Decatur gets its first engineer in years

    Decatur now has its first city engineer in years, and also has filled a vacant position with the water department.
    Mayor John Schultz revealed at Tuesday night's city council meeting that he has hired Nathan Rumschlag of rural Decatur for the engineer's position. Meanwhile, a longtime plumber in the city, John Baker, will be joining the water department.
    A graduate of IPFW, Rumschlag has 14 years in the civil engineering and consulting industry. He is licensed in both Indiana and Ohio and is a certified professional in erosion and sediment control.    
    He will start his new duties next Monday at what would be an annual salary of $52,000; that will rise to $56,000 after six months. A total of 73 percent of his salary will come from the storm water department, with another 7 percent from each of three departments, water, sewer and street.
    Most of Rumschlag's time in the first year or so, the mayor said, will be devoted to the storm water department, which has been without a supervisor for some six months, since Joan Eichhorn resigned.
    The mayor had said several months back that rather than put someone in Eichhorn's position, he would like to hire a civil engineer and allow that person to head the storm water department.
    Baker, whom the mayor noted has 35 years experience as a plumber, will be paid $16 an hour as a non-certified customer service representative. It's a position which has been vacant for a couple of years since Bill Whitright was elevated within the department.
    "Certified" means a person can operate the city's water plant.
    The non-certified service rep has duties such as turning water to homes and businesses on and off, moving meters, etc.
    The salaries for the two men are included in an amendment to the city salary ordinance. The amendment must be approved by council, which gave its okay on two of three required readings on Tuesday. The final approval will come at the next meeting, on August 21.