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Brandon ready to seek city engineer
By By Alica P. Thiele
Challenger reporter

November 15. 2012 9:29AM
Brandon will begin advertising for a city engineer/planner to help guide the city as it continues to grow.

City Council members approved a job description for the newly-created position at their Nov. 5 meeting. Councilwoman Barb Fish was the lone dissenter. She has said in the past that she thinks the city has more pressing needs for the $100,000 budgeted next year for the position’s wages and benefits.

City Administrator Bryan Read said the city will be looking for someone who has the credentials to inspect infrastructure such as sewer, streets and so forth. “We have been doing that, but this person would allow us to do it on a more consistent basis,” he said. The person would not replace city inspector Dave Swier, who inspects buildings and is not certified to inspect infrastructure.

The new city engineer would not design infrastructure, however. The City Council still plans to contract with Stockwell Engineers for those services.

A staff engineer would be active in preventative maintenance of infrastructure and would play a fairly large roll in the platting process, Read said. He or she would review all plats and project plans for residential and commercial development before the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council would see them.

“And a lot of it will be creating capital improvement project lists, helping the council set priorities,” Read said.

Because this is a new position, the job description is somewhat fluid. “There may be some changes to the job description as the person comes on board and we look at some other things that they could do,” Read said.

The person will report directly to Read.

This past summer, Councilman Blaine Jones said the city has been talking about hiring a staff engineer for at least six years. “I’m pretty passionate about it," he said at the time. “We’re on the precipice of some very big things here in Brandon, and I want to be ready for them.”

In other business:
* Read said the city is installing more lights at Pioneer Park because of recent problems. “We’ve had some vandalism and littering and loitering issues down there,” he said.

* The North Sioux Boulevard project has been paid off, and the City Council transferred leftover money to other projects. In 2002, the city took a $500,000 loan for curb, gutter and street on Sioux Boulevard north of Holly Boulevard. The city has been paying annual installments of $69,285 toward the loan. On Nov. 5, the council moved $16,537.50 to the West Holly Boulevard project, $3,639.51 to the Parks Street debt, and $55,432.23 to the general fund for normal operating expenses.

A ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly built Aspen Park sign Monday night celebrated the completion of the Aspen Boulevard reconstruction project. The east-west thoroughfare, which had been closed since April 23, was opened in late September, more than three weeks ahead of the Oct. 12 deadline. It also came in under the $1.8 million budgeted for the project. Taking part in the ribbon cutting are, from left: Brady Smith, Tom Smith, Mayor Larry Beesley, Blaine Jones, Paul Sanow Barb Fish, Jo Hausman, Al Kirkeby, Roger Brooks, City Administrator Bryan Read, Jon Brown, Brook Horstmeyer and David Locke. Photo courtesy of Kim Cerwick, BVACC

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