Minneapolis Public Works hosts first informational open house

Maggie Hessel-Mial

Residential awareness and understanding combined with learning and fun Saturday when the Minneapolis Public Works department held its first-ever open house at the Currie Maintenance building in downtown Minneapolis.

More than 200 people wandered through displays and demonstrations.

“We just want to let the public know what the Public Works does on a day-to-day basis in running the city,” said David Sonnenberg, Minneapolis city engineer and director of the department. “We also wanted to raise this awareness and make it a fun day for all who attend.”

Inside, booths featured information on topics from stoplight maintenance to waste management.

Susan Young, director of the Solid Waste and Recycling department, stressed the importance of knowing what goes into running the city and taking care of the solid waste produced by its residents.

“I have 118,000 customers that use the waste management services in the city,” Young said. “I am interested in informing them on how we do our jobs, and I’m also interested in finding out from the residents how I can do my job better.”

Currie Avenue, in downtown Minneapolis, was partly closed off to allow much of the city’s equipment to be displayed. Trucks, snow plows and a hydraulic bucket were just a few of the exhibits.

“People can learn things about the things we do that they can’t see,” said Steven Faulkner of the Sewer Construction department. “We work 110 feet under the city to make the sewer system work smoothly. It’s a job that needs to be done, but many don’t think about.”

Many residents brought their children to see equipment up close.

“My son Cullen is one of the reasons I came,” said Phil Bode of Minneapolis. “This is great for him to see and get close to and sit in the trucks that he loves.”


Maggie Hessel-Mial covers the environment and transportation and welcomes comments at [email protected]