Michael Tibbetts of York Sewer District has been selected for the 2013 Founders Award which was presented to him at the Maine Wastewater Control Association’s annual convention at Sugarloaf on September 20, 2013. In the words of his Superintendent, Tim Haskell, “Michael epitomizes the intent of the award to honor a person who has dedicated themselves to the industry and the community.”
Mike began his career working summers during high school alongside his father at the Berwick Wastewater Treatment Facility. After high school, Mike attended the Wastewater Training Program at Southern Maine Technical College. After his course work, Mike returned to Berwick and became experienced handling and treating tannery waste. Due to an economic downturn and the anticipated closing of Prime Tanning in 2001, Mike was hired as Assistant Operator at York Sewer District and almost immediately functioned at a level well beyond his title. On numerous occasions, Mike stepped up and took on responsibilities beyond those in his job description and made operational changes for the betterment of the plant.
Mike has lead by example during several disaster events including an ice storm that crippled the area. Mike put in countless hours trying to keep everything running while power was out for days. During the Mother’s Day Flood of 2006, Mike was the “on call” person responding to every emergency possible. He dedicated himself to the emergency for four days and at the outset he had to make crucial decisions and take on enormous responsibility. For example, Mike, along with two other staff members, was able to get through flood waters, build a dam around York’s largest pump station, and pump out the station only moments before flood waters were about to short out the pump motors.
Mike participated in the first Management Candidate School offered by JETCC. Immediately following the course, he took on additional responsibility including assisting in the preparation of the District’s budget and capital improvement plan. Mike has recently been promoted to Director of Operations overseeing the entire collection system, pump stations, plant operations and is currently working on the development of an asset management system.
Under Mike’s leadership, York Sewer District was a contender for the Goodenow Award, something that was accomplished through sheer hard work and no large financial investment. Mike’s devotion to the industry and helping others around him is unquestioned. He takes a sincere and genuine interest in educating himself and those around him in all aspects of the wastewater industry.
The Founders Award is awarded annually to a wastewater professional who works tirelessly to share their expertise to promote our profession, to educate the general public, to cultivate new wastewater operators and to advance the education and training opportunities to water pollution control professionals in the State of Maine.