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Public Works staff educate kids on behind-the-scenes efforts
Event part of National Public Works Week
Brandon Perez, left, a fourth-grade student at Chicopee Woods Elementary School, laughs as he ride in the bucket of a heavy equipment machine Thursday with Matt Sicby. The ride was part of the Public Works Week event at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center. - photo by PEGGY ATTAWAY

Hall County Public Works employees were recognized for a job well-done and taught a group of elementary school kids about what they do at a cookout in honor of National Public Works Week.

Fourth-graders from Chicopee Woods Elementary School took a field trip to the Chicopee Woods
Agricultural Center to talk to Public Works employees and see the many trucks and machines the department uses daily to keep the county running smoothly.

"A lot of us are kind of behind the scenes so we don’t get as much exposure as the other departments," engineer Blair Reynolds said.

Hall County Public Works Director Ken Rearden said the event is a way to not only educate residents about the Public Works Department but to have fun.

"Today is kind of the culmination of the week to honor our employees and to relax for a couple of hours," Rearden said. "We do a lot for the community every single day."

Public Works performs a variety of important functions, including road maintenance, engineering, waste management and construction.

"It’s just a great idea to bring the kids out to see the equipment. Who knows? One of them may end up working in public works," Rearden said.

By far, the most popular piece of equipment the students got to try was the bucket truck, which is used to hoist workers high into the air to fix traffic lights or cut limbs.

"I think it’s really cool learning all these new machines," student Cecilia Rios said. "All those machines help us make roads and stuff."

There are about 200 employees in the Public Works Department.

"It’s nice for the county to recognize employees for the work they do. It’s a great group," engineer Larry Poole said.