Grand Island— City Administrator Mary Lou Brown announced two finalists for the position of Public Works Director/City Engineer.
John Collins of Baton Rouge, La., and Paul Snarr of Gering, Neb. are the two that have made it to the final cut.
Finalists will be on location Monday, for final interviews and tours of Grand Island.
Collins' public works experience includes 25 years in various statewide engineering and management positions with the State of Louisiana Department of Transportation. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Nebraska, as well as the State of Louisiana. Collins earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana State University.
At the State of Louisiana, Collins managed a staff of 89 employees and an operating budget of $40 million. Collins and his staff worked with the rehabilitation efforts during the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Furthermore, Collins also served as the Public Works Director for the city of Grand Island from March 2011 through July 2012.
During this time, Collins was instrumental in implementing the Downtown Quiet Zone, developing the Wastewater Treatment Plant improvement plan, updating a dewatering feasibility study, and leading research and construction efforts on the Sycamore and Eddy underpasses.
In addition, Collins led efforts to create an improvement plan for the route to the airport, develop a plan to rectify problems with the Stagecoach detention cell, and made plans for the extension of sewer infrastructure along Highway 281 to I-80.
The other finalist, Paul Snarr, has 30 years of engineering experience in the fields of city and county public works divisions and the Idaho Department of Transportation.
Snarr attended Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho, and obtained a Bachelor's of Science degree in Engineering. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Nebraska, as well as the State of Utah.
Snarr currently works as the City Engineer and Director of Engineering and Community Planning at the City of Gering, Neb. He has held this position since March of 2012.
Before his career at the City of Gering, Snarr served as Project Manager for three years at the consulting firm Eagle Rock Engineering and Surveying, as well as a Project Manager at Schiess & Associates consulting firm, both in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Prior to those two positions, Snarr was the Assistant Public Works Director for Bonneville County Public Works for four years in Idaho.
Of the two finalists, Brown said, "We are excited to bring this recruiting process to a close with two top-notch candidates. There are so many opportunities ahead for our community regarding projects that the Public Works Department is a part of."
She went on to say, "Terry Brown has done an exceptional job leading the Public Works team during the interim period. These last several months have continued to be a very busy time for the department and Terry has played an instrumental role in making sure the plans for progress continued."
The Public Works Director recruitment process entailed a national search that has been ongoing for several months. The process included involvement from three city council members; Council President Bob Niemann, Councilman Scott Dugan, and Councilwoman Peg Gilbert.
It is anticipated Vavricek will bring forward a recommendation to city council for action at the regularly scheduled city council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26.