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The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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The Kalona News

January 19, 2017 Featured - Riverside Current - City superintendent finds footing in new post
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

Back on July 23, the Riverside City Council voted to allow PeopleService Inc. control the city’s water and wastewater plant.

Bill Stukey was chosen by the company to oversee the plant and has been working with the city for the past few months now. Stukey made his first report on the plant to the Riverside City Council at the beginning of November.

Before being selected to run the Riverside plant, Stukey was the water and wastewater superintendent for the city of Tripoli, about 25 miles north of Waterloo, during which time they modernized their plant.

The previous plants Stukey had worked at used a sand pressure system to help remove iron from the water. His new job has a slightly different system.

“Most of it’s just learning the reverse osmosis part of it,” said Stukey of his biggest learning curve. “Trying to figure out what the set points are. Not necessarily how they work, I know how they work, just getting to know the set points” so he can understand the readings and where his numbers should be at.

The Riverside plant is a grade three facility and Stukey has been working hard towards getting his certification and said determining his drive towards getting that certification upgrade was part of the interview process.

“I’ve been doing some home study courses, what they call CEU courses. So, Continuing Education. You have to have so much time in to get to a grade three,” said Stukey. “I’ve completed two home study courses. I have one more to go.”

Stukey is hopeful to test and get his grade three certification through the Department of Natural Resources in March.

He says his duties mostly include work in the plant itself as well as administrative duties, like lab reports and public relations, while he is training a couple other employees to deal with readings and line locates.

Stukey has said he has felt very welcome and that the city has been helping him settle into his new job. He said that the relationship “has been great so far. We’ve all been working as a team and things have been running pretty smooth through that process.”

That assistance has gone past just professional assistance as they helped keep an eye out for possible places to live for his wife and two children, as Riverside is two hours from his previous location, and are also helping keep an eye out for employment opportunities for his wife.

He says he has not had the opportunity to interact much with the citizens, but says the interactions he has had have been pleasant. His interaction will likely increase as time goes on, as he served as a firefighter and EMT back in Tripoli and will be looking to get involved in that capacity in Riverside in the future as well.

Stukey says he has not had much opportunity to talk with the city’s other major water consumers at the casino, but that a business meeting is scheduled to meet with them in the next few weeks

Stukey is excited about the big changes coming to the operation as the city is moving towards more fixed base system. That means that instead of having PeopleService Inc. go out and do all the readings and city hall will be able to download all the readings digitally.

According to Stukey, the new meters will be able to alert people much faster of any potential issues or irregularities in their water use, instead of having the surprise show up at the end of the billing cycle when residents get their usage.

Stukey says they have a meeting set up with Ferguson Water Works to discuss the installation and says the installation of the new meters is most likely going to get under way sometime in mid to late February and should be complete within a couple of months of the start date and by May Stukey hopes it is basically wrapped up.

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