Public Works busy year-round
Published 10:32 am Tuesday, January 22, 2019
There’s never a slow time of year for Winchester Public Works.
In the middle of winter, the weather isn’t conducive to major road repairs or most outside projects, aside from plowing snow when needed, two-year employee Jacob Jones said.
“We do quite a bit of blacktop paving in the summer,” Jones said. “the winter is kind of slow. We just pick up garbage in the streets and push snow when it snows.”
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This weekend brought the first threat of snow the winter, and Jones was expecting time on one of the city’s four routes taking care of the streets. It’s all part of the job, he said.
Jones started at Public Works two years ago, after starting at Winchester Municipal Utilities. Jones has lived in Clark County nearly all his life and is happy working in his home county.
“I’m home every night,” he said. “Even is I get called out, I’m at home.”
Jones is on his way to becoming a level one operator within the department, which includes doing a bit of everything.
“We do black top, concrete, mow city lots, snow removal, clean-up…” he said. “I had experience in construction before and i was interested in learning blacktop and concrete.”
Jones recently completed his Roads Scholar certification after completing the nine-month program, which is offered through the University of Kentucky. To earn the certification, Jones had to complete nine courses.
According to UK, mandatory classes included work zone and flagging qualification, traffic management, risk management and tort liability, drainage, low-cost road safety improvements and understanding the differences in people. There are a number of optional classes including handling leadership responsibilities, time management, using motivation and discipline to manage people, communications and best practices for asphalt paving, among others.
“There were usually 40 to 50 people in a class,” he said. “Some of the classes, I learned a lot to make my job safer and do a better job. The communication class will help with the public. The concrete and blacktop (class) will teach you better ways to do it and the right way to do it.”
Earning his Roads Scholar certification also opens the door to the state’s Road Master program, which builds on those topics.
In the meantime, Jones will keep working on the streets around Winchester.