Hailey Public Works and City Engineer Moving To Colorado


By Paul Johnson

Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - The Public Works Director and City Engineer for the City of Hailey has accepted a new position in Johnstown, Colorado. Tom Hellen has been with Hailey since 1999 as the city engineer. He has been the public works director since 2007. During his 14 year tenure, he contributed vastly to the development of Hailey’s infrastructure. His first task was to implement the 2002 Water Master Plan, which resulted in:
• obtaining an EPA STAG Grant for installation of water meters, a three-year project;
• completing the construction of water main lines to fully loop Hailey’s system;
• constructing the Quigley water storage tank; and
• implementing pressure stabilization stations at key points within Hailey’s water system.

Under Mayor Haemmerle’s direction, Hellen has begun a new Water Master Plan which emphasizes the importance of conjunctive management of surface and ground water use within the City of Hailey, conserving water, and implementing improved irrigation systems within Hailey’s park infrastructure.

Additionally, Hellen oversaw the development of several new parks, including Keefer Park, Old Cutters Park, and Werthheimer Park, which consists of an arena, a skateboard park, an ice skating facility, and a Welcome center.

Hellen oversaw the inspection and acceptance of over 20 subdivisions built by developers within these 14 years. When development slowed down, he acted as the project engineer for the Woodside Boulevard Project, a street renovation which transformed a failing 35-year old street into a vibrant “complete street” with improved intersections, a traffic light and roundabout, sidewalks, bike lanes, and landscaping. This project improved the livability of approximately half of Hailey’s residents.

In 2007 Hellen was assigned the role of Hailey Public Works Director. The Public Works Department is the city’s largest department, which employs 19 full time employees, two to five seasonal employees, and utilizes two boards and currently one ad-hoc committee. The department is comprised of several divisions including water, wastewater, streets, parks, and engineering, which all coordinated with Hailey’s Sustainability Coordinator, an EPA grant funded position. With the EPA Grant now completed, this position will now be integrated into the public works department leadership structure.

Hellen is excited about his future position, which will begin March 10, 2014. “It is with a mixture of excitement and sadness that I make this career change. There are so many friends in the valley that I will miss greatly but I decided that at this point in my career I needed a new challenge. And the opportunity in Johnstown is too good to pass up.”

Roy Lauricello, Town Manager of Johnstown, Colorado, says Hellen was one of 32 applicants who was eventually selected from a finalist pool of two. “Tom’s qualifications and experience enforces the confidence I have in his ability to fulfill this key staff position. I believe his friendly character and personable nature will enable him to build relationships of trust and goodwill with Town staff, Council and the community. We’re eagerly looking forward to having Tom join our management team”

The City of Hailey has launched its search for a new appointed City Engineer. Hailey plans to utilize a contract engineer to work on limited projects and development. Mayor Haemmerle will assign the role of Public Works Operations Director to current city staff member Mariel Platt, who was formerly Hailey’s Sustainability Coordinator.

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