Stormwater Employees Honored as January 2020 Employee of the Month

Valdosta Mayor Scott Matheson and City Engineer Pat Collins honored Scott Nobles, Anthony Manning, Eddie Cribbs, Shawn Massey, Terrance Brown, Benjie Vann, and Joe Baker as the January 2020 Employee of the Month at the January 23 City Council meeting. Nobles, Manning, Cribbs, Massey, Brown, Vann, and Baker received a framed certificate, a check for $200, and their names appears on a plaque displayed in City Hall.

Scott Nobles, Anthony Manning, Eddie Cribbs, Shawn Massey, Terrance Brown, Benjie Vann, and Joe Baker work for the City of Valdosta Engineering Department in the Stormwater Division. The Stormwater Division is responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the stormwater conveyance system which includes cleaning, maintaining, and repairing over 5,800 catch basins, 170 miles of storm pipes, 775 outfalls, 33 miles of drainage ditches, 22 City detention/retention ponds, and sweeping 350 miles of streets.

During the summer of 2019, the Stormwater Division was prompted to investigate a hole that had developed in the center of the road on Wisenbaker Lane. Due to the conditions of the aging storm pipe, the City was forced to close the road and replace the corroded pipes with a precast concrete box culvert. The replacement and improvement would help with water quality, protect the roadway, reduce the chances of local flooding, and deliver a longer service life.

Typical box culverts are designed, cured, and delivered within an 8-12 week timeframe. The City moved forward in purchasing the culvert to eliminate unexploited time. During the manufacturing process, the Department proposed to bid out the installation of the culvert due to time restraints on the Stormwater Crew. A year had barely passed since the Stormwater Crew had taken the challenge to install its first box culvert located just upstream on South Lee Street. It would have cost the City of Valdosta $187,300 to install the culvert. Knowing the capabilities and skills of the Stormwater Crew, we chose to use an in-house, sevenman crew to replace the aging storm pipes. The time of year was not ideal due to it being mid-summer and high temperatures. Also, working inside a box culvert is definitely not appealing to everyone. However, each person showed dedication and devotion to this Project with no hesitation or complaints.

The crew's responsibilities included removing the existing pipe and preparing the site, scheduling and unloading boxes, diverting water drainage, establishing a line and grade for installation, setting 16 boxes and wing walls, and backfilling and preparing for paving.

The Stormwater Crew identified the problem, determined the solution, vetted proposals, and completed installation in three weeks. By completing the Project in-house, the Stormwater Division was able to replace the deteriorating pipe for merely $26,690.42. This cost includes fully loaded Staff time, equipment rental, and materials. With previous experiences and willingness, the Stormwater Crew saved the City $160,609.58!

The City of Valdosta applauds the Stormwater Division Employees for their dedication, exemplary work ethic and for being named the January 2020 Employee of the Month.