With the hiring of Gus Burril as the new public works director, the city of Madras achieves one of its goals: a director with an engineering background.
Burril, 29, was introduced to the Madras City Council Feb. 8, and starts work with the city Feb. 22. He replaces former director Craig Johns, who left the city in November to take a job in Monmouth, and interim director George Raines, who is retiring at the end of March.
"We wanted to hire someone who we thought would be with us awhile, who had good construction management skills, was well-educated, and we preferred someone with construction management experience," said Madras Administrator Mike Morgan.
A project manager for Wildish Standard Paving, Burril has four years of construction engineering management experience, and is working on his professional engineering licensure.
"My experience has been mainly private," said Burril. "I've worked with the city of Dallas, the city of Beaverton, and worked with ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) for the last few years on I-5, I-84, Highway 97 and Highway 26."
Born in John Day, Burril attended Prairie City High School, and Oregon State University, from which he graduated in 1998, with a degree in construction engineering management.
Burril and his wife Angela currently live in Portland, and his wife teaches at Reynolds High School. "We're looking forward to making a home here," said Burril.
"With the growth patterns ahead," said Mayor Rick Allen, "you need to have somebody there that knows the lingo. There are really a lot of big projects coming. We're excited about having Gus coming to work for us."
Councilors noted that it would be a plus having a public works director who has worked in construction for a private firm such as Wildish. Wildish is currently in charge of the bridge replacements on U.S. Highway 26 from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe bridge north of Madras all the way to Bend.
"Most importantly, as we build ever more complex project," said Morgan, "he'll be able to provide oversight and peer review of consulting engineers."