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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • McPherson interim public works director appointed

  • A former McPherson public works director will temporarily take the position again.
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  • A former McPherson public works director will temporarily take the position again.
    Steven Schmidt, McPherson’s new interim public works director, was appointed during a city commission meeting Monday.
    Schmidt was the city’s public works director from 2001 to 2006. He takes the place of former director Doug Whitacre.
    Whitacre left his role as McPherson’s director Friday, moving on to become Topeka’s public works director.
    Schmidt said he served as a construction project manager for Viega after leaving in 2006 and helped to oversee the construction of new projects in recent years.
    Schmidt said he was approached by the city to help on an interim basis, and the city is planning a lot of projects for the summer and fall.
    “I don’t anticipate any particular problem,” Schmidt said. “There will be long-term benefits to short-term problems.”
    Both Mayor Tom Brown and city administrator Nick Gregory said the city of McPherson was lucky to have Schmidt available.
    Gregory said Schmidt’s term as interim public works director will end on Dec. 2, and the city is continuing to seek an individual to fill the role of permanent public works director. If someone is found, Schmidt will then accept a part-time position as the assistant city engineer.
    In other business:
    • Gregory announced the annual McPherson Area Solid Waste Utility meeting, which will be at 5:30 p.m. on May 21 at Holiday Manor. The meeting is open to the public.
    • Gregory announced the next town hall meeting. The meeting is open to the public, and will be at 6:30 p.m. on May 23 at the McPherson Municipal Center. Topics to be discussed include an update to the first phase of First Street, which covers First Street from Cedars to Hartup.
    • Commissioners approved $388,000 toward a Kansas Department of Transportation contract for a project on Kansas Highway 56 east to 17th Avenue. The project is scheduled for either 2015 or 2016, depending on KDOTS plans. The city’s match is an estimated 20 percent of the total cost of the project, plus non-participating costs.
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