During summer 2016, Gemma Puddy and her husband Mark visited, Mark’s hometown of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. After spending week riding bikes around downtown Coeur d’Alene, swimming in the beautiful lake and hiking the many local trails, they started the 10-hour road trip back to Salt Lake City. The conversation for the entire duration was – “How can we make our lives work in north Idaho?”
At the time, Gemma wasn’t working for The Langdon Group (TLG), but through friendships with some Salt Lake City TLG employees, she knew that there was interest in placing a TLG employee in J-U-B Engineer’s (TLG’s parent company) Coeur d’Alene office. By October 2016, Gemma had started working for TLG in Salt Lake City, and after the 2016 Christmas holiday, she started work in Coeur d’Alene to support the seven J-U-B Engineers offices in the inland northwest-Coeur d’Alene, Moscow, and Sandpoint, Idaho, and Kennewick, Lewiston, and Spokane, Washington.
Since then, Gemma has integrated into the engineering world to provide a variety of communication needs on wastewater, transportation and airport projects from planning and design through construction. These efforts included, graphic design and infographics, community facilitation, boots-on-the-ground outreach, stakeholder interviews, open houses, messaging, and branding. Her projects span the inland northwest:
- U.S. 95 and ID-53 Interchange, Garwood Road, UPRR Bridges and Frontage Roads, Rathdrum, ID: The Idaho Transportation Department will construct a new interchange at U.S. 95 and ID-53; realign and widen ID- 53 from Ramsey to U.S. 95; replace the existing deficient ID-53 bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR); provide a grade separation at Garwood Road over U.S. 95 (eliminate direct access from U.S. 95 to Garwood Road) and the UPRR, include a new east-side frontage road from ID-53 to Garwood Road, and construct an assortment of connector roadways. TLG is managing PI efforts during the design phase of the project, which include key stakeholder and property owner interviews, online, print and grassroots outreach development, and a public open house to identify and address stakeholder concerns in the design process.
- City of Chelan Airport Master Plan, City of Chelan, WA: Gemma is leading public outreach efforts as the City updates its airport master plan and facility layout. Activities include stakeholder interviews, facilitation of the Technical Advisory Committee, and coordination of multiple open houses.
- Payette Lakes Recreational Water and Sewer District (PLRWSD) and the City of McCall Sewer Annexation and Bond Election Public Outreach and Education, McCall, ID: PLRWSD and the City were working towards a joint solution to implement the new Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Reuse Permit. TLG was hired by PLRWSD to assist them with City coordination, strategic direction, and public education and outreach for a special election about a two-part proposal to annex the City sewer customers into PLRWSD and to secure a three-part bond. Gemma worked with the project team to develop messaging and outreach materials, including boards, newspaper ads, and mailers, to manage a public hotline, and to support a series of open houses. She continues to work with them now that the bond has passed to create a website and outreach materials as PLRWSD takes over the City’s sewer system.
With TLG being well embraced in north Idaho, the logical next step for expansion happened back in the Bee Hive State….