LANCASTER – On Friday, December 6, the City of Lancaster Public Works Department was awarded three significant awards by the High Desert Chapter of the American Public Works Association. These awards include the Outstanding Public Works Project of the Year, Best Improvement for Public Safety, and the Outstanding Public Works Employee of the Year Award.
“Each of these awards carries an exceptional degree of recognition for all the work the City of Lancaster performs to maintain an exceptional quality of life for our citizens,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “I am pleased to see the tremendous drive for excellence that City staff continually demonstrates in making the City more efficient in the use of time and resources while accomplishing astounding feats.”
The Outstanding Public Works Project of the Year was awarded to the City’s Solar Schools program. After establishing successful partnerships with entities such as Solar City, the City established the Lancaster Power Authority and partnered with the Eastside and Lancaster School Districts to install solar energy-producing parking shade structures at 25 school sites throughout Lancaster. In addition to the technical feat, the major achievement this project facilitated was the public-private partnership between the City, school districts, private enterprise, and financiers.
Kathy Renee, a City employee, received the Outstanding Public Works Employee of the Year Award. Kathy’s expertise in sewer systems has been critical to the City of Lancaster as it has transitioned from a county operated system to one operated by its own employees. Her knowledge and background has enabled the City to bypass countless obstacles it would have previously been forced to tackle one at a time. Kathy’s resourcefulness proved to be a most valuable asset to the City at a most crucial time of need.
“It is a unique characteristic of the City’s Public Works Department that we possess some of the most talented and innovative individuals on the field,” said Public Works Director Robert Neal. “This department works under the crucible of continually attempting to seek every opportunity to lower costs incurred by the taxpayer while simultaneously improving the quality of our work. This recognition belongs to each member of the City staff who contributes to our ability to provide this level of service.”
The Neighborhood Traffic Calming Project was the recipient of the Best Improvement for Public Safety Award. The Traffic Calming Project is an effort to address a long felt need for safer, more livable streets throughout Lancaster by implementing resident-driven improvements such as speed-bumps in residential areas and road diets in once collision prone regions. The project has been successful in reducing collisions on Valley Central Way and on 25th Street West by 60%, while also encouraging 400-500 residents to sign petitions leading to speed-bumps on seventeen residential streets throughout Lancaster.
“Each one of these awards is a result of unmatched innovation in technical application by City staff, unprecedented cooperation with local entities, or the result of a particular employee’s efforts on behalf of the City,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Lancaster owes these hardworking men and women a debt of gratitude as they continue to labor for each resident of the City of Lancaster.”
(Information via press release from the city of Lancaster.)