Woodland council hires new public work director

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The Woodland City Council unanimously approved Mayor Grover Laseke’s choice of Bart Stepp as the city’s new public works director Tuesday.

Stepp, 40, was recommended by four separate committees.

“We were looking for someone with good engineering skills, had city experience and worked well with the public. We were pretty demanding,” Laseke said. Stepp met each of those criteria, the mayor said

The former city engineer for La Center will replace Ken Alexander, who has served as the interim public works director since September. Stepp will start on March 5 and be paid $88,332 a year.

Outside of the day-to day-supervision of the department’s 10 employees, Stepp will oversee the construction of the city’s new police station.

La Center Mayor Jim Irish spoke favorably about Woodland’s new hire at the council meeting on Tuesday, saying Stepp saved the city millions of dollars on a recent sewer plant project.

Stepp is a registered environmental engineer in Washington, Oregon and Montana. He received a mathematics degree from the College of Idaho and a master’s in civil engineering from the University of Portland.