Public Works Summary
State of Public Works
The year 2017 was an unforgettable year for the personnel at Public Works. Public works is now operating under the leadership of our longtime colleague, Mike Hogan, as the Public Works Director. Mike has been an employee of the City for over 14 years. He hired on at Public Works as a Heavy Equipment Operator in 2004. He was then promoted to Street Supervisor, where he served most of his time. He served as Interim Director for one year prior to his appointment to director by Mayor Mike Watson. With new leadership comes new ideas and innovation, as well as challenges.
Our Director strives to create a team approach to carry out all tasks that the department must perform. The success of the department is largely attributed to the men and women who perform the work and deliver the services to the taxpayers. The Director strives to create a working environment for his division supervisors and general workforce that is based on teamwork, respect, loyalty and accountability. This type of work environment allows division supervisors and their workforce to be the best at what they do. Mike Hogan is customer focused with an ability to remove barriers to services. He has a proactive, “can do” attitude and trusts in the competency of others through delegation to staff.
The Public Works Department provides a majority of the services that the City residents and taxpayers expect, such as services related to roads, sidewalks, sanitation services, animal services, maintenance of public buildings, grounds and right-of-way grass islands, streetlights along Odom Blvd., and maintaining the multi-million-dollar fleet of vehicles and heavy equipment. These services are delivered through the administration and management of the multiple divisions within our Public Works Department to provide these services. These divisions include Public Works Administration, Animal Services, Maintenance (Building, Fleet/Equipment and Grounds), Streets/Stormwater Management, and Sanitation Services, which is responsible for overseeing the daily operations at the Transfer Station
Together, these divisions make up a diversified Public Works Department with a workforce totaling over 45 employees. Our division heads are well experienced in their respective fields of responsibility and work well together. The department staff focuses on providing excellent services to its citizens, maintaining a “can do” attitude. Our focus and commitment is to provide safe roads and infrastructure to the public at large so that the City of Maumelle can continue to be safe and prosperous.
In addition to the extremely important ongoing routine responsibilities, Maumelle Public Works achieved several notable accomplishments in 2017. One of the most newsworthy accomplishments was the continuation of the notable decline in Workers’ Compensation injury claims filed by Public Works employees, due in part because of the investment in training and education for the employees. This trend was first seen last year; if the trend continues, there may be a decrease in the insurance rate in the future.
Safety training, mandatory weekly pre-trip inspections for non-CDL drivers and mandatory daily pre-trip inspections for CDL drivers were a large part of the focus this past year. Safety was encouraged and promoted. Post-accident investigations are standard procedure, as well as coaching the employees involved in the injury claims, to help them avoid similar incidents in the future.
Our Street/Stormwater Management Division had a change in leadership and operated under the newly promoted Street Division Supervisor, Jason Bargiel. The division crew operates with four members in addition to the street sweeper operator and mechanic. In 2017, the street crew completed over $30,000 worth of street improvements throughout the City. The City Council approved $300,000 for street improvements for 2018 with $90,000 allocated for in-house repairs, just as it did in 2017.
The Street/Stormwater Management Division supervised several large public improvement projects last year, including the Pine Forest Cut Thru Project, Count Massie Water and Sewer Lines, Counts Massie Road Extension, Maumelle Charter High School, Country Club of AR Phase 24, US Pizza and Chick-fil-A. These projects were in addition to the everyday maintenance duties of this division, such as culvert repairs and catch basin clean outs. This division is also responsible for the maintenance of several hundred miles of streets and 31 miles of pathways. Red Stone Construction was the winning bid for the $300,000.00 street overlay, improvement project, which is scheduled to begin in February 2018.
During winter storm events, our crews also perform around-the-clock snow removal operations to clean and prepare city facilities for the next day’s work. Operations is on call and ready for mobilization when the phone rings. Our goal is to provide emergency and routine facilities services in a timely and effective manner.
Animal Services Division
In the Animal Services Division, we have one supervisor, four full time officers and one-part time officer. This division had 5,404 visitors, who visited the animal shelter in person to look, adopt, reclaim, or just visit the animals. The visitors included school groups and children’s volunteer groups. There were 5,773 calls for service requests.
Another 7,560 emails were sent from citizens, MFOA members and others asking questions and or requesting services, making our total points of contact 18,737. Total domestic animal intake was 667. Animal Services received 427 dogs and 240 cats in 2017. We had a 95.5% live release rate with only a 4.5% euthanasia rate; these were animals that were typically too sick or injured to be adopted. There were no positive rabies cases in domestic or wild animals reported in 2017 in Maumelle.
For comparison purposes, the following data is from 2016. The total intake last year was 606 with a live release rate of 92% and an 8% euthanasia rate. The total points of contact in 2016 was 21,374.
Maumelle Friends of the Animals (MFOA) spent $13,875.00 to pay for spay/neuter surgeries for our animals before adoptions. In addition to the above amount, MFOA provided over $50,000 in funds for other medical needs or veterinarian services. Certainly, our relationship of humanitarian efforts with the MFOA community helps us produce healthier animals for adoption. More animals would have been euthanized without their help.
We utilized many other independent volunteers throughout the year, who came to help socialize the animals. Students used our facility in completing volunteer hours assigned from classes. We also utilized community service workers with non-violent offenses. We feel we had a productive year and continued to offer a valuable service to our community.
Maumelle residents continued to respond favorably to the efforts and hard work of the Sanitation Division. Our Sanitation Division provides curbside residential refuse, leaf, bulk, brush, and recycle collection and manages the day-to-day operations of the Transfer Station.
Tonnage of recyclable material collected has held steady since its implementation in February 2014, with no significant increase or decrease in the weight of recyclables. Since beginning the Single Stream Curbside Collection program in 2014, Maumelle’s recycling contamination rate for Single Stream Recycling collection is almost nonexistent, in comparison to surrounding communities. Please help us make it nonexistent. Maumelle’s two biggest contaminates are dirty paper and bricks/rocks.
Help us decrease our contamination rates by remembering dirty paper does not recycle and by keeping all bricks/rocks out of recycle bins.
The Sanitation crew delivered over 460 recycle bins to residents in 2017. That is an average of approximately two recycle bins each day, requested by residents and delivered Monday through Friday. The Sanitation crew collected and disposed of approximately 5000 tons of solid waste and 4,540 cubic yards of compacted yard waste, at a combined cost of approximately $20,000.00 more than the disposal rate in 2016. This increase was because of increase in landfill tipping fees mid-year.
At the Maumelle Transfer Station, our staff continued collecting and baling recyclable materials dropped off at the Recycling Collection Center site. This past year saw record setting numbers with over 56 tons of cardboard, 39 tons of mixed paper, 46 tons of mixed glass and 10 tons of mixed plastics baled and sold. This is in addition to the Single Stream recyclables, which are collected curbside, and results in a total of 574 tons of material diverted from our landfills
Our Maintenance and Operations Division is dedicated to maintaining the infrastructure of the City of Maumelle. Under our umbrella of responsibilities, the following departments are included: Building, Fleet/Equipment and Grounds.
Fleet/Equipment has a team of two mechanics, including a Mechanic II and Mechanic I. They are primarily responsible for routine and preventative maintenance on the majority of the vehicles and equipment citywide. They service a large municipal fleet of trucks, heavy construction equipment, road sweepers, mowers, road grading and paving equipment, garbage trucks, and all City department vehicles, including police and fire vehicles.
Our skilled staff keeps the diverse fleet of trucks and equipment safely on the road, so that City services are provided with the public’s safety in mind. This is accomplished by the administration and management of spare parts, bulk fluid storage and recycling, tire replacement, electrical and computer system diagnostics and repair. It also includes working with a litany of representatives and subcontractors of vehicle and equipment manufacturers.
The Fleet/Equipment Department maintains the Fuel Storage and Dispensing Station at the Public Works complex. This station provides fuel to the entire City fleet.
The Building Department has a team of three, which includes the division supervisor, an Operator I and an Operator II. They are responsible for maintenance, construction, and repair of municipal buildings. These services include everything from clearing clogged drains to repairing electrical circuits, roof replacements, painting, water line repairs, building renovations, park maintenance, and special projects. This department serves all public buildings, which includes City Hall, Police and Fire Stations, Courts Building, Animal Services and the Public Works complex. They have a significant impact on our ability to stretch our capital dollars. This department works and implements construction of projects in-house by using Public Works staff and equipment. They made a cattery at Animal Services this past year and were involved in several other smaller projects.
The Grounds Department has a team of twelve full time and three seasonal workers, which includes the department supervisor, grounds leadsman, several laborers, Operator I’s and an Operator II. The Grounds Maintenance Department is fundamentally responsible for keeping Maumelle the beautiful city it is. This 12-man crew provided maintenance for the majority of the City’s common areas along with the 100 plus miles of streets and street rights-of-way and maintained more than 31 miles of walking paths. They collected over 860 fifty-six gallon trash bags of litter along Maumelle Boulevard and other City streets. In addition, they cleaned out and/or unclogged numerous storm drains to prevent flooding issues throughout the City.
In early 2017, we started utilizing a great resource that we seldom utilized in years past. An online website named “GOVDEALS,” which labels itself as a liquidity services marketplace. GovDeals provides services to various government agencies that allow them to sell surplus and confiscated items via the Internet. Each participating agency has its own auction rules and regulations and may be subject to government ordinances. With permission granted from the City Council, we auctioned off 10 items that were no longer in use. These items varied from a log splitter for $556.00 to a 2006 Sterling truck for $44,050.00. These items sold for $62,143.00, which went back into the general fund to provide for operating costs.
Public Works Staff Message
In the future, adapting to change will be very important for Public Works, as will be driving change that leads to better service and stewardship. Beneficial change includes adopting new technologies, adopting new organizational structures, and building cooperative relationships with other agencies.
Public Works personnel wants to thank the residents and other City departments that have been supportive of the transition and most importantly the ones that have exhibited patience and understanding. We look forward to another productive year, while striving to serve our residents in the best manner possible.
Public Works staff encourages each person to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!