Illinois public works director recognized for stormwater efforts

Illinois public works director recognized for stormwater efforts
Wes Welsh, left, Lindenhurst Mayor Susan Lahr, and Stormwater Management Commission Executive Director Mike Warner. (Photo courtesy of Lake County Stormwater Management Commission)

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The Lake County (Ill.) Stormwater Management Commission has named Lindenhurst Public Works Director Wes Welsh the 2012 Stormwater Manager of the Year. 

“The award was unexpected and I am humbled to know that the stormwater management efforts made by the village have been recognized,” say Welsh. 

He ensures that stormwater efforts are appropriately focused and continuous. “The credit for actually getting the work done must be shared with our elected officials, administrative support staff, public works operations staff and various consultants,” says Welsh.

Lake County’s annual stormwater awards began six years ago, and recognize individuals, communities and groups whose efforts include flood damage reduction, water quality and natural resource protection and enhancement. 

“The awards program has been an excellent public education and outreach tool – more than we expected,” says Michael Warner, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission executive director. “Each year a new round of award winners appears to be unmatchable until we delve into the local efforts going on in Lake County and get surprised again.” 

Coming up on his 23rd year at Lindenhurst, Welsh says it’s satisfying to know the efforts of everyone involved with the stormwater program are recognized through the award. “It’s humbling to know that you come to work, do your job every day and while not everything gets done perfectly, there’s a group of people out there that sees what you’re doing and believe that you’re deserving of that honor,” he says. 

As part of Lake County, Lindenhurst is one of 52 communities that enjoys the year-round beauty and resources of several lakes. “Lake County is really a unique place with over 160 lakes lived on by residents,” says Warner. “It is one of two counties in Illinois on the Lake Michigan shoreline, and approximately 25 percent of the land area consists of water or wetlands. There is an abundance of water resources, water-based recreation and a high-quality outdoor lifestyle with many residents, like Wes, who work hard to keep it that way.  

“Wes is a top-notch individual, providing public service for the residents of Lindenhurst, with its many lakes, streams and forest preserves,” says Warner. “He deserves the honor and we hope through this effort, the residents, village board and the greater community are made more aware of the outstanding job he really does.”



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