Roaring River crew receives Masterpiece Award for the second time in four years
By Lisa Schlichtman
A group of employees at Roaring River State Park were honored with the Masterpiece Award from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Division of State Parks.
Leon Mahurin, Dennis Melancon, Jonathan Elkins, Diana Conner, Mary Melancon, Gary Swearingen, Sharon Hopkins and Teddy Poe all received special pins and certificates for their achievement. An engraved plaque listing their names will also be placed at the park to permanently recognize their honor.
The eight employees were selected by their colleagues as the state's outstanding planning, development and construction employees for the first half of 2007. This is the second time that these employees have received the Master-piece Award in four years.
"It's a real pleasure to work with them," said Kevin Bolling, Roaring River State Park superintendent. "They've really come together over the years and are a good group of folks to be with."
Bolling said the most recent Masterpiece Award was based on completion of an extensive sewer system project for the park.
The final phase of the four-year project was completed last winter. Park crews laid new sewer lines and installed new sewer hook-ups and also replaced an existing gravity flow system with a forced pump system. A total of eight new lift stations were constructed, and the park's spray field where treated effluent is land applied was increased from five acres to 26 acres.
With the new sewer system in place, the amount of treated effluent has greatly decreased. Before the new system was operational, 65,000 gallons of effluent had to be pumped onto the spray field each day. Now, only 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of treated effluent is sprayed on the fields.
The sewer improvement project was done in-house by park employees, which Bolling estimates saved the state about $3 million. The new system was built to serve park growth for the next 50 to 75 years.
As Masterpiece Award winners, each of the eight Roaring River State Park employees received a letter of congratulations from Douglas Eiken, director of the state parks system.
"This is quite an honor," wrote Eiken. "You are being recognized for your outstanding work as you completed a much needed renovation of the sewer system at Roaring River State Park.
"We are proud to have you work for us and to be so highly valued by your peers," added Eiken.