From the first flush in the morning past lights out at night, Public Works is on the job around the clock to meet essential needs. As part of National Public Works Week (May 21-27) Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville and County Executive Jack Louws honored those who maintain public facilities and manage water, sewer, lights, natural habitat and streets.
“We greatly rely on the qualified and dedicated personnel who staff the Public Works departments in our community,” said Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville. “Public Works services are an integral part of our residents' everyday lives,” County Executive Jack Louws said.
On Friday, May 19, Executive Louws and Mayor Linville travelled by vactor truck to Northshore Drive near Academy Street, site of joint City-County stormwater project to present a joint proclamation of appreciation for Public Works staff.
According to the American Public Works Association (APWA), the purpose of National Public Works Week is to shine a light on those who maintain and improve the systems and services vital to a community's healthy, safety and comfort.
In Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County, Public Works responsibilities are varied and include:
- Working with home owners and businesses to reduce pollution;
- Projects to enhance creeks, streams and the Baker-to-Bay trail;
- Transportation planning for traffic safety, bike routes and facilities, and pedestrian needs;
- Building and maintaining roads and bridges;
- Protecting Lake Whatcom from invasive species and pollution;
- Street signs, street lights and maintenance (from sweeping up broken glass and plowing snow to filling potholes);
- Treating water from Lake Whatcom to provide safe, clean drinking water; maintaining 400 miles of water and sewer pipes, and treating waste water.
Services provided by the Public Works departments in City and County are available as needed, 24/7 in emergencies, from an experienced and committed staff.
“We are fortunate to have such skilled and professional Public Works employees,” said Linville. “They really care about their work and those they serve – and it shows.”
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