Richland County Public Works keeps our communities connected, safely and securely.
From repairing roadways and managing infrastructure to protecting waterways and reducing the impacts of natural disasters, public works provides essential services that often go unrecognized. To help draw attention to the unsung employees of public works departments across the country, National Public Works Week will be celebrated May 21-27. Richland County is commemorating the weeklong observance by releasing a series of short videos this month that detail some of the many services public works provides.
Additionally, public works employees will staff informational booths in front of the County Administration Building on May 16 – the same day Richland County Council will present a resolution honoring National Public Works Week – to help educate residents about public works projects and programs.
“I am extremely proud of my team for delivering outstanding customer service to our citizens day in and day out, rain or shine, snow or ice, without a single complaint,” said Public Works Director Ismail Ozbek.
Richland County Public Works employs more than 130 men and women who specialize in a variety of fields. They help operate the many divisions that comprise Richland County Public Works, including
Engineering Services, Roads and Drainage, Stormwater Management, Solid Waste & Recycling, the Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens Airport, Floodplain Management and support for plan reviews and inspections.
Many public works employees are essential personnel who are among the first to respond after severe weather and other emergency events, working around the clock to clear roadways and evaluate infrastructure. Their preparation work leading up to a known weather situation helps abate flooding and prevent damage to homes, roads and property.
“The folks here in public works were critical in recovery efforts after the October 2015 flood,” said Stormwater Manager Synithia Williams. “They worked day and night for weeks to get roads reopened and repaired, then took the lessons learned to prepare before Hurricane Matthew. Their work truly connects them to the community.”
In 1960, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed the first National Public Works Week to educate the public about the value and necessity of public works services. This year’s National Public Works Week theme, “Public Works Connects Us,” focuses on the physical connections public works departments build and maintain as well as the health and public safety connections that improve quality of life.
Richland County Public Works videos can be seen throughout the month on the County’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/richlandonline as well as the County’s Facebook (@RichlandSC) and Twitter (@RichlandSC) accounts throughout the month. For more information about Richland County Public Works, visit www.rcgov.us.