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Hard-working Public Service Crew Keeps Downtown Looking its Best 


Every morning, Mark Karnes checks the chlorine levels in the play fountains on Market Square.

Downtown regulars and out-of-town visitors alike know Mark Karnes - or they at least know of him. If they haven't spotted him or his crew, early in the morning or late at night, their handiwork is apparent everywhere.

Karnes, the City's Public Service Maintenance Coordinator, is the guy responsible for keeping downtown clean and looking sharp. You might see him first thing in the morning, keeping tabs on Market Square and checking the chlorine levels in the play fountains. Or you might see him and his team late at night, tidying up after a movie or concert on the Square.

But Karnes isn't just an earnest and conscientious City employee. He's also an ambassador!

Last Friday, the crew - Karnes, Nick Andreasen and Thomas Fisher - were working until 11 p.m., tidying up Market Square after the showing of family favorite movie "Wall-E." After all, the Market Square Farmers' Market was unfolding the next morning, and the Square had to look its best.

The Public Service Department team takes pride in showcasing downtown. It's their territory - their baby. Unswept leaves or a few pieces of litter blowing around - well, that just won't do.

Karnes’ team sweeps and removes debris from the Old City to Gay Street to Market Square, and they maintain two play fountains and the Krutch Park stream. They support festivals, concerts, Shakespeare in the Square and the more than 300 events each year on Market Square.

Consider the team's insistence on pristine property management. The three men take note of every piece of litter and every leaf needing to be blown. The task gets done. No detail is overlooked.

Sounds exhausting, right?

To say they're hard workers is an understatement. Regardless of the event, Karnes, Andreasen and Fisher go above and beyond to make sure downtown is always looking its best.

“We do more than maintenance," Karnes says. "We are ambassadors. Travelers will always ask me for recommendations or directions to the best restaurants and places to go. We are their first impression of the city.”

-Communications Department intern Celeste Lord


From left: Mark Karnes, Thomas Fisher and Nick Andreasen

Posted by evreeland On 09 October, 2017 at 12:37 PM