Madras public works director leaving position
Madras Public Works Director Jeff Hurd will be one month shy of his 10-year work anniversary when he completes his last day on the job Dec. 31.
In January, he goes to work for H.A. McCoy Engineering and Surveying out of Redmond.
"It's a chance for me to further my career as an engineer," says Hurd.
In his new job Hurd will take part in similar work he did with the city, but from the private sector side. "Design work for developers, subdivisions, commercial properties, municipal work," says Hurd. "It's all civil engineering design."
Mayor Richard Ladeby says the city will miss Hurd. "Jeff is knowledgeable, energetic, and enthusiastic," says Ladeby. "He has been instrumental in moving our city forward and I thank him for his dedication."
"Jeff has had a very successful career as the Madras Public Works Director," says City Administrator Gus Burril. "Jeff is a high performer, one of those people you want on your team. We wish him the best and appreciate all the great work he has delivered for our city."
Hurd started with the city in January of 2012. Reflecting on the projects he's overseen, he says the Bel-Air project was huge.
"We went in and extended sewer to every single house up there that didn't have sewer which was pretty much all of them," recalls Hurd. "Then went in and repaved all their streets."
The spray park at Sahalee Park is one of Hurd's favorites. As with most of his projects, he included his staff in the design process.
"I always make sure they're part of it so they can tell me 'No, Jeff, we can't do that because I can't take care of that,'" he says. "Because once we build it, we own and it's ours to take care of."
Hurd considers his staff his greatest accomplishment.
"When I first came here it was hard to change the mind set of coming work 8 to 5 and that's it." Hurd says over the years he recruited people with the same mindset, similar commitment to the work.
"Now the guys behind me have got my back and they believe in what we're doing all the time," says Hurd.
Michele Quinn is the Public Works Office Coordinator. "Jeff's continuous support and motivation of his staff contributed to many successful projects. Every day with Jeff was a new adventure and I am thankful for being a part of that."
Public works projects often get attention when they're lacking. H street for example.
"H street used to be gravel from Madison to Culver Highway," says Hurd. "I would get calls all the time about it. When we were finally able to come together and figure out a funding scheme to build out and redo that whole street, I was pretty stoked because we gave them a paved street all the way down and it looks really nice."
The funding piece turned out to be about half of Hurd's job.
"My job is to take care of everything in public works but we never have the money to take care of everything we need," says Hurd. "Taxes and fees do not pay for what Madras needs, We have way more priorities than we have money for."
When he started, Hurd didn't know anything about writing grants. "But I learned quickly because I write a lot of them."
He will not miss writing grants.
He will miss not finishing what he started, but he'll still keep an eye on things because he and his family intend to stay in Madras.
"I'm glad that I don't need to relocate. I still get to be part of the community," say Hurd. "I'm still going to be part of the Tomi City Sister City program, still volunteer my time at the warming shelter."
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