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The Lake News Online
  • Laurie aldermen eliminate public works director position

  • Ed Young, an 18-year employee with the City of Laurie, has been let go following the board of aldermen's decision to eliminate the position of public works director which Young has long held.
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  • Ed Young, an 18-year employee with the City of Laurie, has been let go following the board of aldermen's decision to eliminate the position of public works director which Young has long held.
    The unanimous decision was made Tuesday evening, June 17 in a closed session during a special budget workshop meeting. Young was not in attendance at the meeting and was notified the next day.
    According to Mayor Scott Fahrer, the position was eliminated for budgetary reasons as the city's sales tax income has continued to struggle over the last few years.
    Young has been offered a severance package as part of his deparature.
    "This was for budget reasons. We weren't out to destroy Ed. This had nothing do with him personally," said Fahrer.
    The city estimates that the elimination of the position and moving responsibilities around internally will save about $52,000 a year without any loss of service.
    Young wore many hats for Laurie. In addition to overseeing the water and sewer departments, he was also in charge of streets and maintenance, was the planning and zoning inspector and administrator and was the supervisor for parks and recreation.
    Public works employee Brian Scheiter has been promoted to head the water and sewer systems.
    According to Fahrer, Scheiter is licensed for both systems and has long worked on both. The new responsibilities will mainly be related to the record-keeping and paperwork side.
    Public works employee Dean Smith also has a license to operate the water system and has begun the certification process for sewer.
    While Scheiter is currently the only city employee certified to run Laurie's wastewater treatment system, Smith is scheduled to take the test in August. After the test, Fahrer says Smith should be able to work under Scheiter's license until he has enough time in on the system to be fully certified.
    With an electrical and construction background, Smith will also be stepping up to help with planning and zoning.
    Smith will be assisting Fahrer with the job temporarily, said Fahrer, until they can get someone in that position.
    Municipal Court/Deputy Clerk Barb Cameron will also help with some of the administrative duties within planning and zoning, such as pulling permits.
    City Clerk Olive Wood will be the supervisor for parks and recreation over coordinator Susann Huff.
    "It will be a transition. Any time you do something new, it's somewhat difficult, but we'll manage through it. The transition is doable," Fahrer said.

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