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Director of Public Works John Pedri retires

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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John Pedri, Lincoln’s public-works director, announced his retirement Friday afternoon, effective immediately in a press release issued by the city. Pedri was not available immediately for comment. He was employed with the city of Lincoln as public works director and city engineer since July 1997, according to the press release. “I really enjoyed my tenure at the city and look forward to working on a limited basis as a consultant and spending more time with my family,” Pedri wrote in the release. Pedri is credited with successfully completing numerous public works projects throughout the city, according to City Manager Jim Estep. Taking over Pedri’s duties in the interim will be Interwest Consulting Group, which provides public works and engineering services, Estep said Friday. Interwest will be contracted at least until the new budget is completed in June, Estep said, when a reorganization of the whole city will be looked at. That reorganization is under way as work on the budget starts, according to Estep. Although the interim contractor will represent a substantial monetary savings over Pedri’s salary and benefits, Estep said, cutting costs was not why Pedri retired. “He has been talking about retiring since the day I arrived,” Estep said. “He’s been talking about doing some consulting work. He has a wealth of expertise, especially in wastewater management.” Estep added that he looks forward to tapping into that expertise and that Pedri could be a consultant with the city. “John played a significant leadership role in the building of the city’s $85 million award-winning, state-of-the-art Waste Water Treatment and Reclamation Facility,” Estep said, adding that he also oversaw projects such as the Joiner Parkway overcrossing, the E Street Infrastructure Project and several new parks. Lincoln received the honorable mention award for Wastewater Collection System of the Year on Feb. 10, an award that it won the previous year, and cannot win two consecutive years. The facility was also awarded top honors on Feb. 10 in its category by winning the Small Plant of the Year Award and Safety of the Year Award. “(Pedri) has overseen $1.2 billion in city infrastructure improvements…and played a key role in construction of the Highway 65 bypass,” Estep said. Estep further described Pedri as being instrumental in the adoption of the city’s award-winning Neighborhood Electric Vehicle program and many other important tasks, including creating and implementing the city’s groundwater management plan and green- waste program. Pedri started his career in 1976 as a civil engineer with the State Water Resource Control Board and spent 15 years with the city of Shasta Lake before coming to work for Lincoln, according to the press release. “I’ve really enjoyed working with him,” Estep said, “and he has a lot to be proud of.” Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at brandond@goldcountrymedia.com.