By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan is seeking to fill a position that has been vacant for almost three years.
With the backing of several New Albany City Council members, the administration is in the process of accepting applications for a full-time city engineer.
The city has been without an engineer since 2010, and several officials including Councilman Dan Coffey have called for the position to be filled.
However, Gahan said Friday that hiring an engineer will not end the need for private firms to be hired to design infrastructure projects.
The person will serve as more of a supervisor and will aid the New Albany Redevelopment Commission, Stormwater Department and sewer utility, he continued.
“They’ll definitely be busy overseeing projects,” Gahan said Friday.
Private engineering firms will still be needed to design large-scale projects, he continued. But Gahan said a city engineer could design some smaller municipal projects.
The position would be funded likely out of a combination of utility and general-fund revenue, as the engineer would serve a number of departments, he continued.
He said the position will soon be posted on the city’s website under the employment category.
In March, the council discussed hiring an engineer who would be responsible for inspecting private and public construction projects to ensure the work matched the plans that were approved by the city.
Councilman Kevin Zurschmiede and Coffey said having an engineer to inspect construction would especially be beneficial for drainage projects.
Gahan said there have been administration discussions about hiring an engineer for the past seven months.
With the city nearing a construction launch on an outdoor aquatic center and other parks projects, hiring an engineer would seem to be a good investment, Council President Pat McLaughlin said recently.
“Everybody seems to be on board with having an engineer, it’s just kind of making it happen,” McLaughlin said, as he added the funding sources for the hire would need to be clarified for the council.