Lincoln Water System Takes Home the Gold

At the 11th Annual Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit, known as Common Ground Nebraska (CGN), Lincoln Transportation and Utilities (LTU) Water Utility Equipment Operator Hugo Perez, received the Excavator of the Year Award. Hugo is a very deserving professional who received the Golden Shovel Plaque, an embroidered jacket and $150 gift card, which was presented at the summit held at the Lancaster County Event Center on February 23.

Hugo Perez accepts the Excavator of the Year Award at the 11th Annual Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit

“This award means a lot to me,” said Perez. “It means that my department is doing things correctly and safely. This award is representative of not just me because it takes a team to get the job done.” Hugo’s advice to others in this field is they should always be willing to learn something new. He stresses the importance of being safe in whatever you are doing, so at the end of the day, everyone returns home to their families safe and sound.

Protect those above by knowing what’s below, 811, call before you dig. Nebraska 811 - Know what's below. 811 before you dig.

Perez has worked in the excavation field for approximately 20 years and with LTU for five years. LTU teammates said the department is very fortunate to have Perez on the team and are very proud that he was nominated, and received, this prestigious award. Eight people from various companies all over Nebraska were nominated for Excavator of the Year. These stakeholders are excavators, locators, road builders, electric, telecommunications, oil, gas, railroad, water, one call, public works, equipment manufacturing, state regulators, insurance, pipeline operators, emergency services, and engineering design. As you can see, safety is a priority for all, and for one of LTU’s team members to receive this award is a great honor.

Congratulations, Hugo, and keep up the great work!

Photo of Hugo Perez, Lincoln Water System Utility Equipment Operator

The goal of these 1,200-plus stakeholders who attend this yearly event is damage prevention and safe digging. They experience and participate in a variety of excavation safety and equipment skills demonstrations at this annual summit.

Attendees of the 11th Annual Nebraska Excavation Safety Summit, known as Common Ground Nebraska (CGN)

The purpose of the Common Ground of Nebraska is to prevent damage to underground infrastructure by:

  • Developing and conducting public awareness and education programs
  • Fostering a sense of shared responsibility for the protections of underground facilities
  • Promote Common Ground Alliance (CGA) Best Practices
  • Serving as a clearinghouse for damage data collection, analysis, and dissemination
  • Supporting research

Perez’s supervisors and teammates have nothing but respect and praise for him.

“Hugo was nominated anonymously, but I think I speak for everyone at LTU’s Water Division that there is no one more deserving of this award. He does an excellent job following industry standards for providing safe excavations to complete maintenance and repairs. Congratulations Hugo, well deserved!” said Dave Beyersdorf, Superintendent of Water Distribution.

“Hugo takes the extra steps to safely dig around all utilities and has a focused mindset to ensure all his team members make it home safely at the end of their shift. Keep up the great work and congratulations on receiving the 2021 Golden Shovel Award,” and Andy Walker, Assistant Superintendent of Water Construction.

Hugo, you are a great example for others to follow.

Think Safety First

LTU is also very proud of several additional Lincoln Water System teammates, who received Locator of the Year nominations at the event. Congratulations go to Jimmy Chapman and Taylor Nissen, Utility Locators, and Paul Donahue, Utility Plant Mechanic. LTU appreciates the measures you all take to ensure that not only you remain safe on the job, but also your teammates.

Congratulations and thank you for all you do for LTU and the City of Lincoln!