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With growth in the City of West Columbia, the Public Works Department meets the challenge

The City of West Columbia has grown, and added many community events over the last seven years. The city’s Public Works staff in the Parks, Streets, and Sanitation Departments have taken on the challenge of being an integral part in making the events the successful community building events they have become.

Public Works at Kinetic Derby Day

On May 20, Mayor Tem Miles and West Columbia City Council recognized the city’s Public Works Department in celebration of National Public Works Week. These dedicated Public Works professionals maintain essential infrastructure to keep West Columbia healthy and comfortable.  

Jamie Hook, West Columbia’s Assistant City Administrator of Public Operations, said he is thankful for the support of West Columbia City Council as more development has increased the responsibilities for Public Works Department employees. 

“We have seen growth in the area of West Columbia and there has been a rise in population,” said Hook. Population has risen through annexation and because of the number of people deciding to move to West Columbia. Annexation has added to the square-footage of the city and the number of sanitation department customers.

Jamie Hook, Mayor Pro-Tem Mickey Pringle, Dir. of Water Plants Andy Zaengle

The city has faced the challenge of growth by expanding and adding responsibilities for its personnel.  Stephen Williams has become the Director of Public Works; Lucen Martin is now the Superintendent of Sanitation; David Kannaday is the Superintendent  of Parks; and Ashley Corley is the Superintendent of Streets.

Hook said each department has added equipment and personnel in order to keep pace with demand and fulfill the task to which it is charged.

“We’re getting a new garbage truck this year for the sanitation department,” Hook said, “and a new knuckle boom truck. The knuckle boom truck is the truck you see in the neighborhoods picking up large piles of leaves and other yard debris. One staff member will also be added to the Sanitation Department.” 

The Parks Department maintains the city’s parks, along with keeping the right-of-ways clear. There are several sections of the city that the West Columbia Beautification Foundation has planted. The Parks Department waters and adds mulch to those sites. The  Parks Department is also responsible for the upkeep of city-owned property. 

“We’re getting new trucks for the Parks Department this year and a new ATV,” Hook said. A new staff member will also be added to the Parks Department, and new lawn mowers are being added. 

Knuckle Boom

In addition to population growth, the City of West Columbia has added events for city residents to enjoy, including Kinetic Derby Day, Art on State, Fall Back Fest, the Meeting Street Artisan Market, and the Meeting Street Music Fest. Personnel from the Public Works Department helps manage those events.  

“Crews from the Streets and Parks Departments are out before and after each event to set up tents and stages and other infrastructure for all of the events the city puts on,” said Hook. “They take down the tents and stages, too. Streets and Parks Departments personnel also set up the stage for Rhythm on the River concerts at the West Columbia Riverwalk.”

The Streets Department staff also replaces road signs and makes sure road signs are visible for motorists. 
The Streets Department has also added equipment, including a street sweeper. A new employee will be hired for the streets Department, too. 

Maintaining efficiency levels as West Columbia grows is a tall order, but the City of West Columbia Public Works put forth the effort to keep up with the challenge to make West Columbia look better and provide the services that are of the highest quality. 


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