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Public Works invites residents to open house

The Demopolis Public Works Department is inviting the public to an open house event for National Public Works Week that officials hope will become an annual event designed to inform the community about the department and to meet its staff.

Public Works Superintendent Barbara Blevins said the open house would include tours of the office and the display of equipment. There will be hot dogs and light refreshments.

Among recent activities at Public Works is the initiation of district supervisors to help maintain areas across the city.

“The district supervisors help to ensure our streets are clean allowing us to use our street sweeper, bush hog, Motrim, and limb loader. We also use riding mowers and weed trimmers to keep our medians and right-of-ways cleaned while also repairing ditches and potholes,” Blevins said.

Public Works also spends time cleaning debris from the City Landing boat ramps as well as drop inlets when needed.

“We pick up litter throughout the city each week and spray for mosquito control. We are also working to upgrade our city street signs and added speed bumps in certain areas for public safety. Our crews also mow, weed eat and bush hog the gateways into Demopolis and our industrial parks,” Blevins said.

Soon, the department will begin a process of improving the appearance of city streets through the purchase of a striping machine that was approved by the city council.

The department also stays busy as grounds keeper at Memorial Gardens and Riverside Cemetery, which is done with assistance from the Demopolis High School Co-op program.

Currently, Public Works is picking up white goods through the city and residents may call 289-3879 to schedule a pick-up.

Along with these tasks, the department also assists with local events.

“We enjoy helping and assisting with Freedom on the River, Renew our Rivers, Christmas on the River, Rooster Day along with civic groups and other events held at the George Frank Field,” Blevins said.

The department initiated its Demopolis in Bloom program seven years ago as a way to encourage cleanliness and beautification and Blevins said it has been a big success and continues to grow.

“The Demopolis in Bloom program has grown over the last seven years. We are thankful to the local businesses for their participation.  The Demopolis in Bloom Best Blooming Awards will now be handled through the Beautification Commission. They will be out riding and looking for the Best Blooming Yard, Best Blooming Business and Best Blooming Church for monthly awards, March through October.  We thank everyone for their efforts in making Demopolis beautiful,” she said.

Demopolis also continues its status as a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.

“We are honored to continue to promote Arbor Day and teach the children of Demopolis the importance of trees in our community,” Blevins said.

The Public Works Department is also assigned with maintaining specific buildings across the city, including city hall, Rooster Hall, the civic center, the former New Era building, the Demopolis Higher Education Center at the Sportplex, the public library, river pavilion, park and river public restrooms, the old courtroom, WIC buildings, and the Rosenbush building.

To help with these projects, Public Works partner with community service programs of the Demopolis Municipal Court and the 17th Judicial Court in Livingston.

Public Works has also continued its Keep It Clean campaign, adding new participants this year, including the Lion’s Club, First Baptist Church and Kiwanis Club. 

“The Public Works team is thankful for the new members teaming up with us to assist in keeping our city clean. We will be providing signage along their routes,” Blevins said.

Blevins adds that the department benefits from its dedicated staff.

“I want to thank my crew. They continue to display dedication, perseverance and genuine love for the department by working hard, safely and efficiently while providing quality work for the City of Demopolis.” she said.

Guests are invited to learn more about the Demopolis Public Works department by visiting them for the National Public Works Week open house on Friday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We encourage the citizens to come out to meet us and celebrate National Public Works week,” Blevins said.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, May 30 issue of the Demopolis Times.)