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Missouri City Public Works Department

By: Patti Hendrix
How does your everyday (at times mundane) routine influence your life? What do you walk past every day and not give it a second thought? How many times do you notice that the light bulb in the street lamp on your street is burned out yet all you do is complain to those around you, “it sure is dark on this street.” How many times are you going to drive through that intersection because the STOP sign was knocked down from the last wind storm, it’s not visible, but you have stopped at this intersection every day for the past twenty years. We are under a hurricane warning and have been asked to evacuate the City and you think, “I wonder if the traffic signals on Highway 6 are going to be synchronized so we can drive through quickly?” Or one morning you are drinking your coffee, turn to your spouse and say “honey, did you hear that when elderly Mrs. Jones was going to her mailbox, she was bitten by that stray dog that is always roaming around and that same dog last week knocked down the Smith’s little two-year old grandson?”
How many times do you say to yourself “I’m sure someone else has already called to report this, I don’t want to get involved, it may inconvenience me, it won’t happen to me.” Shouldn’t your attitude be “I better call as this is a possible safety issue for me, my family, my friends, my neighbors and others.”
Who ya’ gonna call? The Missouri City Public Works Department, that’s who.
Stop signs, traffic lights, street lamps, sidewalks, potholes, drinking water and roaming animals – All items mentioned (and more) fall under the jurisdiction of the Public Works Department. All problems mentioned are solved by the Public Works Department.
This team of 37 employees is headed up by City Engineer and Director of Public Works, Shashi Kumar. Shashi and his team are responsible for 635 miles of streets (so if I walk Missouri City in its entirety every day, how many calories would I burn?); 9,000 street signs, 60(+) traffic signals (in 1998 Missouri City only had five) the upkeep and maintenance of 477 vehicles with only three mechanics, including police cars, fire trucks, street sweepers, and bucket trucks (we only have three vehicles and need to have stickers in the car windows as a reminder to get the oil changed!) This department is responsible for filtering and cleaning the 4.6 billion gallons of water that runs through and utilized by our City’s citizens and businesses every year. A team of four employees is responsible for 18 City buildings which total 290,000 square feet, from changing out the HVAC filters to stocking the medical supply cabinets at the Fire Department (and sometimes I forget to keep on hand a box of band-aids).
With a small operations budget of $6.5 million, these 37 employees do an outstanding job of keeping our City running. Just like the Fire and Police Departments, they too are exposed to dangerous situations, they too can work long hours with time spent away from their families. They work hard at keeping Missouri City a great City. However, don’t ever think they don’t need our help.
The Public Works Department needs you to call them when you see a stray or roaming animal so this animal can be taken to the City’s animal shelter in hopes of being reunited with its owner. Currently only 25% of the animals are reclaimed by their owners. If your animal goes missing, call them to see if they have it at the shelter. If you are thinking about adopting a pet, call them, they will be happy to help you add that new member to your family.

Don’t wait to call when a street sign or street lamp is broken; don’t assume that someone else has already called. Be proactive and call immediately, you may help save someone from a dangerous situation – and that someone could be you.
Missouri City is 60 years old! What does that tell you – we have necessities in our City that are the same age, and the City keeps growing. This is our community and it is our duty to help preserve and maintain its integrity. It costs money and lots of it to maintain a City (it doesn’t grow on trees). Everyone that lives in Missouri City should have a sense of pride of their neighborhoods, their safety, their homes, their parks and playgrounds; yes, even the STOP sign on their street.
SO – who ya’ gonna call?
A special thanks to everyone who has been volunteering and giving of their personal time!

Missouri City Public Works Department

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