During busy construction season, Watertown handles loss of city engineer

Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 5:03 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - With the loss of the city engineer, how will Watertown handle the numerous construction projects happening in the city?

Mike Delaney was arrested for drunk driving last Friday afternoon. City Manager Ken Mix says Delaney was on the clock at the time and is no longer employed by the city.

This comes at a time when Watertown is peppered with construction signs, street cones, and workers. It’s one of the busiest construction seasons in years for the city.

But now that the engineering department is down one person, Mix admits it’ll put more work on the rest of the staff.

“Any change, especially a change like this that was so abrupt is difficult to work around, but they are up to the challenge and they’ll continue to do great work,” he said.

Mix points out the city works as a team and the engineering department will have help from city planning which is heavily involved in projects like the downtown streetscape project.

“The streetscape, our planning department has been heavily involved in that because they are handling the grant end of it. They’ve also handled a lot of things with downtown. So not only do we have our engineering staff looking at the project but we have the planning office also assisting with that,” said Mix.

The city’s main engineer oversees current capital projects and proposes new ones, and manages design contracts with outside engineering firms. That work will now be done by two city civil engineers.

Mix says the city engineer job is posted and the city hopes to fill the position as soon as possible.