Weston Young to lead county Public Works Department

Wicomico’s new Public Works director, unanimously approved by the County Council on April 7, is experienced and eager, but not planning monumental adjustments.

“No, I don’t plan to change too much,” said an amiable Weston Young, who was deputy director of Public Works since November 2014.

He worked for the former director, Lee Beauchamp, who was dismissed shortly after Council Executive Bob Culver was elected.

Young, a professional engineer, was raised in Pocomoke City and formerly worked for the cities of Salisbury and Hampton, Va.

A graduate of the University of Maryland College Park, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering, Young lives in Salisbury.

In Pocomoke City, he worked for his father’s company, George Young Engineering and Surveying. He also worked for Salisbury’s public works department four years and was in Hampton three years.

“I want to find ways to be more efficient. During hurricane season, for example, Public Works should be considered a first responder. A lot of people couldn’t get where they needed to get if public works wasn’t there to move debris or plow snow,” Young said.

“The work the crews do is good stuff. It’s basically trying to maintain a quality operation for our citizens. I want to make our employees  feel appreciated,” he said. There are 60 working in the solid waste division, and about 40 in roads.

He is pleased with Wicomico’s high percentage of recycling, around 30 percent. There are only 25 or 30 years left before the landfill, off Brick Kiln Road, is full. A new location might be found, although there are other potential solutions, he said.

“The state has talked about going to zero waste and increasing recycling. The more we recycle, the less goes into the landfill,” he said.

“The citizens and businesses should pat themselves on the back for the great job they’re doing recycling, but there are always ways to improve,” he said.

Parts of Salisbury have curbside recycling, but not the entire city, he said.

Previously, Young worked as senior civil engineer of storm water management in Hampton and said he has experience running an enterprise fund.  Wicomico has an enterprise fund that helps pay for landfill.

He managed an $8.6 million fund for stormwater management that included drainage maintenance and tidal flooding.

In Wicomico, he is overseeing the Morris Mill water project, now in the construction phase, and said he has experience managing similar projects.

One change that might occur locally is Culver deciding to move the facility management department — which takes care of government office buildings, HVAC and landscaping —  to public works.

“I will look at all the county-owned buildings, so I know where maintenance is needed, analyzing a little and coming up with a strategy,” he said.

He will also work with Culver on dredging the Wicomico River. “We’re looking for a site for the dredged material,” he said.

“Finding a site the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state are happy with takes a little work.”

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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