Oct. 12, 2019 — One of the groups that is perhaps most responsible for keeping Florence “A City in Motion” is the Public Works Department, which is “dedicated to professionally maintaining and improving the current infrastructure of water, sewer, storm, street, airport and park services, to the highest possible standards for our community,” according to the department’s mission.
On Thursday, Florence Public Works held the second annual Public Works Day, a free event designed to inform and educate the public.
According to Megan Messmer, Public Information Officer for Florence, part of the day’s emphasis was to show the important work done by the 20 full-time employees that make up the team that keeps the city operationally sound.
“Members of the community were invited to the Public Works Operations Facility on Kingwood Street to meet the crew and see what they do on a daily basis to keep the city operations running,” Messmer said. “The city also created a video with the Public Works crew that showed some of their operations out in the field and at the various facilities. Prior to the community open house, Public Works hosted local second-grade students from Siuslaw Elementary School. A symphony of horns could be heard around the facilities as students climbed in and explored the various vehicles and equipment,.”
Messmer also mentioned attendees were able to see how the park’s irrigation systems work with a mock-up of sprinklers that could be turned on and off. There was also a demonstration of how public works clean sewer lines, and students were able to leave their mark on of the pieces of equipment by painting the front loader bucket.
Public Works employees were on hand during the open house to answer questions from the public and tours of the facility were given throughout the afternoon. There was an area inside the facility that shared information, some regarding solid composting and information on water treatment processes. Inside the main garage and storage area of the facility there was a reception and seating for the numerous residents who attended the event.
Public Works’ short film was shown throughout the afternoon, which provided a light-hearted glimpse into some of the work done by the department.
During the event, Florence Mayor Joe Henry welcomed guests and introduced members of staff.
In addition, Public Works Director Mike Miller was on hand to share updated information on the work currently underway on the roadways, water lines and parks in town.
The need for constant attention to the 79 miles of streets, 69 miles of water transmission and sewer lines that provide clean drinking water and safe transportation for residents is always the priority for the department.
“The Public Works Department is charged with ensuring that our citizens have a viable quality of life that includes essential services,” Messmer said. “Those services include providing safe clean water, keeping traffic moving, ensuring pedestrians have safe routes, making sure our sewers and stormwater systems are working, that our parks open, and keeping the airports and municipal facilities operating so that our community is a great place to live, work and play.”
The Florence Public Works Building is located at 2675 Kingwood St. Office hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit ci.florence.or.us.