Municipal Forums Provide Vital Info, Communication Role For Cities

September 2010 Vol. 65 No. 9

“The forums,” he explained, “have allowed municipalities to economically and objectively educate their engineering and operations staff about trenchless technology. Great care is taken by the TTC to ensure the presentations are technically sound, relevant to each forum audience and without a strong ‘sales’ slant. When municipalities accurately understand the capabilities of trenchless technologies, they will realize it reduces the costs and negative impacts of rehabilitating and maintaining underground piping systems. This in turn reduces taxes, improves the quality of life, and strengthens the financial stability of municipalities.”

McKim added that the forums would not be possible without the terrific work of Simicevic.

“It takes the combined effort of a number of great people to maintain this series of events and Jadranka (Simicevic) is the driving force that pulls it all together,” he said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
TTC Municipal Forums, (218) 257-2744, (www.ttc.latech.edu)

How Forums Evolved
The development of the TTC Municipal Forums in many ways parallels the history of the trenchless industry in North America, believes TTC administrative Director Dr. Robert McKim.

“The idea for the forums came from the TTC Industry Advisory Board (IAB) not long after Dr. Ray Sterling came to the center as director in 1995,” said McKim. “At that time there were few established avenues beyond national level conferences for information about trenchless technology to reach the municipalities that owned the projects that could benefit from trenchless construction. Often these end users had to depend on sales information for news of available technological developments and how and where to use them.”

The end result, McKim continued, was that municipal engineers were making major decisions concerning the repair and maintenance of their piping systems based on sometimes biased information of companies trying to sell their technologies.

“The situation was further impacted by the fact that the industry itself was still learning which technologies were appropriate for specific situations,” said McKim.

At the urging of the TTC Industrial Advisory Board, composed of public works, industry and consultant representatives and with the assistance the Gulf Coast Trenchless Association (GCTA) and others in the industry, the TTC worked to find the best format to provide a suitable format for unbiased education presentations about trenchless technology so that municipalities could make informed decisions.