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Algonquin utilities employees honored

ALGONQUIN – Village Board members on Tuesday honored two utilities employees who won a recent contest of assembling a fire hydrant the quickest.

Utilities Supervisor Gary Hallaert and Water Operator Jason Meyer won the inaugural Hydrant Hysteria contest at the 2014 WaterCon Conference and Exposition in Springfield. The conference was in March and hosted by American Water Works Association and the Illinois Water Environment Association.

The conference also has competitions for best tasting water and water main tapping among others, the village said in a news release.

In the hydrant contest, teams of two people had to assemble a fire hydrant as quickly as possible.

Hallaert and Meyer won the contest with a time of 2 minutes and 2 seconds.

"To see these guys go through and assemble a hydrant is phenomenal; they do it so quickly," said Utilities Superintendent Andy Warmus. "It's almost as if they could read each others minds. It's choreographed very well."

Warmus added the team now has bragging rights for the next year.

A team from the Village of Westmont finished in second place with a time of 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

At Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting, Hallaert and Meyer demonstrated the hydrant assembly.

“The accomplishments of Gary and Jason pay tribute to their dedication to this industry and add to the contributions they’ve made throughout their career with the village,” Village President John Schmitt said in a news release. “Through hard work and a commitment to professional development, we’re able to continuously improve our operations.”

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