Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018
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Manager hired to oversee repairs at treatment plant

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    plant07p Scaffolding to help support the existing roof is erected at the Collins Park Water Treatment in East Toledo. The plant began an ongoing $264 million upgrade of its facilities last year. Currently, the entire roof is being replaced, along with structural, but corroded, steel beams. The plant is also planning on adding to its water filtration capacity and considering several plans for additional filtration that will be added on later. The plant was originally built in 1941. The Blade/Katie Rausch

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A local transportation planner with a long career in civil engineering has been tapped by the city of Toledo to oversee its $264 million campaign to upgrade its water treatment plant.

Warren Henry is to be paid an $84,000 salary in his new role as program manager for the water-plant improvements when he starts work Monday. He previously was vice president of transportation at the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments.

“This is a complex endeavor,” Mr. Henry said in a prepared statement. “The efficient and timely completion of this work will happen through a collaborative process with community leaders, professionals, and regulatory agencies engaged in this effort.”

“The improvements to our water infrastructure are important to our city and our entire region, and Warren’s oversight of the program will ensure it is completed on time and on budget,” Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said.

Placing Mr. Henry in charge of the plant improvements, Mr. Collins said, will allow Tim Murphy, the city’s commissioner of water treatment, to focus on the water plant’s daily operations.

Before joining the metropolitan council, Mr. Henry was Toledo’s commissioner of engineering services in 2006 and 2007, and previously had a 30-year career as a consulting engineer in the transportation, water, wastewater, and environmental and architectural fields.

The city’s campaign to replace equipment, make structural improvements, upgrade electrical systems, and expand the water plant’s capacity is funded with rate increases that City Council approved last year and is scheduled for completion in 2019.

“There is a good team in place and a clear plan,” Mr. Henry said. “I’m very pleased to join this effort. Safe, clean water is critical and this work will ensure we have the best infrastructure to provide it long into the future.”

Lisa Ward, a mayoral spokesman, said the hiring was not driven by the algae-related water-quality crisis that shut the treatment plant down Aug. 2-4. She did not respond to messages Friday asking where in the city’s budget or the water project’s budget Mr. Henry’s salary would come from.

“It’s a matter of wanting to have an additional position to ensure both critical components — operation and construction — are staffed according to what we feel is a best practice,” she said in an email interview. “Mr. Henry brings a wealth of expertise to the city.”

Contact David Patch at: or 419-724-6094.

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