APWA AZ Newsletter 2018 August

APWA AZ Newsletter 2018 August

NEWSLETTER                                                                                                                                                                      August 2018


August 10, 2018
Events & Community Service Committee Meeting
More Info >

August 28, 2018
Chapter Dinner at PWX
More Info >


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Committees - The Work Horses of Our Association

As I was thinking about all that is going on this month I was struck by the thought of how important committees and their members are to an associations like ours. While the officers and board members get a bit of face time with the general membership - through items like articles in the newsletter or presentations at our membership meeting - much of the heavy lifting takes place at the committee level. I can speak from some personal experience having served as the Chair of the Municipal Engineers Committee (City Engineer's Forum) and a member of the sustainability committee. As secretary I regularly attended the communication committee meeting and now as president I'm trying to get to at least one meeting of each of our active committees sometime this year. Given that we have 21 standing committees and several special committees it's going to be a busy year. 

This month our committees are especially active. We held our state conference the first week in August. The amount of work the committee puts in to prepare and run what is arguably one of the key events of our year is remarkable. At the end the month there is national's PWX in Kansas City and for those who attended the inaugural PWX here in Arizona in 2015, you have an idea how much must go into putting that event on. 

In between these two events our committee chairs will be sitting down with the board to hold our annual Committee Kickoff meeting. We'll talk about plans for the year and how we can tie these in with the strategic goals and objectives laid out in our new Strategic Plan. From there the various committees such as Programs, Advocacy, Membership, Education, Events, Diversity, to name just a few, will go back and put together programs and/or events that will help advance our profession, and perhaps have some fun and relaxation too (think Holiday Party in December).

Without the committee chairs, co-chairs, and members we would not be the successful organizations we are today. SOOO - next time you see a member of one of our very busy committees take a moment to say "thank you for your service". They are the "boots on the ground" that make our association work. And on behalf of the Board I would give our thanks to the committees as well.

One of our committees is our Diversity Committee. Diversity in our industry is an ongoing process. The Washington State Chapter has issued a challenge to the entire association to reaffirm our industry's commitment to diversity. At the State Conference Arizona's Diversity Committee placed a poster, developed by Washington, and asked attendees to sign as an indication of our commitment to diversity. I would encourage individual firms and agencies to use the link below to plot out a poster to display at you offices. Once filled with signatures, take a picture and follow the instructions in the attached flyer on where to send it (please send a copy to us for our record too.) 


Thank you to all our committee members who plan our events and all our members who participate. This is our association and these are our opportunities to make it one of the best in the country.

PS: Last week our Conference Committee pulled off yet another fabulous state conference at the El Conquistador Resort in Oro Valley. There were 525 attendees making this one of the largest conferences we ever had. The committee will provide more details in next month's newsletter but I wanted to give a shout out for their very successful efforts. A concrete example of the importance and value of our committees.

Greg B. Smith, PE/PS, ENV_SP

APWA AZ Chapter Dinner at PWX
August 28, 2018

Arizona Innovation Day

New Member Spotlight

Name, Title, Agency/Company:
Nanci Dixon
Management Assistant – Public Works Department
City of Buckeye
Buckeye, Arizona

With APWA Since: 

Describe your job responsibilities: 
As Management Assistant for the Public Works Department, I oversee the daily administrative activities of the department, which encompass the administration of 13 budgets representing over $23 million in general, enterprise and special revenue funding (Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF)), in all aspects of procurement. I function as the communication portal for internal and external customers relating to all areas of the Public Works Department: Facilities Operations, Fleet Services, Streets Operations, Environmental Services, Real Estate Management, and Airport. I act as project manager for the administration and oversight of a custodial service contract and all of the City’s Street Light Improvement Districts (SLID) and Parkway Maintenance Improvement Districts (MID) as part of the Department’s role as the City Superintendent of Streets. I assist in the development of departmental procedures and directives as assigned by the Public Works Director.  I also provide supervision to the Department Administrative Assistant and administer all human resources activity for the department.

What was your favorite project to work on in the last 10 years? 
One of my most rewarding projects in the last 10 years dealt with a contract modification for our custodial services. In January 2017, Arizona voters approved a minimum wage increase from $8.05  to $10.00/HR, with annual increases to a maximum of $12/HR by 2020. This posed a significant challenge for us as the minimum wage increase would have a definite impact on our custodial budget. Because our annual budget was already set, it would have proved challenging to go before Council to request more funding. Instead, I began to review the costs of consumable products that was part of our contracted pricing. In analyzing what we were spending through our contract, versus bringing the purchase of consumables in-house I discovered that we could do better. We sourced out a custodial supply vendor that was on a cooperative state contract and modified our contract to remove all consumable supplies. We also streamlined all dispensers in each of our facilities so that we reduced the amount of different styles of products from 10 to 3.  For fiscal year 2017-18, we realized a cost savings of $70,000 annually, which more than covered the minimum wage increases. 

Where have your travels taken you?
Born in West Germany, I have traveled fairly extensively. I migrated to the US in 1975, where I grew up in San Diego County, California. I moved to Arizona in 1990 and also lived briefly in Utah. I have traveled to a number of states, and have also visited Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, and Italy. I have participated in several mission trips to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, helping to build houses for local residents. 

Name one thing not many people know about you:
One thing that many people may not know about me is that I am an immigrant. Having lived in America since the age of 5, I have no foreign accent. So when it comes up in conversation that I am not from here people are quite surprised. I can speak Slovenian, Bosnian and Serbo-Croatian fluently. My legal name is Nisveta, however I was given the name Nanci from a Palmolive dish soap commercial. My namesake is the late actress Nancy Walker. 

New Members

Jason BilletdeauxMTO Crew LeaderTown of Queen Creek
Jim CunninghamDeputy DirectorPima County
Nanci DixonManagement AsstCity of Buckeye
Arri OdomEngineering TechCity of Casa Grande
Jeff PrevattDeputy DirectorPima County
Robert SachsReal Estate RofW CoordTown of Queen Creek
Jose R. TarangoSr Engineer AssociateCity of Tempe
Robert J. Welch City of Sedona

In Memoriam

It is with heartfelt sympathy and disbelief that we say goodbye to a beloved APWA member, Melinda Fixx-Jones. Melinda, who suddenly passed away this last weekend, left behind her husband Chris, their young son, and many family members, friends, and colleagues.

Melinda was well known in the A/E/C industry having spent more than 18 years sharing her marketing and business development talents. Most recently she had been working as Sr. Marketing Coordinator at Cardno.

A member of APWA Arizona Chapter for many years, Melinda’s smiling face could often be seen at luncheons, conferences, and other events. In fact, last week Melinda attended the statewide conference in Tucson where she won best costume for the ladies at the Roaring 20’s fun night. Melinda was active in the chapter often volunteering and serving on committees.

Melinda touched the lives of so many with her talents, kindness, and friendship and will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

Services for Melinda will be Saturday, August 11th at 2:00 pm - Resurrection Lutheran Church located at: 4930 E. Greenway Road in Scottsdale. Donations can be made in Melinda Fixx-Jones’ name to Foothills Animal Rescue at: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E206472&id=1

Public Works Job Opportunities

This is a new section where agencies can advertise their open positions. Please provide your advertisement and/or link to tbaker@lognsimpson.com or sniebel@woodpatel.com.

Engineering Technician

  • Recruitment Closes: 8/26/18
  • Pay Range: $21.57-$29.73 hourly

 View position requirements and complete an online application at: www.casagrandeaz.gov

Civil Engineer (Unregistered)

  • Recruitment Closes: Continuous
  • $24.86 - $38.58 hourly

 Engineering Manager – Road Maintenance and Operations

  • Recruitment Closes: Continuous
  • $33.32 - $51.71 hourly

 View position requirements and complete an online application at: www.governmentjobs.com/careers/mohavecountyaz

New Hires

W.E. O’Neil Construction Company of Arizona Names Mickey Nelson as Project Coordinator

Phoenix, Arizona, July, 2018 – W.E. O’Neil is pleased to announce the addition of Mickey Nelson to our team of construction professionals. Mickey will serve in the role of Project Coordinator in our Phoenix office.

During her professional career, Mickey has served in the roles of Marketing Manager, Estimating Coordinator, Project Coordinator and Estimator for other successful construction companies in Arizona. As Project Coordinator, Mickey will play a vital role to our projects by providing administrative and accounting support to our project teams.

W.E. O’Neil Construction Company of Arizona Names David McDermed as Senior Superintendent

Phoenix, Arizona, August, 2018 – W.E. O’Neil is pleased to announce the addition of David McDermed to our team of construction professionals. David will serve in the role of Senior Superintendent in our Phoenix office.

David’s diverse background includes more than 30 years of experience in the local construction market, where he has served in similar roles for other construction companies. David has a proven history in all facets of the construction industry, as well as broad experience in all delivery methods. His extensive experience includes healthcare, office, high rise, retail and mixed-use markets, where he has established strong relationships with his clients.

As Senior Superintendent, David is responsible for all field construction operations, including managing trade subcontractors and material suppliers, maintaining project schedules, field cost control, overseeing safety policies and compliance, and interfacing with project Owner and architect throughout the construction process.

2018 Project of the Year Award Winners

The following 9 Arizona Chapter APWA Project of The Year Awards were celebrated during the Statewide Conference Awards Lunch on August 2, 2018. Congratulations to all of the project teams for their hard work and dedication to excellence in our industry.


Environment Category - Less Than $5 Million
Project Name: Make-up / Blowdown Hypochlorite Concrete Trench
Managing Agency: Arizona Public Service-Palo Verde Generating Station
Primary Consultant:  Wiss Janney Elstner
Primary Contractor:  DBA Construction

Environment Category - $5 Million to $25 Million
Project Name: North Rillito Interceptor Rehabilitation Project
Managing Agency: Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department
Primary Consultant:  Brown & Caldwell
Primary Contractor:  B&F Contracting

Environment Category - More than $75 Million
Project Name: JOC Master Agreement: Wastewater Conveyance System
Managing Agency: Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department
Primary Contractor:  Achen-Gardner Construction, B&F Contracting, and KE&G Construction

Structures Category - Less than $5 Million
Project Name: Greenfield Park Improvements
Managing Agency: City of Mesa
Primary Consultant:  EPG Planning + Landscape Architecture
Primary Contractor:  Hunter Contracting Co.

Structures Category - $5 Million to $25 Million
Project Name: White Tanks FRS #4 Rehabilitation
Managing Agency: Flood Control District of Maricopa County
Primary Contractor:  Sundt/Rummel, a Joint Venture (SRJV)

Transportation Category - Less than $5 Million
Project Name: Oatman-Topock Sacramento Wash
Managing Agency: Mohave County Public Works
Primary Consultant:  Kimley-Horn and Associates
Primary Contractor:  Pulice Construction, Inc.

Transportation Category - $5 Million to $25 Million
Project Name: Alma School Rd./Chandler Blvd. Intersection Improvements
Managing Agency: City of Chandler
Primary Consultant:  Kimley-Horn and Associates
Primary Contractor:  Standard Construction Company, Inc.

Transportation Category - Small Cities / Rural Communities
Project Name: Edison Road Extension
Managing Agency: City of Maricopa
Primary Consultant:  EPS Group
Primary Contractor:  Achen-Gardner Construction

Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair Category
Project Name: Development of ALERT Precipitation and Flow Gages
Managing Agency: La Paz County
Primary Consultant:  Atkins North America
Primary Contractor:  JE Fuller Hydrology & Geomorphology

Thanks to the Arizona Chapter APWA Judges and Award Committee Members:
Jeanne Sapon, Committee Co-Chair, DBA Construction
Ken Kawamoto, Committee Co-Chair, Achen-Gardner Construction
Chris Ewell, City of Phoenix
Dave Moody, Valley Metro
Donna Sullivan-Hancock, City of Tempe
Kevin Roberts, Dibble Engineering
Kevin Murphy, Civil & Environmental Consultants
Mike Holder, PAG
Scott Bender, Pinal County

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