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Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz this afternoon announced the appointment of Dave Stoneback as director of the city’s new Public Works Agency. 

Aldermen last week approved consolidation of the Public Works and Utilities department into the new agency structure

Stoneback had served as director of the Utilities Department since 2010 and before that as the city’s water superintendent beginning in 2003.

The new agency will be responsible for water treatment, infrastructure maintenance, engineering, capital planning, refuse, recycling and forestry services.

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Bobkiewicz says Stoneback will now work to complete the reorganization of the City’s public works operations into four bureaus by the end of this year.

Stoneback began working for the city in 1985. He was the primary architect of the city’s long range sewer improvement program, which was completed between 1996 and 2008. That $210 million dollar program is the largest public works project ever undertaken by the city.

Bobkiewicz says it dramatically improved the lives of the residents, virtually eliminating property damage due to backups in the city’s sewer system, which used to happen several times a year.

The city manager also praised Stoneback’s work to dramatically reduce the city’s energy costs through long-term contracts and in improving the city’s relationships with ComEd and Nicor.  His most recent focus has been on spearheading the city’s negotiation with potential new wholesale water customers.

Stoneback graduated from Pennsylvania State University with an associate’s degree in architectural engineering and a bachelor’s degree in water resources engineering.  

“Dave Stoneback brings a unique mix of engineering, management and infrastructure experience to this new position,” Bobkiewicz said in a statement. “He is the right person to lead the city’s public works operations as we begin a new chapter in our service to the residents of Evanston.”

The reorganization is expected to lead to the elimination of several managerial positions in the two former departments, but so far the only person to lose a job amid the changes is the city’s former public works director, Suzette Robinson.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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