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SC/RC Forum provides solutions for small cities and rural communities

Emily Walters
Program Manager, National Rural Transit Assistance Program
APWA Washington Office

Do you live in a small or rural community? Do you want an outlet to discuss problems or best practices with other communities your size? Then APWA's Small Cities/Rural Communities Forum is the perfect venue!

Oscar Taylor, a public works employee in Annapolis, Md., helps local school children get an inside look into a street sweeper.

Background
In 1998, the APWA staff realized that small and rural communities are faced with the formidable task of maintaining and replacing an aging and often outdated public infrastructure. Many do so with less money hindered by more state and federal regulations. Additionally, new technologies widen the gap between expectations and local capabilities for these smaller populated areas.

That is when the Small Cities/Rural Communities (SCRC) Forum was created to facilitate training/education activities and dialogue that provides opportunities to share solutions to the public works challenges of small cities and rural communities. The effort was led by Andy Haney, the Director of Public Works for the City of Ottawa, Kans., and former APWA staff member Beth Dennison.

Goals of the Forum:

  • Represent, within APWA, the public works issues affecting small cities and rural communities

  • Promote the use of existing applicable training and education opportunities and facilitate innovative delivery of these opportunities to all public works employees

  • Provide a framework for small city and rural community public works agencies to access information to fill their training and education needs

Activities and Roles:

  • Advocate to ensure that regulations, programs and resources serve the needs of smaller cities and rural communities to improve transportation access, safety and mobility

  • Host a reception, funded in part by vendors, each year at the APWA Congress, so members can get acquainted and trade information

  • Sponsor roundtable discussions and a business meeting at Congress on topics of interest to our group

  • Sponsor educational sessions on topics of interest to small cities and rural communities at Congress each year

  • Notify members of Congress activities and sessions of interest

  • Use APWA's Rural infoNOW Community to network information among members

  • Conduct monthly conference calls to develop a work plan and search for different outlets to reach members

  • Serve as liaisons to APWA's Technical Committees to provide small jurisdiction input

The Small Cities/Rural Communities Forum is an excellent outlet to have your problems heard and find a solution. The conference calls are held the third Thursday of each month at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Anyone can be a part of the SC/RC Forum. As a general rule, "If you think you're rural...you are!"

How do you sign up and get involved? Let APWA know you are interested and would like to participate. There is no separate membership or fees for SC/RC events.

  • Become a part of this expanding network of public works leaders in small cities and rural communities

  • Help us identify your needs and future Forum issues and activities

  • Receive notification regarding Forum programs and events
Public Works in Park City, Utah, clearing a driveway after a large snow.

For more information call (202) 408-9542 or visit the SC/RC page on the APWA website at www.apwa.net/About/SIG/SCRC/. We are looking forward to your input and participation on June 21, 2007!