2005 Gold Award for Competitiveness Achievement

AWMA's 2005 Gold Awards for Competitiveness Achievement were presented to:

  • Champlain Water District
  • City of Chandler Municipal Utilities
  • Charleston Commissioners of Public Works
  • DeKalb County Water and Sewer Division
  • Erie County Water Authority
  • City of North Las Vegas Utilities Department
  • Northern Kentucky Water District

The Champlain Water District has actively supported the public health protection goals of the Partnership For Safe Water (PSW) program and was the first utility in the country to receive the PSW "Excellence in Water Treatment" Award in 1999. It is the only utility in the country to maintain Phase IV standards of excellence and received the Phase IV Five Year Anniversary Award in 2004.

Chandler Municipal Utilities went through a self-assessment process, which it incorporated with employee assistance to become a stronger organization, improving its services and employee moral, and repairing its aging infrastructure. Chandler's Municipal Utilities and Public Works Departments were the first in Arizona to achieve accreditation from the American Public Works Association.

To achieve its strategic goals, the Charleston Commissioners of Public Works became registered to the ISO 14001 international standard of environmental excellence. The utility has actively participated in research and development activities for the industry, developed comprehensive training programs, and developed a culture of performance-orientation through incentive, merit and associate recognition programs.

The DeKalb County Water and Sewer Division used capital improvement plans, key performance indicators and action plans to strengthen its overall performance. The Division paid close attention to communication, the training and development of all staff members, performance measures and community relations to improve performance and move forward.

The Erie County Water Authority launched an aggressive program to reorganize and streamline its operations and achieved substantial reductions in operating expenses and increased revenues. Budget savings over the last eight years were derived from investment in more efficient and technologically advanced operations, reduced payroll costs and prudent debt management. This commitment to sound management practices resulted in significant cost savings, an extensive system-wide capital improvement program that is primarily based on a "pay as you go" model and a stabilized rate structure for its customers.

Employees at the newly created Utilities Department of the City of North Las Vegas improved work processes through initiatives such as converting to a new utility software system, establishing a call center for customer convenience, annual infrastructure improvements based upon maintenance surveys, and a new approval process for engineering plans. Leadership, awards and regular staff involvement have encouraged employees to find creative ways to improve the department.

Responding to the findings of a benchmarking study, Northern Kentucky Water District increased automation, improved its performance appraisal system and provided more employee empowerment. The recent acquisition of two water systems allowed the District to add to its customer base while realizing operational efficiencies that keep water rates low. Through systematic infrastructure replacement and rehabilitation, guided by an asset management plan, the District balanced needs with practical financial limitations.