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The Holland Board of Public Works 2016 Annual Report


Letter From Dave Koster


With all the work we’ve had going on the past few years, it’s easy to get caught up in the stories about the new machines and equipment going in, the construction needed to do the job and the output measurements of what it all will mean.

Those are interesting stories; they provide an inside look into the infrastructure that keeps our community running.

But there’s another part of the story too — the story about the people who produce our services and the customers who use them to accomplish big things.

So in our 2016 Annual Report we’re exploring the theme of synchronicity, of all the moving parts and actions that have to function in just the right way. Ultimately, those stories are about people, and this year we wanted to give real people the chance to tell them.

In the following pages you’ll read about Jim Van De Wege, a third-generation HBPW employee who plays an important part in keeping fresh, clean water flowing to our homes and businesses. And there’s Allison Land at Gazelle Sports, who depends heavily on our snowmelt system to lead the hard core runners in the Holland Gazelle Running Group on their runs through our clear, dry sidewalks in winter.

You’ll meet Freda Velzen, who for 24 years has worked as finance director and helped keep HBPW solidly on track financially, even as we’ve invested and grown. Freda is retiring this year for a quiet life in Northern Michigan, and we’re going to miss her a great deal.

You’ll read those stories and many more about how so many people make up the synchronous line that makes Holland such a great place to live. It’s a good reminder that nothing happens automatically — there’s a long line of people doing just the right thing at just the right time to make the water flow or the light come on. I hope you enjoy reading about them.


David Koster, HBPW General Manager