PERRYSBURG — Council approved the hiring of Brian Thomas as the new city engineer, a position that has been vacant since August.
Thomas comes from the City of Findlay, where he was hired as city engineer in 2015.
“It seems like a good fit. I was on the private side doing design work and being able to build the department up a little to make it more like what the city is looking for seemed right,” Thomas said.
He is licensed as a professional engineer and professional surveyor, with a bachelor’s of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
“We have been trying to fill the position for some time,” Council President Jonathan Smith said.
The role has been open since Aug. 2, when Doug Dariano retired.
“What we were looking at doing is increasing the duties of engineer, to offset some other costs. What we ended up finding is that with those we were looking for, that would fit those qualifications, the pay scale we had was not in line with what would be needed to attract the correct applicants,” Smith said. “So we went back and did a study across the industry. We ended up increasing the pay scale to attract the correct applicants. Which is how we ended up getting Mr. Thomas to apply for the job.”
When Dariano retired, his final pay rate was $81,580. Thomas was hired at $110,000 per year.
“From the first round to the second, we had significantly more applicants, once we got the pay scale in the range which the sector demands,” Smith said.
For Findlay, Thomas has done engineering design work that had previously been subcontracted. The city administration is hoping to save money keeping that work in house.
He has experience doing hydraulic studies and designs for sanitary sewer, traffic signalization, pump station, and water mains.
Thomas has also successfully submitted and received several grants for Findlay totalling $5,950,000.
“I just see him jumping right in. That’s the one thing that attracted to me, for having him serve as our city engineer, is that he’s already do this and he can jump right in and start running, instead of walking and having to learn to run,” Smith said. “I’m excited to see what he’s going to bring to the City of Perrysburg.
Council also appointed Kali Sawaya to the street tree commission, which is a volunteer role.
She previously worked for the University of Minnesota and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in various environment and satellite based environmental remote sensing related roles.
“We are getting more applicants on the various subcommittees from the various applicants that had applied for the vacant council seats, which is really promising,” Councilman Cory Kuhlman said. “We had a discussion that night asking applicants to stay interested and get involved, and the mayor has followed through with that list of applicants, which is excellent.”
Sawaya had recently applied for the council seat vacated by Jim Matuszak, when he was elected to be Wood County recorder. That seat was filled by Mark Weber.
In other business the council approved ordinances amending the zoning code related to metal panes for building usage and exterior wall construction.
Resolutions were approved authorizing:
• Purchase of mosquito control supplies totaling $56,216.
• Purchase of a Durpatcher Model P2 for $67,500.
• Construction inspection and administrative services from Manni K. Smith Group for the intersection project at Ohio 25 and Preston Parkway and Fort Meigs Boulevard totaling $62,934.
• The purchase of a Tymco Street Sweeper from Best Equipment Sales for $259,901.