New faces and directions for Wellington in the New Year

PHOTO BY R. GARY RAHAM Wellington is a "first stop" community when entering the state from the north.

by Marty Metzger
mmetzger@northfortynews.com

The Town of Wellington remains a beehive of activity as 2017 yields to 2018. Deputy Clerk Cynthia Sullivan reported that current and future needs are being further assessed before plans for the proposed Town Hall Administrative Building go forward. Physical aspects of the new structure will likely begin sometime this spring.

Ed Cannon, Town Administrator, noted that the position of Public Works Director has not yet been filled. The new appointment was originally planned for October 2017. A candidate search has been resumed.

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Cannon agreed with Sullivan that a town hall Space Needs Analysis will be conducted prior to any further progress. However, a working group of staff and trustees is being put together, with several architectural firms in the running. A selection should be made within the first couple months of this year.

The Board of Trustees has approved a contract with Stantec for an estimated $12 million upgrade to Wellington’s water treatment facility located north of town. With a current population of 10,000, capability to serve all customers would drop dramatically without the changes. Upcoming improvements will double the facility’s capacity to provide adequate services to up to 20,000 residents and businesses. Hopes are to have the updates online by April 2020.

On October 30, 2017, Cody Bird joined the town hall staff as Wellington’s Planning Director. As of December 1, he’d only been on the job for a month and so is catching up on current issues. This includes streamlining the development review process to make it more business-friendly. He’s also looking at a long-range land use plan for growth and working with Main Street businesses to nurture them/keep the corridor viable.

“The idea is to keep a focus on the downtown core,” explained Bird.

The Topeka, Kansas, native had most recently worked in Derby, Kansas, before relocating to Wellington with his wife and daughter. A Master’s degree in Planning from Kansas State University and outstanding references made him the perfect choice for the planning position with a rapidly growing town.

“This community has a lot of positive things going on,” he declared. “I’m excited to be a part of Wellington’s future!”

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