A personal message to my community From: Kim Benjamin

You Should Know Their Names

A personal message to my community.
From: Kim Benjamin

Today is a bit of an anniversary. Just four short weeks ago our water system that serves the entire Tuna Valley was dealt a crippling blow. The 24” water main line that provides service to our community ruptured and hemorrhaged water at an unprecedented rate. Also complicating things, and with all due respect to my very good friend Ron Orris, the weather was something less than a “Chamber of Commerce” day.

Having spent a lifetime in the Tuna Valley I will l say that the beauty of Mother Nature is one of the main reasons for residing in this region.

However, there are times such as this unprecedented winter of 2015 when nature can be as brutal as a schoolyard bully and a very impressive foe.

During the first thirty-six hours of this almost surreal event Bradford City Water Authority front line crews fought through unimaginable double digit sub-zero conditions that at times reached minus 24 degrees. Originally hand cuffed by the tremendous flow volumes of up to 30,000 gallons of water every 60 seconds and a heavy frost overburden extending over four feet underground, they were relentless in their determination to ignore the surrounding conditions and make an effective repair.

In the meantime a state of emergency was inacted and all local, regional and state agencies from here to Harrisburg responded swiftly and with great organizational skills to be of assistance over the next seven days. Elected and appointed officials across the Tuna Valley were of one voice to assist and safeguard the people they serve.

Like many I am often critical of government when it is at its worst. But from my strategic vantage point this was an amazing example of what government can do when it is at its very best.

Of course both the professional and volunteer first responders at all levels were key to our getting through those first critical days. That is something here along the Tuna that we as a community have grown accustom to.

A special thanks is due to Bradford’s Police Chief, Chris Lucco, who was at the top of his game as “Incident Commander” of all emergency operations.

Kudo’s also to all the supportive local business, industry, UPB, Bradford School District as well as the over 5,000 residential customers we strive to serve.

One week turned into four and nature continued her assault on our system as the entire Water Authority force of distribution crew, water plant operators and office staff worked in unison. They have continued working long days and weeks keeping main lines repaired, disruptions to a minimum and setting about having dozens and dozens of individual residential freeze-ups brought back on line.

Job titles and job descriptions are a key element of most all structured organizations. However, there are times when those paper guidelines must dissolve and everyone must move with a singular goal in mind. Ours has been to make every effort possible to resurrect our water system from the ravages of the most extreme weather in nearly a century. And to once again have our entire customer base have the luxury of taking water for granted.

In an event of this unprecedented size and scope there are certain to be detractors and some very unhappy customers.
I accept that criticism as it is understandable. However, for the cast and crew of the Water Authority I do not believe their strong will and purpose over the past month has been anything short of remarkable.

Many throughout the Tuna Valley have been very gracious and humbling in their comments about our staff and their efforts. I continue to comment that I am very fortunate and proud to have them all on board, not just from the past month, but for all they do all year long. They are the heart and soul of the Water Authority.

You should know their names: Jerry Anderson, John Cattoni, Troy Coppella, Shawn Cotton, Jim DeCasper, Rocky DeCasper, Bob Eliason, Jon Goble, Mike Haviland, Steve Kornacki, Tim Myers, Roger Pais, John Schuster, Dave Trumbull, Steve Vecellio and Jody Zimmerman.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts…Gestalt”

Thank You,
Kim R. Benjamin, Executive Director
Bradford City Water Authority


Posted by on Mar 24 2015. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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