Friday, April 24, 2009

TON Public Works Department

You might say that the Normal Public Works Department is where the rubber (and leaves, and asphalt, and sodium chloride) meets the road(s). Street Maintenance and Waste Removal are the two divisions within Public Works that residents are probably most familiar with (and appreciate the most). Let’s get right to the statistics for 2008: 217 tons of pothole patching was put in place; 10,784 curb miles of streets were swept; 31,670 cubic yards of brush were collected (a personal thanks for that!); there were 26 winter storms requiring snow and ice removal; and 9,167 cubic yards of leaves were collected (a couple thousand less than in the record set in 2002; that must have been a good year for trees). While residents of Normal still throw away lots of stuff (9,347 tons of household waste and 4,656 tons of bulk waste collected in 2008), there was an increase in recycling: 7,377 tons of materials were transferred through Normal’s recycling facility (anyone can drop off items at the recycle containers throughout town, so this number probably includes some non-Normal contributions). For some reason, the Kroger location receives the most tons of materials for recycling. Most of the recycled materials were of the “mixed paper” variety but the town also collected 147 tons of electronics for recycling.

The Equipment Maintenance Division keeps all 299 town vehicles working. In 2008, these vehicles used 213,951 gallons of fuel for a total cost of $690,694. The Engineering Division plans, designs, contracts, and inspects all public works and private development projects, and manages storm water. Their work last year resulted in the improvements at the College Ave. and Towanda Ave. intersection; the traffic signals and second northbound left turn lane at the Towanda Ave. and Shelbourne Drive intersection; replacing the College Ave. bridge; and extending the Constitution Trail along the north side of Northtown Road east of Towanda Ave. They also reviewed and inspected improvement plans for a number of subdivisions, and kept traffic moving by maintaining signals and regulating other traffic control devices. I don’t know what to say about sewer maintenance except that all of the testing and maintenance that they are doing seem to be working just fine.

The Public Works Department also staffed the new position of Storm Water Engineering Technician, worked with other local governments on various projects, including the East Side Highway Corridor, and department staff participated in classes and seminars as part of their continuing education and license renewals. I’ve heard quite a few positive comments about the services provided by the Normal Public Works Department, and I join others in expressing my appreciation for all of the hard work done by those in this department. THANKS!

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