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City reshaping look of management departments

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 6th, 2013

HURON — The city of Huron is establishing four division director positions within City Hall who will be mid-management employees responsible for coordination among the 120 city employees and 13 municipal departments.

City commissioners took action Monday on a resolution that sets up division directorships for planning, public safety, public works and finance.

They will appoint the individuals next Monday from among current department heads.

Mayor David McGirr said the commission has been considering the appointment of division directors for awhile. The goal is to improve coordination and efficiency among departments.

He emphasized the commission is not planning to either eliminate or add employees, and he said he doesn’t envision a lot of change at the department level on day-to-day operations.

The planning director will oversee the planning department. The public safety director will be responsible for the police, fire and building and inspections departments, while the public works director will oversee the engineering, street, airport, water/wastewater, solid waste and parks and recreation departments.

Also, the finance director will oversee the finance department, golf and the library.

The directors will be under the supervision of the member of the governing board having supervisory responsibility for the department.

State law provides that for cities without a city manager “the board constituted of the mayor and the commissioners shall have control of all departments … and to that end shall have power to make and enforce such rules and regulations as it may see fit and proper for the organization, management and operation of the departments of the municipality and of whatever agencies may be created for the administration of its affairs.”

The division director system will take effect about March 1.

Commissioners also:

• Hired Kevin Amlaner as a volunteer firefighter.

• Awarded a bid of $160,390 to Key Contracting of West Fargo, N.D., for sanitary sewer manhole renovation work, and a bid of $630,470 to A-Tec Sewer of Watertown for sewer main lining.

• Deferred for one week the awarding of a contract for a new two-way live floor trailer for the solid waste department.

• Approved a telecommunications agreement with Midcontinent Communications to switch a phone line from the old swimming pool to the Campus Center.

• Approved a second agreement with Midcontinent Communications for it to provide Internet service at the water/sewer shop, the parks and recreation shop and the street shop. Those facilities are currently being provided service by another company.

• Approved a $188,375 progress payment to CB&I Inc. of Clive, Iowa, for work on the north elevated water storage tank.

• Gave second and final reading to supplemental appropriation ordinances for 2012 and 2013.

• Approved a request from Police Chief Gary Will Jr. to enter into a records management system for the police department.

The proposed contract will be with Zuercher Technologies for $109,618. The current system is more than 20 years old. The new system will allow for an automated process in reporting crime and crash data to the state.

Funding will come from 911 monies and revenues from the second penny sales tax.

• Authorized a grant application for funding to help the city launch a citywide curbside recycling project this spring.

• Approved a request from the National Wild Turkey Federation for a raffle.

• Heard a semi-annual update from Brenda Jager of the Huron Event Center regarding conventions, meetings, weddings and other gatherings scheduled for 2013 and for the next couple years.

• Went into executive session for two personnel issues, and later had a work session to consider changes to solid waste ordinances pertaining to recycling.

For the complete article see the 02-05-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-05-2013 paper.

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