Water association recognizes local achievements
By Erik Buchinger
The city of Clintonville’s water and wastewater crew earned three awards during at the Wisconsin Rural Water Association Conference in late March.
The city’s certified water supervisor Bob Stanislawski earned a Lifetime Achievement award.
Certified water operator Kyle Gruetzmacher was named Operator of the Year.
As a team, the wastewater crew won the Conservation Award.
The city’s water/wastewater manager Dave Tichinel nominated the award winners.
“It means a lot,” Stanislawski said. “Being in the business for over 30 years, it’s a great accomplishment, and it’s a pleasure to be picked in the state conference like that.”
Stanislawski has been employed by the city since 1979 and said he enjoys the different aspects of his job.
“I enjoy getting out with the public,” Stanislawski said. “Every day is something different. You think you’ve seen everything, but something always pops up and you learn something new. Even with the new technology, it makes your job a lot easier.”
Stanislawski has been a supervisor for nearly 20 years and is responsible for the day to day issues with his crew.
“In my absence, he takes over as the manager when a decision needs to be made,” Tichinel said. “He’s very good. He’s what I like to call a walking dictionary when it comes to the Clintonville water system. He has got wisdom in this field especially when it comes to Clintonville. He knows where everything is. We use his knowledge that he knows that nobody else does since he’s been here for so long.”
“I was pretty excited to know my boss nominated me for it, and it feels really nice to be recognized as a water operator throughout our district,” Gruetzmacher said.
Gruetzmacher started working for the city in 2008.
“I worked in the public sector over my summers while I was in college, and I saw that a job was open and applied for it,” Gruetzmacher said. “They gave me a chance, and here I am today.”
Tichinel said Gruetzmacher is a hard worker and talented in his job.
“Kyle is a very dedicated worker, capable of high-level performance under minimum supervision,” Tichinel said. “I have nothing but good things to say about Kyle. He does a lot for the city, and he does the work of a guy and a half pretty much.”
Gruetzmacher said he likes being able to work outside on a daily basis.
“The best part about this job is being outside every day even though it’s cold sometimes in the winter,” Gruetzmacher said. “I also enjoy the amount of variety there is in the job.”
Tichinel said Stanislawski will likely retire next year, and Gruetzmacher would probably step in as the supervisor.
“I absolutely love my staff,” Tichinel said. “It makes my job easier. As a supervisor, I still have to make hard decisions, no doubt about that, but it makes it a lot easier when you have seasoned employees that have been here a while that know the job.”
Tichinel said he was happy to earn the award as a team.
“They’re outstanding employees,” Tichinel said. “When you get an award, that means you’re protecting the environment, protecting what you’re releasing into the rivers and doing the best you can to make things better.”
Tichinel said he is proud of his group’s effort with the inspection of Main Street during construction and the $10 million Wastewater Treatment Plant project.
“That’s where the conservation comes in because in the last few years, we maintained compliance, which is pretty outstanding,” Tichinel said. “I’m pretty proud of my water and wastewater staff. I’m blessed to have some very good operators for the city.”