With the first significant snow event of the season behind us, Niles Public Works is proud to announce the latest in a long list of accolades for its services to the public. The Niles Public Works Department was notified that they are the recipients of two major awards for 2020. The Department has received one award for an individual and one for a large project. These awards are given annually by the American Public Works Association Chicago Metro Chapter’s Suburban Branch. Both the individual and the project will now be nominated for the broader chapter awards with the support of the suburban branch. If successful at the chapter level, the project will be a finalist for the national award. Niles was selected for Project of the Year in the $5,000,000 to $25,000,000 range for the water reservoir rehabilitation project. This multi-phased project received the award due to the sustained multiyear effort to rehabilitate the Touhy Avenue water plant to provide a high quality, safe, and reliable water supply for the next 50 years. The project is the culmination of ten engineering and construction contracts totaling a $5.6 million expenditure over a 5-year period. The repairs ensure the 10.2-million-gallon reservoirs will continue their life well into the future. Director of Public Works for the Village of Niles Fred Braun said, “This multi-phased project is a prime example of multiple agencies working in unison with consultants, contractors, inter-department staff, government agencies and elected officials to complete a project protecting one of, if not the most, critical assets of a municipality. This project helps ensure safe drinking water for the residents and businesses of the Village of Niles by increasing the resilience of the water facility infrastructure.” In addition to the Project of the Year Award, Public Works employee Ron Strzelecki received the 2020 APWA Chicago Metro Chapter Suburban Branch Merit Award for his act of kindness helping a Niles resident with a sewer lateral issue. Ron was informed of a resident with a sewer blockage and determined the repairs were the responsibility of the property owner. The resident had recently moved back in to his parents’ home due to their failing health. His mother recently passed away, his father was moved to a long term care facility and the resident had quit his job to tend to his parents. With no income, the resident wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to have the repairs made. Ron stepped up and made the repairs on his own time on a Friday evening and Sunday afternoon and the problem was resolved. The recognition ceremony for these awards is expected to take place virtually due to the pandemic. Details are pending. Residents are reminded to help Public Works provide the services you deserve by parking off-street whenever possible during snow storms, so plows can clear the street from curb to curb.
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