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helped our customers understand we care about how they are impacted by the projects we undertake 
on their behalf and are grateful to know when to expect the road in front of their house will be dug up. 

Our roots and Midwestern value of neighbors helping neighbors have been an excellent foundation on 
which to build our communications and outreach platform to help more people in our community know 
about us, interact with us, and support what we do. As we are able to move our focus from sewer 
separations to other endeavors, this foundation will also support development of new business areas 
such as collection or fats, oils, and greases or off-spec foods for energy production; a public-private 
partnership with a greenhouse company to lease land for greenhouses, provide reclaimed water for 
irrigation, and heat to maintain wintertime production; and/or a business arrangement where we 
repurpose an old monofill to serve as wintertime biosolids storage for other jurisdictions. We are 
enjoying the present and the services we provide and look forward to the future to achieve our vision of 
being "a trusted and treasured community asset that enhances quality of life." 

  

ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE 

 

Proactive leadership that engages in both internal organizational and broader external 
community priorities  

 

Establishes a participatory, collaborative organization dedicated to continual learning, 
improvement, and innovation   

In 2015, we created the outline for our first staff-led strategic plan, which outlines the major initiatives 
we want to undertake. Senior management worked with the Board to develop the mission, vision, and 
guiding principles. All requests to the Board refer to the initiatives and/or guiding principles. 

The organization is attempting to implement several new projects/programs/offerings. Individual staff 
members bring the ideas to a group that then discusses whether we think it could be implemented. 
With the green light, the staff member develops it into something for final approval. 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY PARTNERING & ENGAGEMENT 

Community partnering is collaboration with local organizations and other stakeholders to enable the 
utility to meet its own Utility of the Future goals while also enhancing the overall environmental, 
economic, and social wellbeing of the community or communities it serves. Community engagement is 
the interaction with customers and other local stakeholders to provide ongoing opportunities for dialog 
along with communication and education related to utility operations and the value of water and utility 
services. Under Community Partnering & Engagement, the utility proactively engages with stakeholders 
and community decision makers to promote the utility as a valued, competent, and trustworthy 
community asset.  

 

Partnerships in place with one or more community organizations, with specific name given to 
partnership and objectives for the partnership established (e.g., a formalized partnership among 
community transportation, parks, and land use organizations for the incorporation of green 
infrastructure to reduce flooding and overflows)