Clintonville wastewater utility, water employees honored

By: 

Grace Kirchner Leader Correspondent

Thanks to a $10 million upgrade to its treatment plant and the tireless devotion of its employees, the Clintonville Wastewater Department has won a statewide conservation award, given annually by the Wisconsin Rural Water Association. Two water utility employees were also recognized with awards.

The water association, of which Clintonville is a member, gives out the awards at its annual conference, said Sharon Eveland, city administrator, to the Common Council at their April 10 meeting. The conservation award goes to a member system that has shown a high level of commitment to operating efficiently and protecting and preserving Wisconsin’s water and energy resources.

The aging Clintonville wastewater system was upgraded last year to work more efficiently and allow the staff to respond to issues more quickly through remote access and integrated technology. The upgrade also brought the city into compliance with the DNR’s new rules regarding phosphorus limits, an area in which many municipalities are struggling to comply.

Wastewater staff — including foreman Jenny Pagel and operators Leroy LeNoble and Paul Rades — worked diligently to maintain compliance during the upgrade, according to Eveland. She also paid special tribute to Dave Tichinel, water/wastewater manager, for his devotion to his profession and staff, all of which contributed to winning the conservation award.

Additionally, Kyle Gruetzmacher was selected by the Wisconsin Rural Water Association as Operator of the Year for District 1, which covers 15 counties in northeastern Wisconsin. He has been with the city for 10 years and holds multiple grade operator certifications. He is responsible for all of the system sampling and monitoring, as well as the water meter readings and change outs. In recognizing Gruetzmacher, Eveland called him a dedicated worker and integral part of the team.

Bob Stanislawski was selected for the Wisconsin Rural Water Association Lifetime Award, which is presented to individuals who have worked throughout their careers to support the association and its mission of assisting rural communities and protecting Wisconsin’s natural resources.

Stanislawski has been with the city for 39 years as a water operator, nearly 20 of those years as the water foreman. He is responsible for the daily operations of the Clintonville Water Utility and has served on the water association board for 20 years, most recently as secretary-treasurer. His wisdom is exceptional and seldom found in this field, Eveland said in congratulating Stanislawski.