Public Services reorganizes departments to save money

Under the auspices of Public Services Director Ken Unger, the Department has undergone many cost-saving measures in nearly two years. Implementing an online service request form and performing work using more in-house talent are just some examples of Unger’s implementation of more efficient and money-saving processes.

In a recent quest to pinch even more “pennies,” the Public Services Department has undergone additional reorganization, improving efficiency, saving costs, and allowing for more employee cross-training.

Unger explained that he always looks to become more efficient. In the past, there were small maintenance teams such as:

  • Sewer plant team
  • Lift station team
  • Grinder tank team
  • Water meter team

These smaller groups were not as efficient as they could be. Unger shared, “To improve that efficiency and address some other issues, we restructured, and we now have a Sewer System Team and a Water System Team. We still have a Line Maintenance Team that bridges the gap between them.” The Water System Team comprises the Water Plant operations, water meters, and individuals supporting any needed water plant equipment maintenance.”

“Because of this restructuring, we eliminated a leadership position, saving us quite a bit of money and improving the quality of life of some others,” explained Unger.

“It was the same on the sewer side. We consolidated under one sewer system supervisor,” said the Public Services Director.

“This change has improved the teams and allows better support of different business demands as work ebbs and flows in the departments. I think the Public Services Organization, as a whole, is happier due to this realignment,” explained Unger.

Repair and maintain equipment instead of buying new

Unger has the philosophy of maintaining and repairing equipment instead of replacing it with brand-new items. This did not always happen in the past.

POA is one entity

Unger said that the different POA departments did not work together as a team in the past, and he has been working to overcome this.

There were too many silos going on. Things across the organization were not being accomplished because they did not work together. As a community, we are one entity. I don’t want silos. I want to know the golf course superintendent by first name, and if one of them has a problem, rather than them spending a ton of money, Public Services wants to help. This is a barrier that has been intentionally broken down over the past two years.

Ken Unger, HSVPOA Public Services Director

A recent example of departments working together is when the Golf Department assisted Public Services with digging trenches on the Magellan Golf Course for the GG force main project. Their smaller equipment is more suitable for this, resulting in less green destruction. Public Service equipment is heavier, and green recovery would have taken longer. “This is the kind of joint operation where using the proper equipment for the project saves us all time and money.”

For a more attractive Magellan Golf Course entrance, Public Services replaced 4 x 4 posts with boulders.

Under Director Terry Wiley’s leadership, the Parks and Recreation Department is helping the golf department rebuild a bridge.

“It’s a group effort,” enthused Unger.

HSVPOA Public Services implements more cost-saving measures Ken Unger
HSVPOA Public Services Director discusses cost-saving measures.

By Cheryl Dowden


Ken Unger
Director Public Services
Hot Springs Village

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