Stepping forward as District Manager
February 14, 2019
SEELEY LAKE - At the Sept. 24 work session of the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board, Great West Engineering gave a presentation and asked for a few decisions regarding the route of the main sewer line, etc. After the presentation, the three board members present Beth [Hutchinson], Troy [Spence] and Davy [Good] voted unanimously to instruct Great West to design the treatment plant and Phase 1 of the collection system to 90 percent. They had 120 days to submit those 90 percent plans to DEQ for approval. The Board expected the project to be approved and ready to go to bid in February 2019. This was a vote to go to bid and build the system.
At the Jan. 17 meeting of the Board, we learned that Great West’s contract extension authorizing them to be paid for that work was not officially approved and signed by the board and then signed by USDA Rural Development. And with the government shutdown, the USDA was not open. This resulted in a set back of about six months on the projected timeline.
Greg Robertson also took another job so he is not available to help and the Commissioners sent a letter saying they do not plan to provide a district manager.
After that meeting, I decided to step forward and offer the District a proposal for me to serve as district manager so they can complete the final tasks and be ready to go to bid. At a special board meeting, the board voted unanimously to contract with me for six months to address the urgency of the situation. Greg and others had encouraged me to do so but until the January meeting I was reluctant to do so.
I look forward to working with the board, the community and the engineers to keep moving forward. Affordability continues to be front and center for the board.