In Norridge, public works open house helps residents meet 'people behind all those jobs'

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More than 300 people attended the second annual Norridge Public Works open house on Saturday.

More than 300 people attended the second Norridge Public Works open house on Saturday.

Village Administrator Joanna Skupien said in an email that the event provides an opportunity for residents to meet those in the department and learn about what they do.

"Most of us don't know how a hydrant is replaced or how a water break is fixed," he said. "All we know is that we have clean, running water whenever we turn our faucets on. But there is a reason for that, and there are people behind all those jobs."

Skupien said the open house is combined with a touch-a-truck event, in which children are invited to climb and explore the public works department vehicles. She said a few years after the creation of the touch-a-truck, it became part of the open house last year. She said the open house is intended to become an annual event.

She said this year, the event included mascot PW Paws, as well as complimentary hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, freeze pops. She said there was a simulated water break fix, a rain barrel in action display, a water hydrant cut in half and a face painter. There also were tours of a pump house.

"My favorite this year was the rain barrel set up," she said. "Public works connected a rain barrel to one of their gutters and actually showed how it works. Every few minutes, the gutter filled with water and emptied into the barrel. The kids were perplexed as to where the water was coming from because it was not raining, yet water was coming from the gutter! It was a neat opportunity to explain how the rain barrel system works and what it is meant to do."

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