At their regular meeting last Wednesday, Moosomin town council passed a motion to hire a director of public works and utilities for the town.
Kim Looyenga, the successful applicant, has moved from Ontario and will start her job today in the town office.
This is an new position for the town of Moosomin. The town is still actively seeking a town foreman. The director of public works and utilities will oversee the public works department, and will work closely with the town foreman.
Looyenga is a trained certified engineering technologist (CET). Mayor Larry Tomlinson says Looyenga will be able to help the town oversee any projects that include engineering or blueprints, and will be able to implement an infrastructure plan for the town.
“She is a CET, which will help us with some of our blueprints and where we are going to go moving forward with infrastructure, and planning part of that out,” he says. “She will line up what has to be done for work and prioritize it.”
Tomlinson says Looyenga will oversee infrastructure and public works projects in town, working both in the office and on site.
He says she will take on some of the work that was previously being done by town councillors and the town administrator. Her day-to-day duties will include responsibilities such as staking out property lines, pricing out equipment and pricing out engineering jobs—and he says because of her training, she will be better qualified for that work.
“She will be in a better position with a degree in that to understand the plans and read the blueprints,” he says.
“She will keep tabs on how the projects around town are going. She would be more in a position to understand and know what needs to be done than a layperson.”
Tomlinson says, with mounting infrastructure challenges and a growing community, the town has needed someone in this position for a while.
“We are just trying to get a handle on things, to get things prioritized going forward, and get some of the stuff that needs to be done completed as far as the infrastructure.
“We have so much work to do as far as infrastructure. We need a plan going forward, how we go about it an where we start.
“We need a plan or some of the infrastructure is going to collapse on us—some of it is 100 years old.”
Tomlinson says it was becoming a struggle for the town crew and the town foreman to handle all the planning that needed to be done along with their other jobs.
He says he believes that adding a director of public works and utilities to the town will be a benefit to the community.
“I think it’s going to be good,” he says. “I think it will give us some more insight going into the future, helping us get things done and prioritizing things, and the foreman will know what needs to be done.
“I think we are overdue for it.
“Moosomin is growing, and we are to the point where I think we need something like this.”