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updated: 8/8/2017 5:17 PM

New Lake County transportation chief, public works director to start Aug. 21

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  • Shane Schneider

    Shane Schneider

  • Rodney Worden

    Rodney Worden

 
 

New chiefs in two key Lake County departments will be starting Aug. 21.

The county board Tuesday appointed Shane Schneider as director/county engineer of the Lake County Division of Transporation.

He will join fellow newcomer Rodney Worden, who was hired as director of public works in June.

Schneider, a Lake Villa resident, grew up in the family construction business and previously served as village engineer in Glenview.

Worden has had a lifelong career in the military, most recently as division director of the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany. There he oversaw planning and engineering for water and wastewater systems and other facilities for Navy installations worldwide.

The county did a national search to fill both positions. Officials had to advertise each post a second time to find the right candidate, according to County Administrator Barry Burton.

As a leader in regional and national issues, the county wanted department leaders who are not only skilled technicians, but can also work with mayors, regional planning groups, legislators and others to forward various initiatives, he said.

"We're looking for more than an engineer," he added.

Schneider's annual salary will be $175,000. He assumes a post that has been vacant since the end of June with the retirement of Paula Trigg. Assistant County Engineer Al Giertych has been acting chief since July 1.

Lake County is working on several major road construction projects as it uses revenue from a regional sales tax enacted a few years ago. Completion of the Washington Street widening, which includes a railroad underpass in Grayslake, paratransit initiatives and multimodal planning are on the to-do list.

"Our five-year, $592 million capital plan is critical," Burton said.

Schneider brings significant public and private sector experience leading large construction projects, managing long-term capital plans and working with the Illinois Department of Transporation, according to the county announcement of the appointment.

The county's division of transportation oversees 300 miles of roads and 62 miles of bikeways, has a $20 million annual operating budget and 129 full-time employees.

Worden replaces Peter Kolb, who retired at the end of November. He'll be paid $165,000.

Public works operates and maintains Lake County's waterworks, which includes 12 public water systems pumping 5.5 million gallons per day, and its sewage system.

A major upgrade at the Des Plaines water treatment plant and on ongoing watershed initiative are current keys for the department, Burton said.

Public works has a $40 million enterprise fund and 95 employees.

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