American Public Works Association (APWA)

The Cameron Creek Colony Emergency Water Supply Project in Farmersville, CA has been named a 2016 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project is being honored with APWA’s Project of the Year award in the Small Cities/Rural Communities – Disasters/Emergency category. This award honors public agencies representing cities and communities with a population of 75,000 or less that have included techniques and timing for safety, community relations, environmental protection, adverse conditions and additional considerations.

The Small Cities/Rural Cities Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in demonstrating creativity, ingenuity and efficiency in the delivery of public works projects that have a profound impact on the community. For 2016, the team of winners includes City of Farmersville, CA as the managing agency; West Valley Construction, as the primary contractor; and Quad Knopf, Inc., as the primary consultant, who, along with the Mayor of Farmersville, Gregorio Gomez, will be presented with the award during APWA’s 2016 PWX (Public Works Expo) Awards Ceremony in Minneapolis, MN during August 27-31 2016.

The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, contractor, consultant and their cooperative achievements. This year, APWA selected projects in five categories in the Small Cities/Rural Communities area: Disaster/Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration/Preservation, Structures, and Transportation.

Cameron Creek Colony is an unincorporated community that is adjacent to Farmersville in Tulare County. The community currently has 105 mixed use units comprised of single- and multi‐family homes, a commercial establishment and a church. In 2013, largely due to the drought that has plagued California since 2010, Cameron Creek Colony residents noticed that the existing shallow groundwater wells were failing. In some cases, neighbors helped neighbors by providing water from their wells that hadn’t yet failed. While this community comradery positively helped one another with the immediate aid, this increased the rate of well failures as more demand was put on the available groundwater supply, resulting in a dire situation.

The City of Farmersville had been concerned about the adjacent community for some time. The city’s Housing Element update (2009‐2014) called for Farmersville to begin addressing the numerous problems in Cameron Creek Colony. The project involved obtaining emergency funding necessary to provide for the engineering design, construction of the essential infrastructure including connection fees, construction management and completion of all facilities to provide domestic water service to Cameron Creek Colony without an impact to Farmersville’s budget.

The city worked with Self Help Enterprises and California State University Fresno student interns to conduct door-to-door surveys of the community to assess their willingness to receive city services. As part of the survey, an income analysis was prepared that indicated that the community qualified as a Severely Disadvantaged Community (SDAC).

The $1 million project involved the design and construction of 7,262 lineal feet of eight-inch water main, installation of six fire hydrants, 10 control valves and 106 new water services to serve the community. Emergency funding was applied for and obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the State of California Department of Public Health (CDPH), later to become the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). Each funding agency had just acquired emergency funds for such projects, but was limited to a maximum available amount of only $500,000 for each project. As such, both funding sources were required to support the project with the maximum allotment in order to complete the project.

For more information about the APWA 2016 Public Works Projects of the Year, contact APWA Media Relations and Communications Manager, Laura Bynum, [email protected], or call 202.218.6736. For more information about the City of Farmersville, CA, contact John Jansons, City Manager, at 559-747-0458 or [email protected] or visit

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