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THE KANSAS LIFELINE

July 2018

2003, he implemented the telemetry

system and just recently, was

responsible for upgrading that system.

In 2007 when the local telephone

company installed fiber optic cable, he

spent many hours keeping water

flowing to customers even though the

phone company plowed through many

waterlines. His commitment to

customers during that time was

apparent as he was taking

chemotherapy treatments and many

days should have been home resting

rather than working.

District board members have been

alerted by this manager that “business

as usual” is not sustainable into the

future due to high water loss. As a

result, this 45-year-old District that

serves nearly 500 users along more than

500 miles of pipeline, is seeking funds

for a project to deal with waterline

leaks. The original pipeline is solvent

weld PVC pipe. The project will also

provide maintenance and upgrades at

the standpipes and booster stations.

Ron is very knowledgeable about the

district and has a story about nearly

every customer and every water leak. In

his spare time, he enjoys gardening,

metal detecting and woodworking.

water users pay more for water resulted

in a major drop in water usage. In

addition, she worked with the Kansas

Water Office and farmers in the river

basin to reach an ultimate goal of

achieving more efficient management

of water resources for downstream

users, while helping the city meet

water demands during droughts.

Martha was one of five area

professionals to receive the Women of

Achievement Award from the Young

Women Legacy Fund. She says “I

never thought about being a pioneer for

women in the utilities engineering

field. I’m just passionate about my job

and doing it to the best of my ability.”

Richard Simon, 

City of Goodland

M

UNICIPAL

O

PERATOR

Richard Simon, Public Works

Superintendent at the city of Goodland,

was recognized as the Municipal

Operator of the Year.

Richard began with the city in 1989

as a laborer. The time spent as a laborer

allowed for valuable experience from

ground level. The result was his very

fast rise through the ranks as his

abilities and knowledge were

demonstrated time and time again. He

was promoted twice, first to the

position of Water Superintendent and

then to his current position of Public

Works Superintendent.

Richard oversees all water,

wastewater, street and parks operations

During his tenure and under his

leadership, the city constructed a new

water treatment plant, erected a new

elevated storage tank, and completed

water line projects. As is generally the

case in a smaller community, a person

in this position is often asked to handle

a little bit of everything in addition to

regular duties. There is no exception

here as Richard was instrumental in the

oversight of a historic brick street

project, a desperately needed waterline

replacement project, a storm sewer

project, and heavily involved in the

promotion of a $2.3 million General

Obligation Bond for an upcoming

street rehabilitation project.

City Manager Andrew Finzen

commented that regardless of the size

of project assigned, Richard always

makes it happen. He adds, “True to his

word, he has always come through. His

servant-like approach extends far

beyond the workplace as he is an active

member of the community who is

always present at service organization

meetings, charity events, and

community projects.”

Ron Nuss, Russell RWD No. 3

R

URAL

W

ATER

M

ANAGER

Ron Nuss, Manager of Russell RWD

3, was named “Rural Water Manager of

the Year” at the 2018 conference.

Ron has worked with the rural water

district for the past 17 years starting

out as the operator before moving into

the manager position. He was

instrumental in having the water

district mapping upgraded by GPS. In