One of the most important functions of any successful town or city is having clean and available water supplies. For the last 43 years, St. James has had someone who was dedicated to making that a reality for everyone in the community.

On Dec.29, 2016 St. James thanked long-time Water Superintendent Mark Sturm by having a retirement party in the Community Room.

Sturm a native of St. James, first joined the Water Department in 1974 and held a variety of different roles including Superintendent for the last fourteen years. Over the course of working with the department, Sturm and the department have always tried to do what was best for the residents of St. James and the city.

As Superintendent Sturm would also help residents when they would be concerned with high water bills. Sturm explained that oftentimes residents wouldn’t realize that they had a leak somewhere in their house and would help explain and show them what the problem was which would help them fix their unusually high water bills something he was happy to do. The Water Department also has to deal with the different problems when they arise like water main breaks. Over the years Sturm said there were over six hundred water main breaks in St. James. Sturm said as Superintendent this was always the most stressful part of the job. Over the years Sturm says that things have changed and that anytime they had an opportunity to update infrastructure or other things they always took advantage of it especially when they were digging up roads due to road construction. Sturm said that there will always be ways that things need to be improved since water is a precious resource and finding clean drinking water will be harder and harder to find in the future. Sturm said he knows he will be busy with retirement. Sturm said he will continue to live in St. James and will be doing things like projects at his children’s house, babysitting his seven grandchildren, and even continuing his hobby of woodworking.

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