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TWUA 2006 Exemplary Service Public Education Award

City of Pharr Public Utilities Department receives the Texas Water Utilities Association (TWUA) 2006 Exemplary Service in Public Education Award on March 14, 2007 in San Antonio, TX. Standing left to right are: Antonio Carrillo, WTP Supervisor; Jose Anaya, WWTP Supervisor; Alfredo Ortiz, Asst Utilities Director; David Garza, Utilities Director; Fred Sandoval, City Manager; Heriberto De Leon, Utilities Superintendent.

From The TWUA Pamphlet

The City of Pharr

The City of Pharr is a progressive community that recognized a problem and used a unique approach to address and solve the concerns.  The utility department needed a major capital expenditure to expand the collection system, replacing aging infrastructure.  The first hurdle was to educate the elected officials and get them on-board.  This was accomplished by hosting a retreat for department heads, managements and elected officials.  Mr. David Garza, Utilities Director, was instrumental in preparing a presentation that detailed all the various responsibilities and needs.  By the end of the retreat, Mr. Garza had convenience the council that the needs were justifiable.

The next part of the education process was to conduct meeting and educate the public on why the projects were needed and how these improvements were going to affect the individual customers.  David Garza was instrumental in developing a plan describing the problems, rules & regulations and what was needed to happen within the City of Pharr in order to be prepared for the future.

Making the customers or citizens aware of what it takes to operate a water or wastewater system was the key to the success of the capital projects.  Anyone who can influence the council enough to raise base rate by $15.00 to $25.00 and adjust the cost per 1,000 gallons of water is definitely doing something right.  The secret to the success is educating the decision makers and assist them in educating the community.  Be honest and open and make sure everyone understands the needs.

The City of Pharr receives the recognition for this award and it is the hard working and dedicated employees that make this and other programs successful.  We recognize and commend the City of Pharr.

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