The City of Vader has reported they were briefly without sewer maintenance services in recent weeks due to the abrupt resignation of their part-time employee, but have since restored such services with support from the State Department of Ecology (DOE).
Mayor Ken Smith told the City Council Thursday former part-time sewer employee Terresa Yost had resigned effective Sept. 29, citing concerns over travel expenses, according to Smith.
Yost had also been a sewer/water employee for the City of Pe Ell, but resigned from that position as well on Sept. 29 after former mayor Spencer Nichols stepped down on Sept. 18 for what he said had been displeasure with the Pe Ell City Council.
In the time between learning Yost's intentions to resign and seeking a replacement, Vader's sewer plant had gone without regular testing and maintenance, though no adverse affects such as a discharge of untreated sewage have been reported.
After the Vader City Council was informed of the situation, they were asked to confirm the hiring of former public works employee Nev Peltier to Yost's old position and, as of Friday, Peltier has resumed regular testing and maintenance.
"That's crisis management at its best," said Smith of the council's action, which also included the approval of a letter from Smith accepting Yost's resignation.
Peltier had previously been trained in maintaining Vader's lagoon plant during his tenure in the public works department, from which he resigned in August. Smith explained, though Peltier is not currently licensed to be the sole operator a sewer system, DOE has granted him a one-year waiver to continue servicing the plant while seeking a license, in light of his previous sewer experience.
When asked what had compelled Peltier to return to Vader after resigning, Smith explained the hours and workload to maintain the sewer system would be significantly less than Peltier's duties in the Public Works Department.
Peltier is now working under the terms of Yost's old contract at a part-time rate of $19.50 per hour, with compensation for travel.
Yost had been hired in July after Winlock was no longer able to supervise Vader's plant due to the resignation of Winlock's sewer/water superintendent. Winlock had been supervising Vader's system after former sewer employee Dennis Montgomery resigned last year.