Last week Grain Valley citizens and city staff honored Public Works week, and this week the Public Works Department employees were the ones honored.

Last week Grain Valley citizens and city staff honored Public Works week, and this week the Public Works Department employees were the ones honored.

After 3.5 years, the department was awarded, at Monday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, full accreditation by the American Public Works Association – only the third city in the state to earn the recognition.

“I think we’ve got some things our peers are watching,” said Jeff Fisher, director of the Public Works Department.

At least seven to be exact. Not only did the department meet national standards on more than 300 practices, but it surpassed them on seven practices, which the APWA will now use as examples for the nation.

The lengthy accreditation process required the staff to look at all of their practices compared to national standards in an effort to ensure they are using the best possible practices.

Only 58 cities in the nation have accredited public works departments.

“We thought we were going to beat San Francisco,” Fisher joked. “They got theirs last week.”

A representative from the Kansas City office of the APWA said Lee’s Summit and Columbia are the only other cities in the state to be accredited. He said the accreditation spoke to the dedication and hard work of the staff.

“It also speaks well of the pattern you have established as city leaders,” he said.

Mayor Mike Todd, along with Fisher, accepted a plaque signifying the accomplishment.

“I know you guys put a lot of time into this,” Todd said. “It’s well deserved.”

To make the deal even sweeter, the department also received the project of the year for work in phase 1 and phase 2 of the downtown improvements.

The Board of  Aldermen also:

 Approved a 1-year extension on the city’s agreement with State Bank.

 

 Approved an ordinance making it illegal to dump storm water onto neighboring properties or city streets. The ordinance offers guidelines to prevent such problems from storm water, sump pumps or swimming pools.

 

 Mayor Todd announced Dale and Sheila Arnold were his nomination for the Truman Heartland Community Foundation’s Citizen of the Year recognition.