Bloomington city officials say merging the Public Works and Water departments will streamline services and save the city money.
City Manager Tim Gleason authorized the change. It moves the Water Department under the direction of Public Works Director Jim Karch.
“He claims, and I believe, this will be more efficient for the customer, more of a one-stop shop when you are talking about Public Works and Water-related items,” Gleason said.
Gleason said the city sought the move after Water Director Bob Yehl asked to step down but wanted to remain on staff.
Gleason estimates the city will save about $250,000 annually, mostly through keeping more engineering work in house. The city is also saving by eliminating the water director position.
Gleason said the city council has told him to look for ways to keep the budget tight.
“They very clearly have communicated they want efficiencies and they want cost savings,” Gleason said. “(They tell me) Gleason, you better be looking for this every opportunity that presents itself and that’s exactly one of these opportunities.”
The reorganization doesn’t require a city council vote, but the city council on Monday will consider changing the city code to reflect the name change.
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