Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores
Essential People in A City Oct 20,2005
Everywhere in our country we talk to important persons. We find the "people in charge" to ask about out what is happening or needs to happen. In the infrastructure of any city there are services that are absolutely essential and the people who are responsible for those services are invaluable to the operation of a community.
The maintenance and repair of streets and alleys, water delivery and sewage removal are vital to places where people live. Beyond the existence of those essentials such as a street, or a water plant, or a sewage treatment plant are the networks that deliver the services of those essentials. Those networks require care and maintenance.
There are seventeen miles of streets in Wyoming. There are houses and businesses along everyone of those streets and to those houses and businesses water is delivered and soluble waste matter removed. The maintenance and repair of all those essentials is under the supervision and care of three persons. Those three people are Joe Beck, Superintendent of Streets and Alleys, George Knowles and Barney Vilotte. They remove the snow, put down salt to melt ice, repair water leaks and clear out sewer lines. These people know the streets and water lines and sewers as a farmer knows his field.
The "City Guys" possess knowledge of all of this by reason of training and experience. They all worked under former superintendents, Bill Arnold, Bill Oakes and Elam Hamilton. Beck has worked for the city for 22 years. Knowles has worked for the city 18 years beginning when he was a student at Wyoming High School in summer employment. Barney Vilotte works part time.
A part of their job is to read the water meters for the City. This task puts them around every house and business in town providing an opportunity to check the condition of the streets and possible problems with water delivery.
Under their watchful eye, the streets of Wyoming are in good condition. In the last couple of years seal coating has been put down and holes repaired. It requires from 50 to 100 tons of salt annually to keep the streets open in snow and ice storms.
The water mains, Joe Beck said, are in good shape. The installation of the Reverse Osmosis plant in 1993 improved water pressure as well as reducing corrosion. Water leaks now happen at fittings in the lines. Old iron fittings, pipes, and straps erode and fail allowing leaks to happen. We talked about how the lines are located. The system is being mapped in the places where the location is not known, they said,"by experience and digging". The mains are mostly copper, bronze or plastic, the fittings as they fail are replaced with those materials that do not corrode.
When this column began, I wrote of essential services to the town. Another essential service is the way the Streets and Alleys group perform their tasks. We certainly need them.
Both Joe Beck and George Knowles are Captains of the Fire department. They are back up people on the emergency radio.
The next time their work gets in your way, be grateful for their presence and their interest in the City of Wyoming.
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