National Public Works Week in West Valley City

Angela M. Richey
PW Information Specialist
Department of Public Works
West Valley City, Utah

West Valley City Public Works Department had a great time celebrating National Public Works Week in 2005 and we plan to do it all over again in 2006. Our department used May 18 as a time for training, team-building activities, and recognizing those who put their best foot forward.

First, we began with a lively obstacle course where the group was separated and put into teams. Each team had to complete the following course successfully.

  1. At the start, all members of the team had to put on their safety gear.
  2. For traffic control, each team had to pass the garbage can driving course with precious goods contained (in this case our senior CAD Operator).
  3. To support the Fleets Division there was the agility course, where the team members showed their talents in the tire exercise.
  4. The trash toss supported the Sanitation Division; all bags had to make it in to continue to the next round.
  5. For those dealing with stormwater there was the balloon toss. Fortunately for them the balloons weren't filled with stormwater.
  6. For safety and hazardous awareness, our Director put out the fire (a candle in a bucket with a cork on a string).

All team members arrived at the finish line unscathed and everyone was a winner.

Following the event, the department staff (and our guest, the City Manager) were treated to burgers, brats and root beer. During lunch, recognition was given to several folks for their hard work and our new spill recovery and containment program was introduced. Everyone had a great time, and it was a blast to watch folks in their environment having fun.

This year we anticipate just as much enjoyment. We are working on a plan to get attention from our local media with a pothole or stormwater demonstration during the newscast. The APWA Utah Chapter will make every effort to get in the news media by inviting sports broadcasters to participate in our golf tournament and get highlights in the morning newscast. Our governor is also signing a proclamation.

Angela M. Richey is the Utah Chapter Secretary and can be reached at (801) 963-3406 or

The theme of this year's National Public Works Week (May 21-27) is "Public Works: The Heart of Every Community." There's still time to get some help if you need ideas for planning your NPWW activities. Just call us at (800) 848-APWA or send an e-mail to Jon Dilley, Manager of Marketing and Creative Design, at