Utility Contractor

NOV-DEC 2018

As the official magazine of NUCA, Utility Contractor presents the latest information affecting every aspect of the utility construction industry, including technological advancements, safety issues, legislative developments and instructional advice.

Issue link: http://digital.utilitycontractoronline.com/i/1054013

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Page 18 of 75

Utility Contractor 19 Founded in 1974, NUCA of South Florida covers a densely populated area of the state that includes Broward, Dade, Mar- tin, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. The chapter is approach- ing its 45th anniversary on a high note, boasting 90 members companies. The chapter has experienced a surge in member- ship over the past few years, buoyed by the strong economy. In addition to helping contractors help ensure the flow of clean water and protect the environment, NUCA of South Florida works to promote the utility construction industry at all levels of government. Chapter members routinely travel to the Washington Summit each year to share their interest with elected officials at the national level, while also communicating with politicians at the state level. In fact, the South Florida chapter was instrumental in help- ing to establish a one-call locating system that has expanded nationwide. "That has been a major benefit to all our members, and is now nationwide," said Fred Chesney of owner Cen- terline Utilities, a long-time member and current Contractor Director of NUCA of South Florida. "We lobbied state govern- ment to pass legislation to set up a one-stop shop for utility lo- cations because in those days a contractor had to contact each utility operating in that area separately – it was a nightmare. We wanted a way that was organized and with one point of contact. It took persistence – a matter of a few years – to get it passed, but we were able to get an improved and safer system for everyone." Through the state chapter, NUCA members are still work- ing to refine and improve the process in collaboration with Sunshine 811, the statewide 811 service provider. "We need to be involved with the process because every time of our op- erators puts a bucket in the ground, he is potentially at risk," said Clark Cryer of Johnson Davis, who serves as Treasurer of NUCA of South Florida. NUCA of South Florida hosts networking and fund- raising events throughout the year that are popular among members. The highlights of the year include the annual Clay Shoot (held in February), Fishing Tournament (June), Scholarship Golf Tournament (October) and Awards and Holiday Party (December). The sold-out Fishing Tournament drew a record turn- out of more than 500 people in 2018, attracting members and their families for a weekend in the Keys. "The event will mark its 40th anniversary next year, and it continues to grow," said NUCA of South Florida executive director Johnna Venuti-Piggee. The Golf Tournament has also been gaining momentum, drawing more than 50 teams and raising $20,000 in schol- arships for college students, high school seniors or voca- tional students. Scholarship amounts ranged from $2,000 to $6,000. NUCA of South Florida

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