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DPU Manager Tim Glasco To Retire In July

on April 11, 2019 - 4:34pm
DPU Manager Tim Glasco will retire in July. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) saw a lot of changes and improvements under Manager Tim Glasco’s tenure.

It’s water and wastewater systems were given significant improvements. A new wastewater treatment plant was constructed in Los Alamos and advanced metering infrastructure was successfully procured.   

Glasco, who has worked for almost 24 years for Los Alamos County, shepherded the transfer of the water production system from the Department of Energy to the County and dealt with two major wildfires.  He has worn several hats within the department as well. Initially, Glasco was hired as the Water System Manager, specifically to assist in the water production system transfer, and then to set up the operation. Soon after coming to the DPU, he was reassigned as Deputy Utilities Manager for Gas, Water and Sewer.  In 2014, he was appointed DPU Manager, taking over the position from John Arrowsmith.

Now it is time to pass the managerial baton to someone else. Glasco will retire in July.

“I’m really honored to have been able to do what I’ve done, and be a part of the improvements at the DPU … its been a very good place to invest my career,” he said.

Glasco added he has worked with a great team.

“I’m just really proud of the group of people we assembled …. We have a first-rate group of people,” he said.

While he will miss his colleagues, Glasco joked he will not miss going to long County Council meetings.

Glasco touched on several milestones the department reached during his time with DPU.

When DOE transferred the water system to the County, Glasco was put in charge of the whole operation from developing the initial budget, to purchasing the necessary equipment, to hiring staff and establishing operating procedures for the system.

“It was a lot of work,” he said.

While Manager of the Gas, Water and Sewer Division, Glasco was faced with the challenge of outdated, worn-out wastewater treatment plants in both Los Alamos and White Rock, with insufficient funds to replace them.  While the Los Alamos plant was replaced a little over 10 years ago, he said innovative and creative measures had to be taken to prolong the White Rock plant’s life while the wastewater utility could be placed on a more sound financial footing.

When the Atomic Energy Commission created the infrastructure in Los Alamos, it was often done in a somewhat piecemeal basis each fiscal year.  This resulted in some less than desirable aspects of the systems.  For instance, while there was generally a lot of water storage, it was concentrated in a few spots, leaving large parts of the town with inadequate fire protection. Similarly, the gas system was made up of a series of independent sub-systems with little or no redundancy of supply.

Now, thanks to improvements to the infrastructure, the water and natural gas systems both are tied in to other parts of the systems that can serve as back-ups in case of the disruption of supply.

Glasco said he is really proud to have successfully launched the advanced metering infrastructure project before leaving DPU. He said that, unlike replacement of a buried pipeline that is largely invisible to the public, customers will be able to see the benefits of smart meters every month.

“Across the board we are making improvements … we’re not sitting still,” he said.

There is still work to do. For instance, the water distribution system needs to be upgraded. Glasco pointed out DPU recently responded to nine different water main breaks in a single week.

“That’s what you get with an old system,” he said.

DPU also plans to submit an application this July to be evaluated for a Zia Award by Quality New Mexico using the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria. There are several recognition levels and Glasco said DPU has twice been recognized at the Roadrunner level (second highest).

“We have invested significant work in this process over the past 15 years, and I’m proud our department is pursuing this program of quality improvement,” Glasco said.

Glasco and his wife, Charla, moved to Los Alamos in 1990 and have no plans to move. He said they love their neighborhood and this is where they raised their kids.

“This is home,” Glasco said.

While Glasco said they don’t have any big plans on the horizon, they do have small trips planned. He joked his wife seems more excited about his retirement than him.

For the new DPU Manager, Glasco did offer some advice: practice community outreach. It’s important to be available to them.

Afterall, he said, the community is the customer and the reason DPU exists.

DPU Manager Tim Glasco in his office Wednesday at the Municipal Building. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com


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