City of Dubuque News Release
John Klostermann

Klostermann Named APWA Top Ten Public Works Leader of the Year

Mike Van Milligen
City Manager

May 8, 2019 -- For Immediate Release

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The American Public Works Association (APWA) has named City of Dubuque Public Works Director John Klostermann as one of the top ten public works leaders of 2019. 

According to the APWA, the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year program seeks to inspire excellence and dedication in public service by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials, from both the public and private sectors. The primary focus of the award is on career service to the public works profession rather than on any one single event or project.

“John is well-respected throughout our organization, our community, and our state for his knowledge and dedication,” said Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligen.  “He leads by example and his commitment to public service and our community is truly admirable. I’m so glad the APWA chose to acknowledge him with this national recognition.”  

Klostermann joined the City of Dubuque Public Works Department in 1975 and has since held a series of positions with progressively more responsibilities. He was appointed public works director in 2016. Over the course of his career, Klostermann has taken on statewide leadership roles in the field of public works.  He is a member of the American Public Works Association, the APWA Iowa Chapter, and the Water Environment Association.  He was a member of the APWA Iowa Chapter board from 1999-2004, serving as president in 2003, and was named the APWA Iowa Chapter’s Leader of the Year in 2004.  In October 2017, Klostermann was awarded the APWA Iowa Chapter’s Stan Ring Award, the highest award bestowed upon an Iowa chapter member. 

As public works director, Klostermann is responsible for the maintenance of Dubuque’s floodwall and levee system and for the operation of the pumping and gates that are an integral part of Dubuque’s flood protection system.  He is responsible for maintaining Dubuque’s streets, sanitary sewers, and storm sewer system.  He is also responsible for all the City residential refuse and recycling collection, fleet maintenance, and operation of the landfill.

Klostermann has been instrumental in the evolution and expansion of Dubuque’s public works department throughout his career. Some specific examples include his involvement with the creation of a paid public works apprenticeship program, the development of the City’s annual asphalt overlay program, initial purchases of compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicles, the construction of a salt storage facility, the construction of a new landfill cell, the maintenance of “green” alleys with permeable pavers, and the expansion of the City’s electronics recycling program. 

Past APWA President and 2017 Top Ten Winner Larry Stevens will present Klostermann with a plaque at 6 p.m. at the Monday, May 20, Dubuque City Council meeting in the Historic Federal Building at 350 W. Sixth St.  The presentation will coincide with National Public Works Week, May 19-25.

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The APWA serves professionals in all aspects of public works—a fact that sets it apart from other organizations and makes it an effective voice of public works throughout North America. With a membership over 29,000 strong, APWA includes not only personnel from local, county, state/province, and federal agencies, but also private sector personnel who supply products and services to those professionals.

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