Efforts to protect water resources, clean our rivers and reduce energy costs, earned Mayor Tom Henry national recognition from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). This week, the association presented the 2019 National Environmental Achievement Award for Local Public Service in honor of Mayor Henry.
The award recognizes public officials at the local, state and federal levels of government who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to service in their community and protecting the environment. This year, NACWA honored five public servants with the award, one at the federal level, two state leaders and two local leaders from across the country.
NACWA officials cited Mayor Henry’s efforts that have made a difference in neighborhoods throughout the community through efficiencies by creating non-traditional sources of revenue through the methane power generation program, success in bringing affordable, quality water to all residents through acquisition and consolidation, and improvements that have spurred interests in riverfront development.
Mayor Henry’s leadership and support of City Utilities initiatives have led to the updating of aging infrastructure, protecting our water resources, reducing runoff pollution from our waterways, recapturing waste to create energy, and building improvements to protect neighborhoods from street flooding and basement backups. His environmental stewardship at our plants saw the installation of power efficient lighting and HVAC systems.
These environmental achievements will serve the community today and for generations. They bring quality, reliable water, and sewer services to residents, support economic development and job creation and are leading to riverfront renewal.
Eco-friendly improvements are an investment in our future with many of them resulting in not only environmental protection but cost savings that have a downward effect on rates. As an example, the savings netted through the methane generation to power portions of our Water Pollution Control Plant, top more than $1.2 million in our electricity bill.
A longtime clean water infrastructure advocate, Mayor Henry and the City Utilities staff have built effective partnerships with watershed groups throughout the region. He has served as a panelist at state and national environmental conferences.