KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Community members snagged the opportunity to experience the day in the life of a public works crew member on Friday when Kingsport hosted its Public Works Day.
The event gave participants a first-hand look at the heavy equipment and machinery used to upkeep the city and provide its available services. From automated garbage collection trucks and trash grabbers to mini street sweeps and sewer camera vans, event-goers could watch employees as they operated the contraptions and even be guided to give some machines a try themselves.
“We are blessed by an extraordinary group of employees who are dedicated to serving the citizens of Kingsport,” said Deputy City Manager Ryan McReynolds. “We very much appreciate the community taking a few minutes out of their day to visit with us at the farmers market, where we can personally explain the daily work of our public works employees.”
The event is in conjunction with National Public Works Week, which runs from May 15-21, marking a week-long celebration launched by the American Public Works Associate in 1960, according to a news release from Kingsport officials.
Kingsport’s Public Works is the largest non-school-related department in the city and employs around 315 people. The department consists of water and sewer, streets and sanitation, building maintenance, traffic, fleet maintenance, GIS, engineering, stormwater and the Metropolitan Transportation and Planning Organization.
“What we’re trying to showcase is the breadth and depth of services that are offered to the citizens, from snow removal to the street sweepers to the directional drills, to the guys who trim trees and put the asphalt down,” McReynolds said. “We’re doing this so the public has a good idea of the value they’re getting every day for living within the city limits.”