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The original item was published from 11/16/2016 11:18:08 AM to 1/1/2017 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: November 16, 2016

[ARCHIVED] City of Montrose Public Works Department and Staff Receive Awards at 2016 Colorado APWA Conference

The American Public Works Association (APWA) recognized the City of Montrose Public Works Department and staff with several awards at the 2016 Colorado Conference. The department received the Public Works Program Award in small communities for the Recycling Program Administration and the Public Works Project Award in small communities for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Bank Stabilization Project. APWA also awarded Utility Superintendent David Bries the Professional Manager of the Year in Water Resources.

Montrose Recycling Program Administration Award
APWA recognized the city’s recycling program for expanding the Single-Stream Curbside Recycling Program, initially implemented in early 2013. The new program included Waste Management of Colorado as a key partner in providing an expanded menu of recycling services to Montrose residents while simultaneously saving users over $200,000 in disposal fees. The uniqueness of the project rests in the difficulty many rural Western Slope communities face in establishing and providing recycling services given the high costs of transportation—costs that are usually absorbed by users. Furthermore, the program offers many cost-free recycling opportunities that are atypical to municipal programs. Examples are the city’s used tire and electronic waste collection program, fluorescent lamp program, and green waste. The program continues to succeed and is a shining example of the positive impact that efficient program administration has within small communities.

For more information on the Single-Stream Curbside Recycling Program, visit:

Montrose Wastewater Treatment Plant Bank Stabilization Project
Spring runoff in 2015, which was 50-percent greater than the historic average, compromised approximately 450 linear feet of river bank along the city wastewater treatment plant, threatening a nearby oxidation ditch containing raw sewage. The plant’s design withstood the damaged banks. Staff designed and constructed a new river bank stabilization measure prior to the spring 2016 runoff season with partners Del-Mont Consultants, USACE, and Haynes Excavation. The team completed construction ahead of schedule without incident or injury, and $125,000 less than the average of the twelve bids received on the project. The APWA award recognized staff for the innovative engineering design that safeguarded public property in a fiscally responsible manner and acknowledged achievement in having assembled a team of subject-matter experts who accomplished the project under budget and ahead of schedule.

“These awards recognize the tireless efforts of our Public Works professionals, unsung heroes, who take great pride in serving the Montrose community. I am so very proud of the team we’ve developed in the Public Works Department,” stated Public Works Director, John Harris. This project and its recognition exemplifies and commemorates that work.

Professional Manager of the Year, David Bries
David Bries has over 36 years of experience as a utility professional, which contributed to the APWA award as professional manager of the year. Bries came to the City of Montrose in December 2013 and has since improved the water meter system and expanded the meter replacement program. The improvements he has initiated have reduced monthly meter re-reads from approximately 1,000 each cycle to fewer than 20. The department’s operating expenditures have decreased accordingly. A number of other accomplishments contributed to the well-deserved award. Bries updated the City’s Water Distribution and Sanitary Sewer Collection Master Plans and assisted with drafting the city’s first Water Conservation Plan. Those who work with Bries know that his professionalism and leadership are constantly and consistently displayed as he inspires others to lead with integrity, innovation, and efficiency.

In appreciation of David’s contributions, John Harris remarked, “Dave’s technical expertise, professionalism, and strong leadership skills have positioned Montrose as a regional leader in the delivery of exceptional water distribution and sanitary sewer collection services. Congratulations to Dave on this exceptional achievement.” Each award represents a tremendous outpouring of dedicated service to the city and its residents by staff and partners.

“The City of Montrose has flourished under the leadership of City Manager Bill Bell. In his short time in our community, he has elevated our organization to one that is applauded throughout Colorado. In fact, several city staffers have been recognized statewide and even nationally. David Bries is the most recent example. David is a true servant leader and has raised the utilities department’s customer service and technical abilities to new heights. We are beyond excited that he has been recognized as an exemplar by his colleagues and salute him for his constant and never-ending efforts to deliver excellent service to residents,” stated Assistant City Manager, Rob Joseph.

An APWA Board Director will formally acknowledge Mr. Bries and present City Council with the awards at the December 20 City Council meeting.

The photos attached show the damage incurred from 2015 river flows; the repair; and an overview of the damaged site.

Damage from high flows in 2015
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