Luzerne County flood deputy position advertised

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - jandes@timesleader.com
Belleman -

A new Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority deputy director position has been publicly advertised, with resumes due June 15.

The authority oversees the 16-mile Wyoming Valley Levee flood-control system along the Susquehanna River.

Authority Executive Director Christopher Belleman had convinced an authority board majority to create the engineering position in March, saying he needs help managing projects and wants someone else to be trained on the complex system. Belleman is the only engineer among the authority’s 11 staffers.

According to a posting under the career section at www.lcfpa.org, the position requires a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or another closely related engineering field; at least three years of relevant experience; or any equivalent combination of acceptable education, training and experience.

Applicants also must be eligible for a state-issued professional engineer license and obtain one within two years of authority employment. Certification in floodplain management is required within a year.

In addition to resumes, job candidates must submit an application that asks them to specify their expected compensation. Belleman said he has a pay range in mind but is keeping it confidential for negotiating purposes.

The position will be advertised both locally and statewide, he said.

While project management is a key responsibility, the deputy also may be expected to handle the maintenance and security of authority facilities; administration of the fee that funds levee maintenance and operation; plus other assignments, the job description says.

Corps rates levee

In other authority business, Belleman said he learned last week the Army Corps of Engineers has awarded the levee continued certification as minimally acceptable.

The Army Corps grades levees as acceptable, minimally acceptable or unacceptable after inspections. Only 10 of the 2,000 levee systems administered by the federal agency across the country are deemed acceptable, and they are smaller and newer ones, Belleman said. An unacceptable rating would disqualify a system from federal funding for flood damage repairs.

In a letter to Belleman, the Army Corps described the Wyoming Valley Levee system as “well maintained” overall.

There are three “reaches” in the levee system — Wilkes-Barre to Hanover Township; Plymouth; and Kingston to Exeter, Belleman said. The inspection of each stretch covers 63 categories, including pump stations, interior drainage systems, flood walls and embankments.

The number of items rated acceptable in each reach continues to increase, which is evidence of the authority’s commitment to addressing deficiencies, Belleman said. No major deficiencies were identified in the new inspection, he added.

“We are headed in the right direction,” he said, noting remaining deficiencies will be addressed “as time and funding allows.”

Representatives of the federal agency inspected the levee last week for the next certification, which likely will be released in 2019, Belleman said.

Belleman
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Belleman-Chris.jpgBelleman

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

jandes@timesleader.com

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.