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Suchy retires as public works director
Council members note he will be missed
new deh city council charlie suchy pic web
Long-time Public Works Director Charlie Suchys retirement was approved by the Great Bend City Council Monday night. Shown is the Public Works Department on South Morton. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

 Great Bend City Council meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Great Bend City Council did Monday night:

• Accepted the retirement of Public Works Director Charlie Suchy effective Friday. He has been with the city for over 30 years.

• Approved a request from Richard Suchy to hook into the city sewer system north of Railroad Avenue in the vicinity east of what would be Harrison Street if it extended into the area. He has submitted an application, paid the appropriate $1,000 fee and would be responsible for paying for the cost of any infrastructure if there would need to be any. He would also pay the maximum sewer usage fee.

The application also has a provision that the property owner would consent to annexation if the city chooses to annex the property in the future, Building Inspector Lee Schneider said. It is currently outside the city limits, but Councilman Andrew Erb said he has heard constituents that the land should be annexed and noted that should be considered.

The 2.8 acre track is located at 3208 Railroad Avenue and the application notes it will be used for a shop building.

• Heard an administrators update from Interim City Administrator George Kolb. It included preliminary results from June Jaunt, the on-going search for a network administrator, a report on the number of sanitation complaints (including the 136 for over-grown vegetation) and other departmental updates.

• Heard an economic development report from Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President Jan Peters. She focused on the ribbon cutting at Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo’s newly renovated grizzly bear exhibit last week and other community developments. 

• Approved abatements requested by Sanitarian Austin LaViolette at: 821 Holland, motor vehicle nuisance, owned by Anna Maria Navarro-Jasso; 819 Stone, accumulation of refuse, owned by Doris Flores; and 1622 19th, accumulation of refuse, owned by Karen Hayward and Sandra Wright. 

With regrets, the Great Bend City Council Monday night reluctantly approved the retirement of long-time Public Works Director Charlie Suchy. In a letter to the council, he made his intentions known to leave the city after over 30 years effective Friday.

“I was disappointed when I got word he was retiring,” Councilwoman Jolene Biggs said. In his overseeing of the Street, Water, Sewer and Sanitation divisions of the Public Works Department, “he was always energetic, patient and sensitive to community needs.”

“Charlie always wanted what was best for Great Bend,” Biggs said. “You have left an impression on Great Bend and you will be missed.”

“Please accept this letter as notification that I am retiring from my position as director of public works effective June 8, 2018,” he wrote. His last day of work was May 25 and he utilized vacation time to finish out his time with the city.

“I had a vision with an amazing staff that worked hard as a team to help me accomplish this vision; unfortunately I will fall short because of my early retirement,” he wrote in his letter. “I am fully confident that the Public Works staff will continue to follow this vision successfully if they have the proper support needed.”

He wrote that he was “very proud of my accomplishments over the last 33 years working for the City of Great Bend. I want to thank each and every employee for their hard work, dedication, honesty and I would hope the city, mayor and city council will find a way to show positive support and recognize them for all their hard work and accomplishments as they move forward.”

The city will now begin the search for a replacement. It will start with advertising the position in-house, but could involve looking outside for applicants.

Suchy was named public works director Aug. 15, 2016 after the retirement of Don Craig in July of that year. 

His appointment came at the recommendation of a search committee consisting of then Mayor Mike Allison, city Councilwoman Vicki Berryman, then City Administrator Howard Partington and City Attorney Bob Suelter. Committee members said he had the best application.