It seems that the time has passed so quickly and here we are in February. The Superbowl was held just a week ago and now we are quickly moving forward into this month. For this month, we have representatives (including myself) attending the Leadership training in Kansas City. Also, it is time for our audit of last year’s financial activities. I am asking a few members to be on the audit committee. The committee will be announced at our February meeting but will already be underway.
This year, we are headed toward the exciting World Congress for APWA right here in Phoenix. Please put it on your calendar and plan to attend. It will be a rare opportunity to see all that APWA can offer in one place at the same time! I will be there along with the Board and hope to see you there as well.
The Future Cities competition was held last month and we will be hearing more about that in the upcoming days when the winners are announced. Thanks to our team that participated in this event!
Now, for a very important issue, I want to mention that the lack of funding for transportation and the movement of HURF funding to other uses is adversely affecting our roadway system. This occurs over a period of years but results in deterioration of the transportation elements that allow our nation to carry on its business. In addition, there has not been a gas tax increase for many years as well. We need to discuss this at the political level and let our Representatives and Senators know how important this is to Safety and Commerce. I am asking that our members contact their elected representatives and let them know that we need their support to bring the funding for transportation to a higher level. Thanks for helping us with this important issue.
Let’s talk about the Congress and all that APWA does among our peers. This will assist our membership committee convince them to join APWA and gain the benefits that are there for them to use. Thanks for all that you do to keep the general population moving and providing them with the amenities such as water and sewer services and solid waste recycling that contribute to well-being and good health for us all!
Sincerely, John Hauskins ARIZONA CHAPTER PRESIDENT
Meet Your Board Members
Name: Gregory (Greg) Smith, PE/PS
Agency: Town of Gilbert
Title/Role: Town Engineer
Describe your job? What is a typical day like for you? As Town Engineer I have the responsibility for all aspects of engineering (generally civil) activities within the Town. Generally this involves professional and/or administrative oversight but occasionally I get an opportunity to get back into the trenches and do some “real” engineering again. Generally though, as you might expect, I find much of most days is spent in meetings; both scheduled and impromptu.
In the Town of Gilbert the full range of engineering functions resides with the Engineering Division of Public Works. We handle capital projects for the other operating groups in Public Works and others throughout the Town. Our division also handles Development Engineering, Traffic Engineering, project engineering and operational support for the Town as a whole; can make for a very busy day. In addition the Town Engineer acts as a key liaison between the Town and other agencies – especially on technical matters.
Why did you get involved with APWA? For the wealth of knowledge available to assist in what it takes to be an effective Public Works professional. The networking potential is almost unlimited.
What exciting things are happening in Gilbert this year? We will be working on 2 major water resource projects: the expansion of our Greenfield WRP – jointly with our partners the City of Mesa and the Town of Queen Creek, and; the expansion of our Santan Vista WTP in partnership with our partner the City of Chandler. The initial phases of the Rivulon Development – 3+M SF of Class A office plus commercial space - at the NE corner of Gilbert and the Loop 202 will be opening this year. In addition, as a very family friendly community – there almost always some type event in Town to bring the family to enjoy the afternoon.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing public works employees? While it might sound almost trite doing more with less than you would like. As Public Works professionals we need to motivate our staff and leverage technology to be as productive as possible because few of us will see increases in resources but will continue to see demands for high levels of service.
Another big challenge with be effective asset management. Even relatively young communities like Gilbert are seeing portions their infrastructure beginning to near the end of its expected useful life. Finding ways to maximize the useful life span and to plan for the eventual replacement of our public infrastructure will be a real and critical challenge for all involved in the public works environment.
What advice do you have for young professionals who are considering careers in public works? If you find satisfaction in providing service to others – particular your community - a career in public works can be a challenging and rewarding career choice.
Pioneer Park, Peoria, AZ
Project: Pioneer Park, Peoria, AZ
Owner: City of Peoria Contractor: Haydon Building Corporation Engineer: Ritoch-Powell & Associates
PIONEER PARK, PEORIA, AZ
This 85-acre municipal park lives up to its name as a “pioneer” for integrating innovative design with an array of recreational facilities. Pioneer Park steps into the forefront of demonstrating advanced passive and active systems that maximize its sustainability. Every aspect of the park’s design was evaluated with regard to ensuring the facilities could endure a high volume of user activity. The end result is a beautiful park that is exceptionally popular and embraced by the citizens of Peoria.
With the opening of Pioneer Park, the City has more than doubled its capacity and ability to host large group activity, tournaments and leagues, and now has a second set of premier playgrounds and splash pad facilities to ease the impact on Rio Vista’s facilities. The park includes an urban fishing lake that uses reclaimed water and a new large scale dog park with three play areas. In addition, parking and staging areas for large scale community events was also provided.
This is the first project in Peoria’s history that ties green building standards for facilities and sustainable design for site improvements into one project vision. RITOCH-POWELL & Associates (RPA) played a significant role as the Lead Engineering Consultant. Park amenities included parking lots and roadway infrastructure, dog park, lake area with fishing platform, ramadas, six softball fields, four soccer fields, and trail nodes. RPA’s team of professionals provided surveying and civil engineering services. Design included a complete mass grading evaluation for the entire site, finish grading construction documents, water main infrastructure, sewer main infrastructure, drainage design, maintenance facility improvements, roadway design for three loop roads. The team focused on preservation, integration, conservation, and contribution to the environment.
• Every area of the site is designed to harvest rain water. Pavements slope to landscape swales, where rainfall collects to support shade trees. • The 5-acre lake is the first in Arizona Game and Fish’s Community Fishing Program to exclusively use reclaimed water. • This is the first municipal park in Arizona to use the “valve-in head” irrigation system for its sports fields, enabling specific water delivery control at each head. • The new dog park facility is the first of its kind in Peoria, addressing a long overdue need in the city. • LED lighting is used throughout the park for ramadas, area lighting, and buildings, saving the city tens of thousands of dollars on electrical costs annually. • The sport field lighting is the most advanced energy-efficient and light-spill-controlled system available. • The entire site is centrally controlled via the Skylogic control system, which maximizes point-to point-lighting and electrical control, reducing energy costs. • Utilitarian materials that are proven to be sustainable are used for the architectural elements to reflect a practical rural character.
Volunteer Sign-up for the APWA International Public Works Congress & Expo to be held at the Phoenix Convention Center from August 30 to September 2 will open up on National’s website in the spring!
The 2015 Congress Volunteers sub-committee is preparing for the big push to fill over 500 volunteer slots needed to make Congress a big success. We have attended the past two Congresses in Chicago and Toronto specifically to observe and learn from those two volunteer committees, and we got some great information and ideas from them. We are currently keeping a list of those who express an interest in volunteering.
Based on past Congress experience, we anticipate these slots will be filled by over 350 individual volunteers, most of whom will come from your organizations. These volunteers will be needed for such assignments as “Congress Concierge” at the event hotels, checking attendees in and out of educational sessions, way finding around the Convention Center, and assisting vendors and visitors on the exposition floor, among other similar assignments. At times there will be as many as 100 volunteers working. So, why would you volunteer, and how do you sign up?
The main benefits of volunteering are easy:
1. You get a chance to give back to the profession and your peers by serving them at the premier public works event!
2. When you sign up for a half-day volunteer slot you will get free admission to Congress for the other half-day. If your agency can’t afford to register multiple employees, look at this as a way to get them all into the event free by volunteering to work for a half-day.
3. And best of all, think about the stylish volunteer shirt you get to wear on your day of service – and it’s yours to keep. WOW!
How do you volunteer:
1. APWA National will post a website in the spring where all volunteers need to complete the volunteer registration form. In the meantime, you can send your name and contact information to either of the Volunteers Sub-committee Co-chairs and we will keep a list of people to notify when the volunteer sign-up site goes live.
2. If you plan to have multiple staff volunteer to get them a chance to experience the event, now would be a good time to start scheduling the timing so everyone isn’t trying to volunteer for the same day. The main days for Congress are Sunday August 30th through Wednesday September 2nd, but we will need some volunteers on Saturday August 29th and Thursday September 3rd as well
If you are interested, contact either of the Volunteer Co-Chairs,
The 2015 Congress Publicity/Exhibit Committee has developed a strategy for promoting Congress at various regional conferences. Members of the committee and/or members of the local/regional associations will attend conferences and meetings to promote Congress by manning a booth, handing out fliers, and answering general questions. If you are planning to attend an upcoming conference or meeting and would like to help us promote Congress, please contact Amanda McGennis email@example.com or Scott Kirchhofer firstname.lastname@example.org
The Committee has acquired some promotional materials for distribution. With the help of David Dancy, APWA Director of Marketing, we have a Save The Date postcard and an Exhibitor Brochure. These promos can be found at the links below and they are free for anyone to print and distribute. Actually printing and distributing these materials is highly encouraged since we are all on the same team and want to promote Congress as much as possible to maximize the number of exhibitors and attendees.
The Committee has also gathered some great brochures that promote Phoenix, The Valley, and Arizona. These brochures have been supplied to us by Janis Thomas, Senior Director – Convention Services/Housing, with the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau. The brochures will give Congress attendees a lot of options for places to see during their visit. We are also reaching out to the Arizona Office of Tourism and Arizona Highways to have them assist in writing articles that promote Arizona. These articles will be featured in APWA email blasts and the APWA Reporter magazine in an effort to build interest in the 2015 Congress and promote registration.
The first of many 2015 Congress promotional articles is currently featured in the January issue of the APWA Reporter. Click on the image to view full size.
CALL FOR 2015 SPONSORS
Your Arizona Chapter’s annual operations depend upon donations from our member organizations. Sponsorships pay for the resources required to provide Educational Workshops, the Public Works Leadership Institute, website support, weekly news briefs, monthly newsletters, and much more.
Newsletters are published monthly, posted on the Chapter website and sent electronically to over 1000 recipients in the Public Works field.
Annual Corporate Sponsors’ company logos are prominently displayed at the Chapter Monthly Membership Meeting, Chapter email notices, and on the website.
A number of professional associations and organizations sent a letter to Governor Ducey and State Legislators urging them to consider transportation infrastructure funding needs. The request focused on the Highway Users Revenue Fund.
The Highway Users Revenue Fund is funded, in part, by an $0.18 per gallon tax on gasoline. The State of Arizona taxes motor fuels and imposes various other fees related to the registration and operation of motor vehicles. HURF revenue includes motor vehicle fuel taxes, use fuel taxes, vehicle license taxes, motor carrier fees, vehicle registration fees, and various other miscellaneous fees.
HURF revenues are a major source of funding to the state for highway construction, highway maintenance and improvements, and other highway-related expenditures, A portion of HURF revenue is also distributed to Arizona cities, towns, and counties for highway-related purposes.
The Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax (gas tax) is based on the number of gallons of gas sold – not the price of gas. The gas tax rate has not increased since 1990 and the annual revenues generated have been virtually the same for the last ten years (approximately $450 million per year). HURF funding has not kept pace inflation and is compounded by growth.
The letter below expresses the importance of addressing this need.
Name and Title:Lan Nguyen, PLA, Senior Engineering Associate
With APWA Since:December 2014
Describe your job responsibilities: Performing design and construction management activities on capital improvement projects; assuming major responsibility for the design, inspection, testing, and acceptance of large, complex City construction projects to ensure compliance with specifications, plans, codes, and ordinances; approving pay estimates and progress reports, and, initiate change orders.
What was your favorite project to work on in the last 10 years? As a landscape architect for the Park Renovation group, I helped design and produce the construction documents for a major park playground renovation within the city. When I joined the Capital Improvement Projects group in May 2014, I was assigned to be the construction manager which will begin in late March 2015. I am fortunate to see a project from the beginning to completion.
Where have your travels taken you?: I have traveled mainly in the U.S. since I have friends spread across the country such as Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon. I am originally from Vietnam, and my family and I are planning a trip there in 2016. We haven’t been back since leaving the country in 1975. My favorite place is Vancouver, Canada.
Name one thing not many people know about you: I hiked to the top of Humphreys Peak, Arizona’s highest mountain.
Congratulations to Wylie Bearup for receiving the inaugural ENR Southwest Legacy Award.
Dibble Engineering Welcomes Greg Vega, P.E. as Project Engineer
Phoenix, Arizona, January 28, 2015 – Dibble Engineering is pleased to welcome Greg Vega, PE, as Project Engineer. Greg has over 10 years of experience in civil engineering with expertise in plan review, roadway and drainage design, site infrastructure design, water and gas distribution, utility relocation, and agency coordination. Based in Dibble Engineering’s Tucson office, Greg’s extensive technical expertise, local experience and client relationships bolster Dibble’s Southern Arizona operations.
Greg is a Tucson native and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Arizona. He is a registered Civil Engineer and an active board member of the American Public Works Association Southern Arizona Branch.
ABOUT DIBBLE: Dibble Engineering provides a full range of civil engineering services to clients across Arizona. Their broad market expertise offers clients the ability to deliver complete engineering solutions, from concept to closeout. Founded in 1962, Dibble’s business is built on honesty, quality, accountability, ethics and service. This culture has resulted in long-term client relationships, allowing Dibble to help clients meet today’s needs and achieve tomorrow’s goals. Strategically aligned to answer their clients' needs, Dibble is organized into seven areas of expertise: Transportation, Drainage & Flood Control, Water/Wastewater, Infrastructure Rehabilitation, Survey/GIS, Airport Development, and Land Development.