APWA honors Minnesota congressman for distinguished service

In late October, APWA President Bob Freudenthal joined Minnesota Chapter President Tom Colbert, Minnesota Chapter member Dick Larson and APWA Board member Shelby LaSalle to present Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) with the 2005 Distinguished Service Award at his Washington office.

From left to right: APWA Region IV Director Shelby LaSalle; APWA President Bob Freudenthal; Rep. Oberstar; APWA Minnesota Chapter President Tom Colbert; and APWA member and constituent from Rep. Oberstar's District Dick Larson.

"Congressman Oberstar's contributions and achievements on behalf of public infrastructure have been substantial, positive and visionary for Minnesota and the United States," said Colbert, whose chapter nominated Rep. Oberstar for the award. "As a chapter we are pleased he is being recognized and are proud to have worked closely with him on public works improvements."

During nearly 30 years of service in the House of Representatives, Rep. Oberstar has been a committed advocate for transportation and water resources infrastructure investment. As ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he was a key architect of the recently enacted surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, and its predecessor, TEA-21. He has preserved programs to improve air quality, protect the environment, enhance mass transit and expand facilities for bicycle and pedestrian travel.

"We are honored to present Rep. Oberstar with this much-deserved award," said Freudenthal. "His efforts and initiatives over his long and distinguished career have contributed immensely to essential infrastructure projects which are the backbone of this nation."

Established in 1972, APWA's Distinguished Service Award recognizes a prominent government or national leader for his or her far-reaching, positive impact on public works programs, services or policies through distinguished public service and commitment. The award particularly recognizes national leadership in furthering the mission and goals of APWA.