Jacobs observes national public works week

Crews from Jacobs, the City of Ontario’s Public Works department, lower a large decorative rock into place in mid-September of 2020, as part of a project in the downtown corridor that added bulb-outs to the end of several sidewalks on Oregon Street.


This month, a full week is nationally designated to public works departments. As such, Director of Public Works Al Cablay, with Jacobs, the City of Ontario’s Public Works department, wanted to discuss how the department is observing it and what residents can expect to see locally, which includes informational handouts and trinkets at City Hall.

In a phone interview on Thursday afternoon, Cablay said that the department will be presenting a proclamation to the City Council at its next regular council meeting on May 18.

According to information on the American Public Works Association’s website, this year’s National Public Works week will fall on May 16 – 22, and has been going since 1960. Cablay noted that the designated week first began, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. One of the purposes of this week is to educate the community about what public works departments do from the planning stages through project completion.

He said when a proclamation is made by a city for a public works related designation, the American Public Works Association has the document scanned and added to its website.

“It’s a nice way to feel like you’re part of a greater organization,” Cablay said.

The public works director said that the three public-works-related events that are observed locally by Jacobs are Arbor Day, National Drinking Water week and National Public Works week.

During the week of May 16 – 22 there will be a table set up in city hall complete with a poster with this year’s motto, “Stronger together,” along with a video that will be showing public works operations.

Cablay said that the display will have informational handouts and “trinkets for people to take.” Some examples he gave of items are “little hard hats, stuff like that.”

He said that whatever merchandise is not given away during the week-long setup at city hall will be saved and potentially given away later in the year at the Malheur County Fair, in which Jacobs and the city will have a booth.

Cablay said that each public works department “does their own version” of National Public Works week.

“It can be something of benefit each year,” he said.

Cablay followed up on Friday afternoon with an email in which he said in 2022, Jacobs is hoping to “do more with the community by hosting a barbecue and other activities.”

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