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Jeremiah Wendt, an engineer with SEH in Chippewa Falls, was selected as the new New Richmond Public Works director at a Sept. 18, council special session. He will begin work with the city later this fall. (Photo by Micheal Foley)

Wastewater engineer hired as Public Works director

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An experienced wastewater engineer will take the helm of the City of New Richmond’s Public Works Department.

At its Sept. 18 special session, the New Richmond City Council voted unanimously to hire Jeremiah Wendt to run the department. He is scheduled to begin by Nov. 4.

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“He brings a really unique skillset within water and wastewater,” said City Administrator Mike Darrow. “When you’re looking at the future with the City of New Richmond, those components along with his engineering background are going to bring added value.”

The process of filling the position began in early summer, according to Darrow. The city posted the job notice in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“We waited a little while because we wanted to make sure we got the right candidate, and he was somebody that was really impressive,” Darrow said. “It’s just a really good fit.”

Wendt grew up in Merrill, Wis., and graduated from UW-Platteville with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. He has been working with SEH in Chippewa Falls for nearly 10 years.

“I’ve been in the wastewater group primarily at SEH,” Wendt said. “I’ve been focused on designing wastewater treatment plants, main stations, and planning documents and construction administration associated with those designs.”

Wendt said he has done a number of projects in New Richmond, including work on the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

“I’ve done four projects there over the past eight years,” Wendt said. “It’s been a good ongoing relationship and a good stepping stone to working directly for the city.”

Wendt is excited to get going in his new role, and preparing the city for a growth spurt.

“I think there’s a lot of growth that’s kind of on the horizon,” Wendt said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of work in preparing for that growth. I think from a regulatory standpoint, there’s going to be things coming up with the stormwater system that once the city reaches 10,000 population, and there will be a lot going on with that.”

Of course the department doesn’t consist solely of wastewater management. Wendt also will be responsible for street maintenance and taking care of the city’s parks and other property.

“I’m excited to get going,” Wendt said. “Obviously parks are nice. Streets are necessary, but not quite as glamorous as the parks. I think the city has a really great resource in the parks it does have, especially having Mary Park Lake there and the river running through town. I think those are big assets, and I’m excited to be a part of improving them and using the natural assets that the city has in that regard.”

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Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley joined RiverTown Multimedia in July 2013 and serves as editor at the New Richmond News. In the past he has worked at several news outlets including Patch.com in Hudson, Wis., the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wis., and the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. He began his career as a Marine Corps journalist. He served as a reporter and photographer in Okinawa, Japan, and editor of the base newspaper at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.
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