Warrenton’s city engineer will take over as public works director.
Collin Stelzig had already been serving as interim director since the departure of Jim Dunn in September. Stelzig, who grew up in Tillamook, has worked with the city, first as a consultant and more recently as an employee, for more than a decade.
When he was hired as city engineer two years ago, he didn’t have much interest in running a department, but that changed as he got to know the other city employees and the public works employees in particular.
“Everybody’s got a lot of energy and wants to do better by the city,” he said.
As public works director, he will lead the city’ largest department, overseeing 19 full-time employees and managing capital improvement projects for water, sewer, stormwater, city parks and city streets and trails. Public works staff maintain 38 pump stations, 80 lane miles of streets and 10 miles of levees. The department also includes a water treatment plant, a 17.5 million gallon reservoir for raw water and two 3.5 million gallon reservoir tanks for treated water.
For Stelzig, the first big project on his plate is to finish the city’s water master plan, which hasn’t been updated in close to 20 years.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” he said of the plan. “We have a lot of information to give the commission.”
Stelzig’s promotion leaves Warrenton without a city engineer. The city contracts out for some engineering services and City Manager Linda Engbretson says she hopes to revamp the position, turning it into “more of a project manager/engineering tech position.”