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March 21, 2013

Water super set to retire

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Water Superintendent Ken Banker will retire April 15, while the Town of Lockport’s new Department of Operations is expected to receive approval shortly after that date.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith informed the Town Board of both items at a Wednesday meeting. Last month, the board voted to create the department, which will be responsible for the maintenance of town buildings and land, with the exception of the highway garage. 

That will include being responsible for the management of the town’s parks, lighting district, water and sewer systems.

The crenew department is now being reviewed by state officials. Smith said there was a plan in place for water and sewer work to be covered between the highway department and the engineer’s office while the town waits for approval of the operations department.

“We’re expecting it shortly,”he said.

Once the department is approved, the Town Board will appoint a director of operations. The new position will draw a salary close to those of other department heads, while overseeing employees in parks, lighting, water and sewer. The highway department will operate as it usually does, with the highway superintendent - an elected position - unaffected by the new department or position.

The town has already received final approval for the operations director position and budgeted for it in 2013.

After he retires, the town will enter into a two-year consulting contract with Banker, Smith said. Banker will receive $16,000 for the first year and $5,000 for the second.

Such contracts are usually done with retiring department heads. And having Banker on as a consultant with help with the transition to the new operations department, Smith said.

”He has 30, 35 years of knowledge of every drain, every fire hydrant, every nut and bolt of the system,” Smith said. “We felt it was important to have him consult with us for the next year on a more aggressive basis, then in 2014 on a less aggressive basis.”

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