Donald Moline, Toledo's director of public utilities, announced his retirement yesterday, a day after a major milestone in the 11-year-old lawsuit by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against the city.
Mr. Moline, 55, in a letter to Mayor Jack Ford, said he plans to leave office May 31, which will be four days after he completes 30 years of service under the Public Employees Retirement System.
Robert Stevenson, the commissioner of water treatment, will be acting director until a permanent director is appointed, Megan Vahey, Mayor Ford's press secretary, said.
On Tuesday, the Ford Administration turned over to City Council its recommendations for settling a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in 1991 alleging violations of the Clean Water Act.
The settlement would set in motion $400 million worth of sewer and water treatment plant improvements over the next 15 years. The administration recommended hiring Black & Veatch Corp., a Kansas City, Mo., engineering firm, to design the upgrades for a fee of $35 million over five years.
Mr. Moline plans to work on his West Toledo home and on a cottage to keep promises made to his wife, Martie. He said he has no plans for professional work.
“Nobody's talking to me. I haven't talked to anybody. My wife has some consulting work for me to do at home, but I think it's pretty hands-on,” Mr. Moline said.
Mr. Moline was appointed director of public utilities by former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner in 1994. He was reappointed by Mayor Ford in January.
Mr. Moline, 54, oversees water distribution, sewer and drainage services, the drinking water plant, the wastewater plant, environmental services, engineering services, and utilities administration. He is paid $90,000 a year.
Mr. Moline said recently that public utilities has been spending $600 million a year on infrastructure improvements. Among them, he said, was the virtual reconstruction of the city freshwater treatment plant and the installation last year of a 96-inch water line from the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant in East Toledo to the Craig Memorial Bridge, the largest water line ever installed in Toledo.