Interim Cape city engineer taking post permanently

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Kelly Green officially begins her job as Cape Girardeau's city engineer Wednesday, but by Sept. 17, an interim will be needed.

That's when Green, 28, is scheduled for the Caesarean-section delivery of her second child.

"We have a great staff," she said. "There will be some sort of interim city engineer, whether it's the assistant city engineer or someone else internally, someone will be there to answer any questions.

"I will definitely be in contact," she said. "It's not like I'm going to disappear for eight weeks."

She said her maternity leave plans include staying in touch with the office by phone and e-mail.

"We have a lot going on, between subdivisions and private developments and our Transportation Trust Fund projects," she said. "Not only are we concerned with streets and roadways, we also have to be concerned about sources of water, storm-water runoff and sewers. These projects are very much involved and detailed."

She said the city's engineering staff, which includes project managers as well as contract administrators, will continue their respective duties. Project engineers deal with site planning and construction; contract administrators make sure written agreements meet federal, state, county and city regulations.

But there will be management help. The city will advertise for an assistant engineer. And though Kent Bratton, the city planner who works closely with the engineering staff, retires Tuesday, he'll be available to work part time, he and Mayor Jay Knudtson said.

Green is the first woman named as Cape Girardeau's city engineer. She's been the city's interim engineer since July 1, dividing her time between that and her work as traffic operations engineer for the public works department.

She replaces Jay Stencel, who left to teach at South Central College in Mankato, Minn.

Green was a traffic engineering specialist for Missouri Department of Transportation from 2001 until being hired by the city in May 2006. Her work for the state included inspecting portions of the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge construction.

The Taylorville, Ill., native graduated in 2001 from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. She received her professional engineering license in January of this year.

On Thursday, she graduated from the seven-month Leadership Cape, a community development program sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce intended to connect professionals with community decision makers, elected officials and business leaders.

So far, she said, this year "has definitely been an adventure."

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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