A major sewer project is the focus of much of his work day, says Keith Kruse, who’s been the village administrator in Woodville for a little more than a year.
The village is implementing what is called a Combined Sewer System Long Term Control Plan required by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
The plan is designed to eliminate the Combined Sewer Overflows that discharge into the Portage River during rain storms. Village officials have decided to complete a storm and sanitary sewer separation which will include the installation of a new sanitary sewer collection system, then utilize the existing combination sewers as a storm water system that will eliminate overflows.
“The overall job responsibilities have not changed; however, the sewer project has changed the priorities of the job” Kruse said.
His biggest hurdle has been keeping up with the fast pace of the separation project and when Columbia Gas had an update/maintenance project it was a challenge to coordinate both of the projects.
When asked how things have changed with the job during the past year, he said, “I have been very fortunate to have the guidance and continued support of many individuals.”
Kruse was named the new administrator after Bob Rickard retired after 35 years of service with the village. Kruse started working for the village in May 2009 as a part-time meter reader. He also obtained his Class 1 wastewater operators license the same year to be certified to work in the water department. In 2010, Gary Jeanette retired from the sewer department and Kruse was then hired full time to fill that vacancy.
Kruse said he applied for the administrator position based on his previous work experience as an operations manager with industrial cleaning and waste treatment facilities and the knowledge he gained as a village employee.
“As a lifelong Woodville resident, I wanted the opportunity to do my part to keep Woodville a great place to live,” he said.
“I think Keith has done well in facing the challenges that have surfaced over his first year. He has been a great asset to the village," said council president Ty Tracy.
In response to being asked what he liked most about his job, Kruse said “I am lucky to be surrounded by the knowledge, and experience of the Village employees. Utilizing that experience and knowledge has made my job a lot easier. As I look forward to the future in Woodville, I am excited to explore grant opportunities, manage the daily operations efficiently, implement new projects, and learn more about the fiscal aspects of the village.”