Meet the Wa­ter Util­i­ties Depart­ment staff

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - FRONT PAGE - AN­NETTE BEARD abeard@nwadg.com

The Pea Ridge Wa­ter/Waste­water Depart­ment op­er­ated the city’s wa­ter and sewer depart­ment. The of­fice man­ager has been em­ployed by the city for 21 years. There are two new em­ploy­ees. Of the 12 em­ploy­ees, three have been em­ployed for 12 years, two for 11, one for nine years, and the rest for less than five years.

As for why they like work­ing for the city, all said they liked their co-work­ers and the hours.

Kim Thorn­hill, of­fice man­ager, has been em­ployed with the city since 1997.

“I have amaz­ing co-work­ers and a few of the cus­tomers I have had are now very dear friends,” Thorn­hill.

She said one of the most mem­o­rable events was “the day we all stood still in hor­ror — Tues­day, Sept. 11, 2001.”

She and her hus­band Paul have two grown chil­dren, Josh and Christy.

She is a mem­ber of First Bap­tist Church, Garfield. Angie Jen­nings, book­keeper,

has been em­ployed by the city since 2007.

What she likes best about work­ing for the city is hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to meet the peo­ple in our com­mu­nity and get­ting to

know them.

The most mem­o­rable events work­ing for the city are see­ing the com­pas­sion of the peo­ple in the town — see­ing peo­ple do­nate to the food drive, peo­ple com­ing

in to pay wa­ter bills for cus­tomers in need, peo­ple do­nat­ing to dis­as­ter re­lief events. “When some­one has a need, peo­ple in this town come to­gether and give.”

She and her hus­band Travis have two daugh­ters, Zoe and Chloe.

She en­joys do it your­self projects, spend­ing time out­doors hik­ing, ca­noe­ing and bik­ing. She is a mem­ber of Boundless Grace Bap­tist Church and AWANA clubs.

Amanda House, wa­ter clerk, has been em­ployed with the city since 2006.

She said she loves see­ing and talk­ing to the peo­ple of the town every month.

The most mem­o­rable event she has ex­pe­ri­enced was mov­ing the wa­ter of­fice to the cur­rent lo­ca­tion on North Davis Street.

She and her hus­band, Scott, have two chil­dren, Sa­man­tha and Sta­cie, and two grand­chil­dren, Marideth and Benji.

She en­joys camp­ing and spend­ing time with her fam­ily.

Ken Hayes, util­ity man­ager, has been with the city since 2005.

What he likes most about work­ing for the city is “al­ways be­ing very busy.”

One of his most mem­o­rable events work­ing for the city was the mas­sive wa­ter leak on Plen­ty­wood and Arkansas High­way 72.

A wid­ower, he has a daugh­ter, Da­nee; two sons, Shawn and Kevin; and six grand­chil­dren.

His hob­bies in­clude cat­tle and col­lect­ing Amer­i­can na­tive ar­ti­facts.

Michael Nida,

util­ity and plumb­ing in­spec­tor, has been with the city since 2005.

He said the peo­ple he works with are what he likes most about work­ing with the city. “Every day is a new day with new chal­lenges!”

His most mem­o­rable events in­clude por­tray­ing Santa Claus and late night wa­ter line breaks.

He and his wife, Shauna, have four chil­dren, Star, Todd, Sarah and Lexi; and seven grand­chil­dren.

He likes to col­lect any­thing Bat­man.

Kur­tis Wilt­gen,

field su­per­vi­sor, has been with the city since 2009.

He said he likes work­ing 40 hours a week hav­ing va­ca­tion and hol­i­day pay and hav­ing great peo­ple to work with.

His most mem­o­rable event is Mike Nida be­ing Santa Claus for the Christ­mas pa­rade.

He and Amy have a son, Kar­son.

His hob­bies in­clude sports and coach­ing.

Ja­cob Wag­ner,

wa­ter/ sewer op­er­a­tor and in­spec­tor, has been with the city since 2007.

What he likes most about the city is the hours he works and hav­ing hol­i­days off.

The most mem­o­rable event he has was when a dumptruck crashed into the shop door.

He and his wife have two sons and a baby on the way.

His hobby is mu­sic.

Alex Oaks,

wa­ter op­er­a­tor, was hired by the city in 2015.

He likes work­ing out­doors and hav­ing hol­i­days off.

He said he has a wife and lots of kids and his hobby is hang­ing with his kids.

Roy Wade,

op­er­a­tor in train­ing, was hired by the city in 2014.

What he likes most about work­ing for the city is the hours.

He has a wife and a son. He likes hunt­ing and fish­ing.

Aaron David,

wa­ter/ sewer op­er­a­tor, was hired in 2016. He likes work­ing close to home and says “the guys are a riot to work with.”

The most mem­o­rable event was “boat­ing on lake lota­hockey (aka sewer pond).”

He has a son, Pay­ton David.

He en­joys hunt­ing and fish­ing.

He is a mem­ber of Mt. Ver­non Pres­by­te­rian Church.

Dy­lan Ce­cil,

op­er­a­tor in train­ing/note­book holder, was hired in March 2018.

He likes hav­ing steady hours and an out­door at­mos­phere.

One of the most mem­o­rable events was breaking the win­dow to the of­fice at the plant and when Kurt be­stowed the note­book on him.

He said his fam­ily in­cludes a fa­ther, mother and a sis­ter who lives in Dal­las.

His hob­bies in­clude “Shred­ding the Kit, Lay­ing down phat beats (he is a drum­mer).”

Christo­pher Sch­midt,

op­er­a­tor in train­ing, was hired in June 2018.

He liked the hours and the sched­ule and hav­ing hol­i­days off.

He said since he is new, there aren’t a lot of mem­o­rable events from which to chose but said see­ing the plant for the first time was mem­o­rable.

He and his wife, Jen­nifer, have a daugh­ter Hailee.

His hob­bies are cy­cling and fish­ing.

TIMES pho­to­graph by An­nette Beard

City em­ploy­ees with the Pea Ridge Wa­ter Util­i­ties Depart­ment in­clude su­per­in­ten­dent Ken Hayes, util­ity and plumb­ing in­spec­tor Michael Nida, of­fi­cer man­ager Kim Thorn­hill, book­keeper Angie Jen­nings and wa­ter clerk Amanda House and field su­per­vi­sor Kur­tis Wilt­gen and crew Ja­cob Wag­ner, Alex Oaks, Roy Wade, Aaron David, Dy­lan Ce­cil and Christo­pher Sch­midt.

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