Bimrose takes over as public services manager

Donelle Pardee Whiting

City engineer Ken Newman is no longer doing the work of two men.

Bill Bimrose recently joined the city staff as the public services manager.

City manager Bob Morris said the change has been in the works since 1999.

“At that time, the city created the position of city engineer with the expectation that it would lessen its reliance on private engineering consultants.”

The city decided at the time it would be more cost effective to have a full-time engineer on staff.

However, previous public services manager Butch Toon resigned to pursue other interests, Morris said.

The public services position stayed in the budget, but was not filled.

Before the position could be filled, city officials were forced to eliminate it from the 2001 budget because of financial constraints.

Morris said when he started in 2002 he wanted to reimplement the position, but there still was not enough funding.

“We have been in discussions since (I started), but only recently were we in a financial position to reestablish the position,” Morris said.

Part of the reason Morris wanted to reinstate the job, he said, was because Newman’s available time to oversee the public services operations had never been adequate given the engineering demands resulting from the city’s rapid growth and its infrastructure needs.

Bimrose’s responsibilities include overseeing streets and alley maintenance, snow and ice control, water treatment/distribution, sewage collection/treatment, cemetery/ROW/ grounds maintenance and city fleet maintenance.

Bimrose comes to Washington from United Contractors Midwest, where he worked since 2004.

Prior to that, Bimrose worked for the village of Morton from 1980-2004.

Morris said officials were happy with Bimrose’s qualifications. He will be doing much of the same work he did while employed at the village.