WARREN COUNTY, NJ – Warren County Supervisor of Roads John P. Tate, Sr. has been honored by his peers with the prestigious “Richard Rohrbach Public Works Leader of the Year” award from the New Jersey Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
This award is given to a public works official who is dedicated to public service, inspires excellence and displays outstanding achievements. Tate was honored for his leadership, particularly during and after the July storm event that devastated roads and bridges in Warren County.
A Warren County employee since June 2005 when he joined the county Engineer’s Office, Tate became County Superior of Roads in November 2013.
Warren County Commissioner Jason J. Sarnoski, liaison for Public Works, attended the awards presentation along with county Administrator Alex Lazorisak and Public Works Director Emily Hammer.
“Mr. Tate has had an exemplary record of excellence in his leadership of the Warren County Department of Public Works’ Road Division for over ten years. During his tenure, he has organized the infrastructure maintenance responsibilities of 560 lane miles of roads, by over 60 team members, across five County garage sites to an unprecedented level of efficiency and inter-location coordination,” Hammer wrote when nominating Tate for the honor.
Those years of effort were put to the test during the weekend of July 14-16 when Warren County received approximately 12 inches of rain, leading to significant damage and destruction to multiple roadways and damage or failure to 33 of its bridge structures.
The infrastructure devastation was sudden, profound and put the safety of tens of thousands of County residents in jeopardy as a network of once-quiet streams and creeks became raging rivers tumbling debris downstream.
Starting the first night of the storm, Tate led an effort to quickly shut down sections of destroyed roadway, then began an “all hands on deck” recovery and restoration effort as more storms hit and damaged additional locations.
The commitment to his staff, and his commitment to the good of the County and the safety of traveling public would not end there. In the following days, Tate began to work across additional County Departments, including Administration and Planning to document and organize damages in preparation for interface with FEMA’s disaster recovery teams.
ate continues to oversee the work of his crews continuing both temporary and permanent repairs to roads and bridges.