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Clearwater Public Utilities Earns a Future of the Region Award

8/13/2014 10:16:01 AM

Contact: Clearwater Public Utilities, (727) 562-4960

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 13, 2014

Clearwater Public Utilities Earns a Future of the Region Award

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The City of Clearwater’s Public Utilities department is proud to receive a “Future of the Region” award, given by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. The second place award in the Public Education category recognizes the successes of the North Pinellas Municipal Utilities Forum’s Meeting of the Minds group, a small group of utility professionals from surrounding cities in northern Pinellas County that is chaired by the city. This prestigious award recognizes projects and programs that exemplify regionalism and outstanding achievement that benefit Tampa Bay.

The Meeting of the Minds group meets monthly for lunch, rotates locations at hosting cities, and has held discussions on more than 100 topics relating to various public utilities and public works industries. The group is a sounding board for information sharing, policy comparison, assistance, resources, or training opportunities for agency staff.

The group is involved in hosting Clearwater’s Public Works Day Open House & Top Ops Competition, a free and family-friendly event that includes competitions in which field crews and other employees from nearby utilities compete for top honors among local industry professionals. The event started in 2013 and was even better attended this year. This event is designed to invite the public to see intricate details and witness utility staff doing what they do best, while enjoying fun competitions against their neighboring utilities for trophies and prizes. It also included an informational tour of Clearwater’s Groundwater Replenishment Pilot plant. The Meeting of the Minds group also hosted a Public Utilities Open House night in the digitorium at St. Petersburg College’s Seminole campus. The event was a huge success.

“There is nothing like having an arsenal of resources and a broad knowledge base to tap quickly, in close proximity, and knowing the integrity of the people from whom you are gleaning information,” said Tracy Mercer, Public Utilities Director. “Meeting of the Minds members enjoy the opportunity to collaborate and were all thrilled to have been a part of receiving this award.”

The annual Public Works Day Open House & Top Ops Competition is hosted by the City of Clearwater and is supported by North Pinellas Municipal Utilities Forum. To learn more, call (727) 562-4960.

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