Farrell leaving Esky Public Works post

Bill Farrell

ESCANABA — Escanaba’s City Engineer and Public Works Superintendent Bill Farrell ends his more-than-17-year career with the city today after accepting a new position working for OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital.

Farrell began working as the city’s engineer assistant in the spring of 2000, then was later appointed the interim city engineer. After acquiring his professional engineer license, he was hired in the dual role of city engineer/public works superintendent.

“The city’s been good to me. It’s a great place to work,” Farrell commented Thursday, also noting his workers are “the best.”

Farrell said he is looking forward to taking on a new career opportunity to become the facilities manager at the hospital and its grounds, where he will be supervising a larger number of employees.

Reflecting back on his career with the city, Farrell noted it was great to work with former City Manager Jim O’Toole, who retired last year.

“We got along really well. We had the same goal — to run the city better,” said Farrell.

Major Public Works accomplishments during the past few years include the city’s transition to automated garbage trucks in 2007, which no longer require workers to ride the back of the truck and pick up trash manually.

In 2013, a $280,000 gift from Patt and John Besse was given to the city to build a public park on the city’s southside. The park is a popular place, said Farrell, adding that’s where he brings his children to play.

Memorable road projects during the past years include the “challenging” re-construction of Stephenson Avenue, which included a round-about on the north end that drivers have become accustomed to and generally like, he said.

Other major road projects were the repaving of Ludington Street, Willow Creek Road, and most of North 30th Street. Three new blocks were constructed on 3rd Avenue North alongside the new Meijer store. Repaving is planned this year for a portion of 1st Avenue North, he noted.

In regards to snow plowing, Farrell said the plowing schedule has been adjusted over the years. A new process of pre-applying a water and salt brine prior to major snow events has been underway for a year and going well, he added.

Farrell said he appreciates council’s approval of the many projects and processes which improved Escanaba over the years and wishes the best to everyone including the city’s administrators and staff.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, jlancour@dailypress.net