America is an environmentally friendly water utilities company headquartered in Paramus, N.J. Bruce Ottogalli, transportation manager for Suez, chose UNDERHOOD air compressors for his fleet’s new trucks. He spoke with his crew about the fleet upgrade and found their number one request was to have more space on their trucks. To achieve this, Ottogalli sought to replace their bulky 1,000-pound diesel-driven air compressors with something more compact and lightweight.

Pictured is an UNDERHOOD70 air compressor installed on an engine. (Photo provided)

After some research, Ottogalli learned UNDERHOOD150 air compressors are powerful enough to run a jackhammer while also freeing up about three extra feet of storage in the back of each truck. And what’s more, he discovered UNDERHOOD150 air compressors weigh about 80% less than diesel compressors. The switch to UNDERHOOD was a no-brainer. “It’s great to report the fuel and cost savings year over year since making these changes to the fleet,” said Ottogalli. “It’s rewarding to see that we continue to reduce our environmental impact, and it’s great motivation to continue finding new ways to keep innovating.” Today, 25 years after the invention of the UNDERHOOD rotary screw air compressor, VMAC’s growing team consists of 140 hardworking, dedicated people who constantly push the boundaries in pursuit of excellence. VMAC’S world-class team designs, engineers, manufactures and assembles each air compressor system in a 40,000-square-foot facility in British Columbia, Canada. Investing in manufacturing capabilities allows VMAC to manufacture the air compressor and multi-power systems almost entirely inhouse. VMAC can build custom systems and solutions for customers and partners and bring these products to market much faster, helping them find solutions to whatever challenges they’re trying to overcome. Buzz Kirby, the city of Livonia, Mich., Department of Public Works’ fleet supervisor, also chose to upgrade to UNDERHOOD air compressors. “We had two very old trailermounted air compressors that needed to be replaced,” said Kirby. “They always required some type of repair when we needed to use them. It wasn’t convenient when an

Coworkers Owen Arsenault and Jason Morton stand in one of VMAC’s machine shops. (Photo provided)

unanticipated need for air on a jobsite came up.” In cases where the need for air was unexpected, operators would have to return to the yard to retrieve an air compressor and hook up a trailer, causing lost time, wasted fuel and higher costs. To solve these challenges, Kirby upfitted his fleet with 40, 70 and 110 CFM UNDERHOOD air compressors. Now the city of Livonia’s Department of Public Works has reliable air on-demand for a variety of jobs, including servicing broken down equipment, running diaphragm pumps, impact guns and jackhammers, blowing out underground sprinklers, blowing off parts and repairing water meters. In addition to UNDERHOOD air compressors, VMAC’s product line also includes direct-transmission PTO driven air compressors, multifunction power systems and above-deck gas, diesel and hydraulic driven air compressors, as well as OEM custom solutions. VMAC’s mobile air compressors allow fleet customers to reduce weight on their vehicles to meet weight regulations and avoid hefty overweight fines, fit more tools and equipment on their truck and eliminate idling on the jobsite. Reduced downtime and frustration, decreased departmental costs

and increased productivity are all benefits that come with VMAC air compressors. VMAC’s expansive line of air compressors and multi-power systems has been trusted by fleets around the world as their air compressor system of choice, including utilities companies like Suez North America, and municipalities like the city of Livonia. VMAC has partnered with almost 300 dealers worldwide who share the drive to improve the industry with innovative air compressors and multi-power systems for customers. VMAC is confident it can deliver the air compressor and multi-power solutions you need for your fleet to solve your challenges and empower you to work safely, productively and cost-effectively. Let’s work together — contact VMAC today at, 1 (888) 514-6656 or  Anne Fortin is a Digital Marketing Specialist at VMAC. She enjoys creating content about the mobile compressed air industry that helps business owners, fleet managers, and operators work more productively and profitably. When not working, she enjoys golfing and spending time with her friends, family and labradoodle.



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News & Notes Monroe Truck Equipment congratulates Jim Schneider on his retirement JOLIET, ILL. — Monroe Truck Equipment extended congratulations to Jim Schneider as he retires after 32 years on the team. Schneider served as Monroe Truck Equipment’s commercial project manager and previously served as commercial sales manager. He joined the Monroe team in 1989 and has spent decades building his career and serving the company’s commercial customers in the Midwest and across the nation. Some of Schneider’s favorite memories on the Monroe team took place when Monroe Truck Equipment became a bailment company for Chevrolet, GMC, Ford and Ram. The marketing team planned some great events to introduce the company’s bailment programs to its sales and marketing teams and customers. Many of these centered around bailment trucks being driven away by dealership personnel from the corporate campus. Activities included bus trips to Dubuque, Iowa, for a cruise on the riverboats and socializing. Similar events also took place at Janesville and Flint. Schneider’s best memory was taking his customers to the Kalahari Waterpark Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The team had its own trade show with several participating vendors. There was a dunk tank in the trade show area manned by Monroe Truck Equipment sales representatives, each representative spent 45 minutes on duty being soaked with water. Schneider stated, “This event was so special because the customers were allowed to bring their spouses and children, and it turned into a family event. Monroe Truck Equipment provided water park tickets and also golf the next day at Trappers Turn Golf Course. Our customers loved it; we spent time meeting their whole family. It was a fantastic bonding experience producing loyal customers for years and years!” After a long and rewarding career, Schneider is ready for all the new opportunities that will come with retirement. He is planning on joining golf and other sports leagues, visiting national parks, climbing the Rockies and exploring the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Schneider is excited to be more active and spend more time with his adult children and other family members. Monroe Truck Equipment released the following statement: “We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Jim for his years of incredible contribution to the mission of Monroe Truck Equipment. Please join us in congratulating Jim on his impressive career and his journey into retirement.”

Cities say insufficient funding is delaying critical infrastructure investments WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the Congress and the administration debate the details of a new comprehensive infrastructure package, new survey data recently released from the National League of Cities shows 91% of cities, towns and villages surveyed identified that insufficient funding for infrastructure is a top priority. “Local governments have led the way on infrastructure for decades. The latest data and stories from America’s cities, towns 74   THE MUNICIPAL  |  JULY 2021

and villages highlight the incredibly urgent need for support and partnership from the federal government to pass comprehensive infrastructure legislation,” said Kathy Maness, president, National League of Cities and councilmember, Lexington, S.C. “It is well beyond time to rebuild our nation’s roads, water systems, broadband and workforce. Our communities can’t keep doing it alone.” The 596 local leaders surveyed in March and April 2021 identified top factors impacting their infrastructure decision-making, including insufficient funding (91%), lack of pre-development funds (56%), essential services (31%) and hiring workers skilled for infrastructure (27%). Local leaders have also identified the need for making infrastructure decisions through an equity lens — with nearly 20% of those surveyed identifying equity as a top factor in their decision-making. With an estimated $660 billion in local infrastructure needs, according to the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, the survey results reflect that infrastructure demands far exceed city resources. “The best time to invest in infrastructure was years ago. The second-best time is right now. The needs of America’s communities, families and workers are simply not being met by the current level of funding and support from the federal government on this critical issue,” said Vince Williams, first vice president, National League of Cities and mayor, Union City, Ga. “Mobility and modern infrastructure should be considered a civil right in our nation. Let’s do the right thing and work together to invest in a brighter future for all.” The new survey data is from the National League of Cities’ annual State of the Cities report, which examines the priorities of cities, towns and villages across the country. The comprehensive analysis was released in June.

Registration for the 2021 NRPA annual conference now open ASHBURN, VA. — Registration for the 2021 NRPA annual conference is now open. The conference, which will be the first hybrid conference hosted by the National Recreation and Park Association, will be held Sept. 21-23 in Nashville, Tenn., and will feature more than 80 education sessions, an in-person and virtual exhibit hall and plenty of networking opportunities. In addition to an already top-notch education platform, the conference also will focus on coronavirus response, as well as racial equity and social justice issues. “The past year has shown just how essential parks and recreation is to the health and well-being of our communities,” said Kristine Stratton, president and CEO of NRPA. “Now, it’s time to invest in the park and recreation professionals who have done so much — and the NRPA Annual Conference is the opportunity to do just that. This year is about coming together and strengthening the bonds of the park and recreation community. It’s more important now than ever, as we work to support our communities through our nation’s toughest challenges — continued COVID-19 recovery, racial justice, climate resilience, youth development and so much more.” The safety of our staff and attendees is of the utmost importance to NRPA. It will follow all federal, state and local guidelines set for in-person gatherings, as well as recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and

News & Notes World Health Organization. In-person attendees can anticipate daily health and wellness check points, physical distancing and face covering requirements, as well as other health and safety protocols. More details can be found on NRPA’s website. Early-bird registration for the annual conference ends Aug. 6, 2021. To register and learn more, visit

VMAC Recognized As A Best Workplace™ In Canada For Second Straight Year NANAIMO, B.C.— VMAC has been recognized again as a Best Workplace in Canada for 2021. The list is compiled by Great Place To Work, the global authority on high-trust, highperformance workplace cultures. To be considered for the Best Workplaces in Canada list, organizations must first be Great Place To Work certified. Then, employees must complete a comprehensive anonymous survey and agree over an array of criteria that their workplace is in fact a “great place to work.” Finally, an in-depth review of the organization’s culture is conducted. “VMAC is honored to be named one of Canada’s Best Workplaces for the second year in a row,” said Tod Gilbert, VMAC’s president. “The process to be named to the list is unique as its co-worker driven — our team collectively agreed via an anonymous survey that VMAC is a great place to work. This national award is proof that VMAC’s success is due to our extraordinary people-centric culture.” In the last year, VMAC has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to co-worker health and safety, helping coworkers cope with the global pandemic. Industry-leading health and safety measures were implemented early on, including redesigning workspaces, ongoing work-fromhome options, rigorous cleaning protocols and a focus on co-worker mental health support services and education. “VMAC’s ongoing success through these trying times can be attributed to our resilient and talented team of co-workers,” explained Gordon Duval, VMAC’s VP of marketing and sales. “We remain committed to our long-term vision of providing innovative air compressor solutions to our customers, dealers and partners, as a result of our high-trust, high-performance workplace culture.”

Seeding & Turf Care

Whether seeding a new park, reseeding a right-of-way, or overseeding a sports field, Land Pride has a tool to fit the job. Land Pride Overseeders, All-Purpose Seeders, and Primary Seeders all feature proven fluted seed cups to precisely meter seed in a broadcast pattern and a notched iron packer roller insures good seed to soil contact. Visit for full specs or to locate a dealer. We also offer a full line of skid steer attachments.

News releases regarding personnel changes, other nonproduct-related company changes, association news and awards are printed as space allows. Priority will be given to advertisers and affiliates. Releases not printed in the magazine can be found online at Call (800) 733–4111, ext. 2307, or email



Guest Column

Public works


Moving beyond transactional relationships toward partnerships Tammy Rimes | Guest columnist Executive Director of National Cooperative Procurement Partners


ublic procurement of the past was focused primarily on one thing — the lowest price. However, the low bid is not always the best choice, and best value has become the new mantra. While price is still a key consideration under the best value umbrella, other features can be considered, such as quality of the product, warranties, sustainability, industry knowledge and customer service. Taking it even further, government/ supplier relationships are moving from a transactional to more of a partnership. And the reasons are justified. As government teams know their business, it is important to understand that suppliers know their business, too. Partnering with contracted vendors can bring the full value of their experience, industry knowledge and resources to the table, in addition to the actual delivered product or service. Under this contractual relationship, there is an opportunity to develop a partnership to bring greater value to support the agency’s mission and goals.

Bringing expertise and consulting support The School Board of Sarasota County facilities maintenance department, located in Florida, has a twofold mission of maintaining a productive and safe environment for its 5,000 employees and 43,000 students while conducting its work as efficiently as possible. With more than 50 educational sites and five maintenance facilities spread over multiple geographic zones, this is no small feat. It requires daily communication with principals and custodians, careful planning to optimize labor resources and a well-orchestrated supply chain. 76   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

In the past, individual facility managers were responsible for purchasing — a decentralized, low-bid process that led to overbuying, excessive travel time for technicians and a lack of engagement from nonstrategic suppliers. To become more efficient by eliminating paperwork and “windshield” time for technicians driving from site to site, SBSC made a strategic decision to partner with Fastenal to change the way it was managing its warehouse inventory and ordering process. By consolidating its maintenance and operational spend onto a single contract, SBSC leveraged better pricing by taking advantage of volume discounts. By having two full-time Fastenal employees managing $150,000 of inventory, the SBSC maintenance team could step away from inventory management and focus more directly on repairs. Using vending machines and web orders tied directly to the work order system allows every ordered product to be tracked to a specific project. Another way that SBSC leveraged the partnership was to consult with Fastenal’s regional safety specialist to help drive Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance. A prime example, safety specialists conducted an inspection of more than 300 ladders throughout the county. According to Steve Clark, who serves as SBSC’s one-man occupational safety resource, “In three days, the Fastenal safety specialists inspected hundreds of ladders as part of our partnership. We couldn’t have accomplished on our own what Fastenal did in the short turnaround time and with the expert effectiveness they brought to us.” Jody Dumas, executive director of Facilities Planning and Construction, stated, “Community members are always asking us to run the school district like a business. Well, we are running it like a business. We focus on what we do best, and we bring in partners like Fastenal to do what they do best — efficiently distributing parts and supplies to make the repairs at a lower cost.” Assistance with revenue generation While procurement oversees contract expenditures, sometimes there are opportunities to bring in revenues. TriState HVAC, a Daikin Applied independent manufacturer’s representative, often shares its expertise and understanding of available energy and/or tax credits with its clients.

Ed Ciechon, mechanical systems integrator for TriState HVAC noted partnering with a supplier who has insights into tax credits can bring added revenues to strapped government coffers. According to Ciechon, “Utilizing state and federal rebates with incentives helps to realize a cost reduction while maximizing energy efficiency. It is an absolute winning proposition.” Located in New Jersey, the Cumberland Regional School District Board is a comprehensive regional public high school district serving students in ninth through 12th grades within seven communities in Cumberland County. Cumberland Regional High School was ready to replace its 650-ton water cooled centrifugal chiller and associated cooling tower. In addition, the facilities department wanted to eliminate the added maintenance and freeze protection measures of the existing water cooling tower. By partnering with TriState HVAC, through an already-solicited OMNIA Partners contract, a proposal was received for air conditioning to serve the entire high school. By vetting and selecting a cooperative contract, the district was able to get into the manufacturing schedule before the typical spring order rush, saving almost eight to 10 weeks over the traditional plan and specification request for proposals process. The proposed premium efficiency variable speed Daikin applied air cooled chillers, rather than water cooled, provided a more energy-efficient system, lowered ongoing maintenance and qualified the purchase for a New Jersey Clean Energy Rebate. The end result? A rebate check payable to the district, which was basically equivalent to receiving a free chiller. Upon receipt, Bruce D. Harbinson, school business administrator, exclaimed, “Our NJ Clean Energy check has arrived for $380,200.” He further shared his appreciation for the assistance: “We want to thank you for all you’ve done for our district in making this possible, in addition to the $76,000 our team got back for LED lighting.” Emergency repairs are streamlined The 2020 California wildfire season was characterized as record-setting, with devastation greater than previous years in modern history. Monterey County, Calif., experienced the life-altering flames firsthand, as the fires spread near Carmel Valley and Dolan Canyon in mid-August. In addition to the destruction of structures and thousands of acres of land by the raging fires, roads and drainage systems were badly damaged by firefighting

By consolidating its maintenance and operational spend onto a single contract, the School Board of Sarasota County in Florida leveraged better pricing by taking advantage of volume discounts. By having two full-time Fastenal employees managing $150,000 of inventory, the SBSC maintenance team could step away from inventory management and focus more directly on repairs. (Photo provided)

equipment. Monterey County officials turned to their Gordian Job Order Contracting program to clear and repair residential roads as quickly as possible. Crews began working on the extensive repairs within two weeks, allowing residents of Carmel Valley and its surrounding communities to safely traverse Monterey County once again. The repairs included mudslide prevention tactics to help ease concerns for public safety as seasonal rains returned to the area. JOC is an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity construction delivery method that allows projects to be completed through an already competitively awarded contract. This single-bid process enables projects to start faster and creates partnerships between project owners and awarded contractors. Rather than the traditional bid and award public works process, this contracting method allows for more problem-solving conversations on how to approach a project, with the added benefit of using local contractors to complete the work. Expertise during emergencies As COVID-19 vaccines became available earlier this year, states were mandated to roll out vaccination plans with accessible sites for residents. A Midwest state’s Emergency Management Agency, working in conjunction with the National Guard, took the lead for its

jurisdiction. As the vaccination process was anticipated to result in long lines, with mandated wait periods after the shot was given, it became apparent that these temporary sites needed to have adequate accommodations. As a result, the state reached out to United Rentals to help it address the issue of plastics — otherwise known as port-a-potties. Under an existing Sourcewell cooperative contract, the state and supplier met and established a one-stop shop for all incoming requests. Once the request is received, then United Rentals coordinates to identify the nearest available plastics to deliver and set up prior to the site opening. Sites can be set up and taken down within a day or stay up for several weeks. One of the initial challenges was finding adequate products across all jurisdictions. Rather than the state having to take on this coordination effort, United Rentals reached out to all suppliers across the state who could assist and leverage local vendors who were knowledgeable about their territories. Having the supplier be the main coordination conduit for this particular task allowed the state to work on the other issues at hand. Leveraging supplier resources is often necessary during a crisis. Bill Caplinger Jr., strategic accounts manager for United Rentals, stated, “We knew there was an immediate need and had the  JULY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL  77

continued from page 65

resources ready to serve that need. Creating a one-stop shop where the state places a request, and then we make it happen, has been a successful model.” After the emergency, many agencies seek assistance or reimbursements from FEMA. This time-intensive process is filled with specific rules and regulations that must be followed to the letter — or else the request can be denied. Partnering with an expert can lend the insight and knowledge often needed during this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for many government teams. According to Dr. Kim Abrego, founder and president of Disaster Recovery Services LLC, “Working with subject matter experts who live and breathe disaster recovery can help bring order and direction to a stressful situation. Quick disaster response without an in-depth understanding of the funding rules and regulations can create expensive procurement and contracting compliance issues, which are among some of the largest financial risks to agencies following a disaster event. Including experts as part of your team can help with effective disaster response while protecting recovery funding opportunities in the long run.” Combine financing help with the ultimate purchase King County is the most populous county in Washington State, serving a community of over 2.2 million residents. For King County Water District 90, the problem was simple — it needed to purchase a piece of heavy equipment for excavation during the height of the COVID pandemic. Due to social distancing requirements, the agency conducted an online walkaround of the equipment through a demo with Sewer Equipment. The equipment purchase through a Sourcewell contract was also accompanied by financing from National Cooperative Leasing. The combined financing was largely due to the water district’s desire to conserve capital due to budget uncertainty because of the pandemic. Since the solicitation process was already done, the procurement process was streamlined and allowed a nearly guaranteed immediate delivery due to the dealer’s — SWS Equipment — unique stocking program. After discussions with the supplier, the water district ultimately purchased a RAMVAC HX-12 hydroexcavator by Sewer Equipment. These trucks allow the ability to safely dig 78   THE MUNICIPAL | JULY 2021

King County Water District 90 needed to purchase a piece of heavy equipment and found what it was looking for through a Sourcewell contract, which was also accompanied by financing from National Cooperative Leasing. (Photo provided)

around sensitive utilities — like gas services, particularly for supplies and services related electrical services, water lines and fiber optic to COVID-19. Out of this need, the realization lines — without risking damage to the utility of suppliers as partners is growing among govor danger to their operators. In hydro excava- ernment teams. tion, the equipment literally pressure washes “Our vendors were quick to update their the soil, vacuuming it up simultaneously as offerings in an effort to meet the immediopposed to using mechanical means such as ate needs of government agencies — those backhoes. offerings included PPE (personal protective Joshua Drummond, operations manager, equipment), cleaning chemicals and room fixadded, “We found this way of excavation tures to accommodate the CDC requirements can be a safer method than digging around for distancing and health safety,” Drury said. utilities.” “This adjustment was a win-win for suppliers and those agencies needing help.”  Leveraging relationships through cooperative contracts Tammy Rimes, MPA, is a keynote speaker, The idea is a simple one — piggybacking on procurement consultant and executive direcan already-established contract to leverage tor of the National Cooperative Procurement your organizational spend along with all the Partners, or NCPP. She served as former agencies who use the same contract. Com- purchasing agent for the city of San Diego bining greater spend usually drives more and implemented its first environmentally advantageous pricing for all. Time savings is preferred purchasing program. She served also realized, as the typically long solicitation during one of Southern California’s largest emergencies — the 2007 Witch Creek Fires, process has already been done. As government teams have worked from which raged for 17 days and destroyed home or virtual environments, the use of coop- over 2,000 homes and structures. Free erative contracts has grown over the past year. educational materials on emergency preJeff Drury, senior director of the Choice Part- paredness, cooperative contracts and a free ners cooperative organization, has observed webinar series are available at an increase in the use of the co-op’s contracts,

TOP 10

Most patriotic states in America Let freedom ring! Most states have their massive patriotic displays around July 4. In honor of Independence Day, The Municipal is sharing WalletHub’s “2020’s Most Patriotic States in America.” Determining this is a bit tricky as definitions and standards vary from person to person. WalletHub’s website notes, “In order to determine where Americans have the most red, white and blue pride, WalletHub compared the states across 13 key indicators of patriotism. Our data set ranges from the state’s military enlistees and veterans to the share of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.” New Hampshire clinched the top position with a score of 63.97. While it ranked 30 in military engagement, its civic engagement ranking of 3 gave it a needed boost. Here are the rest of the listings:


1. New Hampshire


2. Wyoming


3. Idaho


4. Alaska


5. Maryland


6. Utah


7. North Dakota


8. Wisconsin


9. Minnesota


10. South Carolina


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Advertiser Index A


Air Netix LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

ICC NTA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

All Access Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

ICOM America Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Alumitank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83


American Safety & Supply Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 American Shoring Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Andy Mohr Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 APWA PWX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

LaMotte Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Land Pride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

M MaxCell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31


Mel Northy Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

BendPak Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Midwest Sandbags LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Blackburn Manufacturing Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Monroe Truck Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Bonnell Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Britespan Building Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 51 Buyers Products Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

C Calhoun Super Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

N NAFA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 National Construction Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 NCPP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44-45 North American Rescue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

CBI Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79


CCI Piping Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Olsson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Central Life Sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Omega Industrial Safety Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

CleanFix North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35


Clearspan Fabric Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Ctech Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Curbtender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Curtis Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

D das Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Post Guard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34, 69 Precision Concrete Cutting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

R Rapid View LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BACK

S Streamlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61


Strongwell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Ebac Industrial Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43


E-Plan Soft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55


Toledo Ticket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Trinity Highway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

FCAR Tech USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39


Fluid Control Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Uline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

G Greystone Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Unique Paving Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Utility Truck Equipment Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38



Venco Venturo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover, 12-13

Henderson Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Versalift East, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Hercules Industries, Incorporated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

VMAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70-71

This index is provided courtesy of the publisher, who assumes no liability for errors or omissions. JULY 2021 | THE MUNICIPAL  85



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Articles inside

News & Notes

pages 74-75

Guest Column: Public Works Procurement: Moving beyond transactional relationships toward partnerships

pages 76-79

Company Profile: VMAC: The Leader In Compressed Air Innovation®

pages 70-73

Parks & Environmental

pages 62-65

Municipal Management

pages 66-67

Water & Energy: Public

pages 52-55

Building & Construction

pages 58-61

Streets, Highways

pages 56-57

City Profile: St. Joseph, Mo pursues economic vitality

pages 46-47

Public Safety: Building

pages 48-51

Focus on Public Works

pages 40-45

Focus on Public Works

pages 36-39

Focus on Public Works

pages 32-35

Focus on Public Works 21 Focus on Public Works

page 21

Focus on Public Works

pages 22-27

Focus on Public Works

pages 28-31

On The Road Again: Souvenir City

pages 14-15

From the Cover: Crane Gain—The importance of selecting the right crane for the right job

pages 12-13

What’s In a Name: Nehawka and

pages 16-19

Editor’s Note: Funding available for seekers

pages 10-11
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