As many of our clients know, Moore Engineering gifts a turkey to its clients this time of year. I’m happy to have the privilege of running out and delivering the birds to the clients I work with, mainly because it’s a nice reason to stop and visit with clients in cities I don’t normally see unless a project is in the works.
The City of Clifford was one of my stops this week. This city of just 44 people northwest of Fargo is just one example of a strong community Moore Engineering is thrilled to support in any way possible. Not unlike most Red River Valley cities, Clifford is an agricultural city with its elevator being the largest employer.
We helped the city through a wastewater stabilization pond improvement project in 2012. Each year since then, I’ve done the traditional stop with two purposes: deliver a turkey and visit with Mayor Shelia Anderson.
But this year was a little different.
When I sat down to visit with Mayor Anderson, also a retired postmaster, she shared details about the city’s infrastructure; namely, streets in need of new gravel (as most gravel roads require yearly maintenance), and improvements made to the community’s signage, as well as the aging, fading signage throughout town due for an update.
She spoke about how the city worked to secure a grant and was able to pay for a majority of the costs through a grant. The city received a $1,000 grant that paid for a majority of the signs. Turns out, she and a couple of the city’s residents did all the work to secure grant funding. To top it off, she informed me that citizens also put together and installed the signs and completed the other work themselves, too.
I left knowing the elected officials in smaller communities like Clifford wear a lot of hats, because the community requires it. Most of the cities we work in have people that do these tasks on top of their regular jobs. They install gravel on the streets, remove snow after storms, exercise gate valves in their water system, or drain the wastewater ponds every six months. The dedication, willingness and knowledge to do this is truly remarkable.
Although I work with members of small communities on a daily basis, it’s not every day I get to sit down outside of a council meeting and visit about the aches, pains and joys of their days. Today I’m thankful for the opportunity to get some insight into how this small community functions. That way, we know where we can improve. We see how we affect lives. We know our mission is carried out every day.