WATERLOO — A professional engineer with a consulting background has been tapped to lead the Waterloo Water Works.
Matt Mahler, a project engineer with Snyder and Associates Inc. in Ankeny, was appointed by the Water Works board of trustees Wednesday to replace retiring general manager Dennis Clark.
The 30-year-old Minnesota native has been working for the civil engineering consulting firm since graduating from Iowa State University in 2008. His roles at Snyder included planning, designing and overseeing construction of municipal drinking water projects.
Board member Scott Wienands called Mahler “a sharp young guy” who will hit the ground running at the public utility.
“One of the things that stood out is that he carries a (professional engineer) license and has extensive background working with water treatment systems,” Wienands said. “We have several projects coming up where we’re going to need that expertise.”
Mahler said he became familiar with the Waterloo Water Works while working as a consultant on local projects, including designing water mains for the reconstruction of U.S. Highway 63.
“I’ve had meetings with Dennis Clark and the team, and the culture at the Water Works seems like a great fit for me,” Mahler said. “It’s really a collaborative culture there with a lot of teamwork … and seems like a great place to work.”
Mahler also said he likes the idea of moving from the private sector to the public drinking water industry.
“You’re one degree closer to being in public service,” he said. “It’s a way to have a big impact on the quality of life of a community.”
Clark, who has served as general manager for the past 12 years, is retiring in June. Mahler is expected to start working Jan. 17, providing a period where the incoming and outgoing general managers can work together.
Mahler’s bachelor’s degree from ISU is in civil engineering. He is a member of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation.
The trustees set the annual salary at $125,000.