By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff
A big thank you and a standing ovation greeted Plainfield’s long serving water superintendent this week, as the village recognized his upcoming retirement.
Mark Stofko, who served the village for 31 years, steps down this month.
On April 17, members of the village Board of Trustees took a few moments to celebrate Stofko’s accomplishments as a long-time resident and village employee.
While village officials were quick to point out Stofko’s accomplishments on the job, they also noted his dedication the Plainfield as a whole.
“Outside the workplace, Mark’s dedication to the community is impressive,” Mayor Mike Collins said. “He served for 25 years with the firefighters of the Plainfield volunteer fire department, and is a life member of that department. He has volunteered as a PEMA officer for over 15 years, dedicating thousands of hours to our community. He has supported the Relay for Life for 10 years, raising thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society. Mark’s dedication to Plainfield is beyond measure, and I would like to publicly thank Mark for 31 years of service and wish him well on his retirement from the village.”
Collins also noted that Stofko has seen the village through some significant changes. When Stofko first came to work for Plainfield, the population of the village was just 3,000, and the water system consisted of only two water towers, and two wells, and 20 miles of 80-year-old water main.
In his time with the village, the population has grown to 40,000, and the water department now maintains a total of 230 miles of water main and five towers.
“Just a few of Mark’s accomplishments in Plainfield include management, design, and construction of the village lake water pumping station, the installation of over 200 miles of new water main, the construction of three water towers, one ground storage tank,” Collins said. “The water system consistently achieves compliance with high EPA regulations. The water loss has been reduced to 2 percent, and if you read in the papers recently, some of our neighbors are just a tad higher than that.”
Collins also noted that Stofko has received a number of professional awards, including the 2008 American Public Works Association Project of the Year award for Plainfield lake water station, the 2012 Operator of the Year award, and the 2016 Samuel A, Greeley award, which recognizes dedicated and continued service to a local public agency.
Stofko made sure that his co-workers were also given credit.
“I just want to thank the village for giving me the opportunity to be able to serve our residents with high quality of service and the highest quality of water in the area,” Stofko said. “This is not all about me, this is a team effort. All the divisions, all the village board included, there’s no ‘I’ in team. So, I don’t want to take all the credit, because it belongs to everyone.”
For most village officials, Stofko’s retirement is certainly not goodbye.
“He’s going to be right here in the community and just as active as ever,” said Director of Public Works Allen Persons. “We’re going to see Mark, Mark is going to continue to live and just be involved in all these charitable things, and it really speaks to his character. I personally want to thank Mark for his dedication here in the community. We were truly blessed to have him here as the superintendent, and I will miss him in that role.”
Stofko’s last day is Friday, April 21.