City of Kent throws Public Works Week party May 25

  • Tue May 9th, 2017 2:02pm
  • Life

Children can check out city vehicles at the annual Public Works Week at the ShoWare Center in Kent as this girl did in 2016.

Residents of Kent and other cities don’t often think about the public works employees who make their city run so smoothly.

It’s taken for granted that water will flow from the tap, toilets will flush, potholes will be filled and trees will be trimmed. But once a year, the city of Kent encourages residents to reflect on the comfort and quality of life that public works employees help provide.

Residents can learn about these services firsthand by attending a free event from 10 a.m. t0 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, at the ShoWare Center, 625 W James St.

“We value our community and the role public works professionals play in keeping our city functioning,” said Mayor Suzette Cooke in a city media release. “This event is designed to increase public awareness of their contributions.”

Among the many annual contributions Kent’s public works employees provide are:

• Treatment of more than 2.5 billion gallons of water to ensure it is safe to drink

• Filling more than 1,800 potholes

• Reducing the safety threat of snow and ice on Kent’s roads

• Inspection/repair of 320 miles of city streets and over 300 miles of sidewalks

• Maintenance of 280 miles of water pipes and 210 miles of wastewater pipes

• Maintenance of police and emergency vehicles, communications, lighting and electronics

• Hosting Kent’s recycling and conservation programs

• Maintenance and repair of more than 17,000 street signs

• Inspection/maintenance of more than 13 miles of flood protection levees along the Green River

Along with introducing individuals to careers in the trades, the free event will feature climb-on displays of public works equipment including a backhoe, excavator and snowplow. Other highlights include interactive and informational displays and a scavenger hunt.

“The Department of Public Works plays a key and daily role in our city’s growth, success and sustainability,” said Public Works Director Tim LaPorte. “I’m proud of our work and excited to shine some light on our efforts to improve the overall quality of life for Kent residents.”

For more information about how Kent’s Public Works employees work to serve residents, visitors and businesses every day, visit