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2005 Media Releases

January 10, 2005
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831

Mayor Presents December Award of Excellence

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for December to a team from the Public Works and Utilities Department. The members of the team all work in the Ashland Water Production Division. They are Rick Roberts, Assistant Superintendent of Water Production and Treatment; Water Plant Operators James “Lee” Applebee, Keith “Bob” Luedtke, Stanley Roberts, Ronald Sanders, Robert Wischmann, Paul Furman, David Martinez and Jim Boston; and Assistant Water Plant Operator Keith Baue.

The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City. The award was presented at the beginning of today’s City Council meeting.

The team was nominated in the categories of productivity and loss prevention by John Miriovsky, Superintendent of Water Production and Treatment. Most of the team members have been employed with the City of Lincoln for more than 25 years. The team was nominated for its diligence in reducing the electricity costs at the plant.

From June 1 through September 15, 2004, Omaha Public Power District’s electricity rates rose due to an increased demand, primarily from the air conditioning load. Roberts has monitored electricity use since the plant was built in1994. He was convinced the plant could run more efficiently if the Water Plant Operators ran the most efficient pumps for the amount of water sent to Lincoln. Roberts spent last winter studying, evaluating and devising a plan for the efficient operation of the numerous pumps at the plant. His plan was implemented by the Water Plant Operators in the summer of 2004.

“Due to the diligence of the Water Plant Operators, Rick’s plan saved the City $122,000 during fiscal year 2003-2004 compared to fiscal year 2002-2003, while pumping an almost identical amount of water,” wrote Miriovsky in his nomination. “Fiscal year 2002-2003 had been the second most efficient year since the plant was constructed.” Miriovsky said the plant efficiency, measured in “dollars per million gallons pumped,” dropped from $42.60 during fiscal year 2002-2003 to $35.30 in 2003-2004.

The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer relations, safety and valor. All City employees are eligible for the Mayor’s Award of Excellence except for elected officials and some managers.

Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel Department, which oversees the awards program.

Nominations are reviewed by the Mayor’s Award of Excellence Committee, which includes a representative with each union and a non-union representative appointed by the Mayor. Award winners receive a day off with pay and a plaque. If a team has five members or less, each receives a $100 U.S. savings bond. Monthly winners are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $500 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque.

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