District of Clearwater reorganizes public works

"With the reorganization we will see a savings of approximately $50,000 to 60,000 in wages and benefits"

District of Clearwater is undergoing a major restructuring, according to chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx.

“The reorganization of the District staff provides an opportunity for succession planning and provide efficiencies within the organization by realizing cross department savings,” she said.

“This is a step towards finding efficiencies within the organization while utilizing the talents within,” added the CAO.

“With the reorganization we will see a savings of approximately $50,000 to 60,000 in wages and benefits,” she said.

Groulx noted that the savings will allow junior staff to come on board at the Sportsplex and public works.

As part of the restructuring, Bruce Forsyth, who started work as the District’s public works superintendent about one year ago, is no longer working for the municipality and his position no longer exists.

Instead, the public works superintendent’s job will be divided among three individuals already working for the District.

Mike Smith, Clearwater’s fire chief, will take over the management and maintenance of the District’s vehicle fleet, equipment and hydrants; along with managing the roads contract.

He is tasked with a special project this year under a FireSmart grant. This will provide Smith with a full-time position, as he will continue with his half-time position as the District’s fire chief and his emergency management duties.

The changes in Smith’s roles will become effective as of March 14.

Roger Mayer, the longtime facilities supervisor at the Sportsplex, has taken on the responsibility of managing the maintenance of District facilities. These will include Sportsplex, Dutch Lake Community Centre and the old municipal hall on the Flats.

He will manage the community parks and will be the District’s safety officer as well. The change brings Mayer to year-round employment and takes effect immediately.

Longtime public works employee Bryan Lipp will take on the position of lead hand within the public works department. His primary duties will include supervising, coordinating and scheduling workloads for water, sewer, cemetery, and general maintenance duties.

Rob Griffiths will remain the key utilities person, with the primary responsibility of maintaining the water and sewer services.

Also taking on a new role, although not directly related to the reorganization of the public works department, Tammy Rutsatz is being reclassified as the financial accounting supervisor. She will take on a supervisory role within the finance department. Groulx said she expects the department will benefit from Rutsatz’s knowledge plus her ability to supervise and provide extra training.

Groulx noted that Clearwater town council developed the 2016 Operating Budget with the following directions to staff:

• Maintain existing service levels for roads, recreation programming, protective Services, transit, and capital dollars for parks;

• Minimize use of surplus and reserves;

• Continue to support economic growth within the community;

• Maintain the District of Clearwater’s financial principles of thorough short and long term planning through prudent consideration of reserves and leveraging of available funding sources.