Park City engineer, key staffer, departs after brief tenure
The Park City engineer, a key staffer with important duties in road and infrastructure planning, left the municipal government in late September after a brief tenure at the Marsac Building.
Nestor Gallo spent approximately five months in the post. He stepped down for personal reasons unrelated to his performance as the city engineer, Park City Manager Diane Foster said.
The city engineer workload involves a broad range of projects even as the person who holds the position oftentimes is not nearly as visible as other City Hall staffers. The city engineer holds a crucial role as officials prepare and execute roadwork and utility infrastructure. The city engineer and others in the office were heavily involved in the plans for the ongoing reconstruction of Prospector Avenue, as an example.
“In his short time, he had a really positive impact,” the city manager said.
Foster noted Gallo prioritized the office’s workload to ensure projects the public was waiting upon were completed. She mentioned the completion of plat work, something that typically does not attract the attention of the public but is an important step for developers. Foster also said work was conducted on rights of way, another issue that rank-and-file Parkites generally do not closely follow. Foster said he also was assigned work on the storm water system.
“It kills me because he was so good,” Foster said about the departure, describing Gallo’s “warmth and his kindness.”
It is extraordinarily rare for a high-level City Hall official to depart after such a short tenure. Gallo left the municipal ranks at a time when the office of the city engineer is expected to retain a heavy workload as growth continues inside the Park City limits. The office continues work on road planning as well as the day-to-day involvement in development applications. The city engineer also is a pivotal figure as City Hall continues discussions about an arts and culture district in Bonanza Park. The person would also hold a central role should the plans for the hillside Treasure development proceed.
Gallo succeeded Matt Cassel as the city engineer after Salt Lake City tapped Cassel as the capital city’s top engineer. Gallo had more than 20 years of experience in municipal-level engineering when he was hired. City Hall at the time said he specialized in development on hillsides and designing and managing storm water and drainage systems. He previously was an engineer for Summit County and was familiar with working in a mountainous setting.
City Hall intends to hire a recruiting firm to conduct a national search for a successor. The deadline for submittals by firms is 4 p.m. on Friday. Foster said she hopes someone starts as early as the end of November. She acknowledged, though, the market for engineers at the municipal level is tight.
A timeline calling for a start date that could be by the end of November makes it possible that a successor could be in the post during the months that developers oftentimes seek building permits in time for spring groundbreakings. The city engineer is involved at the planning, building permit and construction stages of a project.
The municipal government, meanwhile, contracted an engineering firm to assist staffers until a successor is hired. The city manager executed what is referred to as an emergency professional services agreement with a firm called Epic Engineering. The firm, headquartered in Heber City, will assist with projects like the second phase of Park City Heights, Kings Crown and Alice Claim.
The Park City Council on Thursday is anticipated to approve and ratify the hiring of Epic Engineering. The agreement is pegged at $135,380. City Hall would pay the firm for services performed to date should the elected officials reject the agreement.
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