Dyersville’s city equipment filled the parking lot at the James Kennedy Public Library (JKPL) and a front-end-loader simulator kept young and old busy in the library May 21. The event was all part of a celebration of National Public Works Week, a national event in its 69th year, that recognizes the contributions of city public workers.
Dyersville Public Works Director John Wandsnider said the event reminds citizens of the work done by public workers. “It’s an opportunity to talk about what public works does and the services it provides for the community and for the whole world.”
Wandsnider oversees a staff of five. This year the event at the library highlighted the street department. In coming years, Wandsnider hopes to highlight the water department and the wastewater department.
The equipment on hand included a skid loader, a street sweeper, a pickup, a dump truck with snow blades and a front-end loader.
“The front-end loader has a snow pusher that can be attached. We use that in the downtown area to remove snow quickly,” Wandsnider explained. “Wintertime can be challenging and it certainly was this past winter. It was a record year in a lot of areas for snowfall in a short period of time. It took a lot of effort to keep the roads passable and clear.”
Inside the library the simulator allowed users to experience what it’s like to operate a front-end loader.
“We asked the dealership to get the simulator. It trains the operators to use the front-end loader. It’s pretty fun and interesting,” Wandsnider said.
Wandsnider said he’s proud of the work his team does for the city. “I think often times people will talk about city workers or public works workers not working very hard. I’ve been director of public works since November and I’ve been very impressed with the work ethic of our guys. They like to work, are very talented and do a very good job.”
Wandsnider, who replaced the late David Vorwald as public works director, credited Vorwald for what he accomplished.
“I’d like to recognize his leadership and commitment he gave to the City of Dyersville for 32 years.”
Wandsnider was a consulting engineer for Dyersville before taking over as public works director. “That’s how I got to know Dave. He became a good friend and mentor for what I’m doing now. I just want to honor his memory and recognize his work to make the public works department what it is today.”