Utilities Director - City of El Dorado, Kans ....

Community Profile

Situated at the foot of the Flint Hills near Wichita, Kansas, the City of El Dorado boasts the best of the outdoor, rural setting and the fast-paced amenities of the urban environment. El Dorado is home to the Butler Grizzles of Butler Community College, and boasts two great public school districts in USD 490 – El Dorado and USD 375 - Circle. The City provides numerous outdoor recreation opportunities to enjoy such as the 18-hole Prairie Trails Golf Course, BG Products Veterans Sports Complex, El Dorado Disc Golf Course, Sam Binter Tennis Court and Pickleball Complex, El Dorado Bike and Pedestrian Trail, and fourteen parks.

El Dorado Lake, in close proximity to El Dorado, hosts the Walnut Valley Sailing Club, Shady Creek Marina, and the El Dorado Shooting Club. The Kansas Department of Parks, Wildlife, and Tourism operates over 1,000 acres of wildlife preserve and outdoor amenities for those that enjoy boating, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, hiking, biking, or just getting outside to get fresh air.

El Dorado intersects I-35, US-54, US-77, and K-254, providing connection to Wichita (35 mi), Kansas City (175 mi), Oklahoma City (184 mi), and beyond. Access to El Dorado may also be reached by air via the Captain Jack Thomas Municipal Airport.

Municipal Profile

An at-large, five-member City Commission governs El Dorado primarily through the hiring of a city manager who oversees the day-to-day management of the municipal organization. The city manager is responsible for implementing policy established by the City Commission. The municipal organization includes 150 employees, organized into nine departments, who strive to provide excellent municipal service to the community.

The City’s $32.4 million annual budget provides resources for the provision of law enforcement, fire protection, street maintenance, snow removal, stormwater management, refuse collection, water and sewer treatment, development regulation, code enforcement, municipal court, park maintenance, and recreation programming. S&P rates the City’s G.O. bonds as “AA-, stable” based on the very strong financial capacity of the City and its ability to meet its financial commitments.

Department Profile

The Utilities Department consists of three divisions:  Water Treatment, Sewer Treatment, and Water Distribution/Sewer Collection. The department operates with twenty-three employees on an annual operating of nearly $7.5 million. The City sells nearly three billion gallons of water per year to rural water districts, municipal customers, and the citizens of El Dorado. The department has $8.3 million in outstanding debt obligations and maintains adequate fund balances.

The Water Treatment Plant, originally built in 1937, received recognition as the “Best Tasting Water in Kansas” in 1987 and 2016. The City’s Water Treatment Plant operates with an average capacity of 3.2 MGD, a peak demand of 7.0 MGD, and a peak capacity of 8.5 MGD. The City also sells untreated water to HollyFrontier Refinery and the City of Augusta.


The nationally award-winning Water Reclamation Facility received the designation of a “Water Resources Utility of the Future Today” from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), Water Research Foundation (WRF), and the WateReuse Association, and uses wetlands to enhance the City’s treatment capabilities. The facility treats an average of 2.0 MGD and has a peak capacity of 6.0 MGD. The wetlands adds additional capacity to the facility with up to 25 MG of storage capacity for overflow events.

In addition to treatment, the department maintains over 128 miles of water mains and 92 miles of sewer mains, twelve lift stations, and three water towers with a total elevated storage capacity of 1.25 MG.

The Ideal Candidate

The City of El Dorado seeks a Public Utilities Director to oversee the Public Utilities Department, which includes management and oversight of the Water Treatment Plant, Water Reclamation Facility, and the Water Distribution and Sewer Collection Divisions. The highly independent position works directly under the supervision of the City Manager, and is responsible for executive-level decisions and management of the department.

The ideal candidate will exercise a proactive leadership philosophy through example and clear communication. The director will encourage a culture of integrity and inclusion, and will strive to develop a culture of teamwork and trust throughout the department. The director will also foster an innovative culture throughout the department and continuously work to improve El Dorado’s utility services through excellent customer service. The ideal candidate will prudently manage the department’s resources in a fiscally responsible manner.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plans, directs, and coordinates the work plans and assignments of the Water Treatment Plant, Water Reclamation Facility, and Water Distribution/Sewer Collection Divisions.
  • Serves as a liaison with appropriate federal and state agencies and local departments, and ensures compliance with all applicable federal and state regulation for water and wastewater utilities.
  • Establishes standards, plans, and schedules necessary to operate and maintain the City’s utility infrastructure.
  • Assesses the need for professional consultant services, procures such services as needed, and then represents the City’s interests in overseeing and evaluating professional recommendations.
  • Appraises the adequacy of utility facilities and develops plans and priorities for necessary maintenance and extensions; evaluates the soundness and efficiency of utility operations; supervises the installation of improvements; and developments work plans and budgetary estimates.
  • Periodically meets with large water customers to discuss services and plan for future needs.
  • Develops annual operating budgets and capital plans to support short- and long-term goals and objectives of the Utilities Department, and collectively monitors the progress of the department’s operating budget throughout the year.
  • Oversees the development and supervision of department employees with a focus on service delivery excellence and customer service.
  • Assists with the preparation of municipal special events and coordinates on-call service to respond to utility emergencies.

Future Priorities

The Utilities Department’s priorities over the next two to three years include:

  • Completion of water and sewer capacity studies to determine major maintenance needs and growth opportunities for utility systems;
  • Development and implementation of a capital plan to address aging infrastructure;
  • Facilitation of an assessment of the Water Treatment Plant to enable the City to plan for growth resulting from the sale of water to industrial water customers;
  • Development of a professional development platform to continuously enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of department personnel;
  • Facilitation of compliance with all applicable federal and state regulations concerning water and sewer utility systems, including the requirements of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA);
  • Implementation of major maintenance projects such as cure-in-place piping (CIPP) and manhole resealing efforts; and
  • Development and implementation of watershed protection program within El Dorado Lake watershed.


The Utilities Director position requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in public administration, civil engineering, business, management, or a related field of study. KDHE Class IV Water and Wastewater Certifications preferred; must be able to obtain within three years of hire date.

Qualified candidates should also demonstrate at minimum of ten years of experience with the following types of experience:

  • Three to five years of supervision of professional-level engineers, technical, and/or maintenance staff is required.
  • Seven to ten years of progressively responsible experience in the management of utility systems (water and wastewater) and infrastructure including but not limited to design, construction, operation, and maintenance of water/wastewater systems and facilities, and related utilities systems functions and operations is preferred.
  • Experience with project management and utility infrastructure construction projects is also preferred.

Candidates must demonstrate their ability to manage complex infrastructure systems. Candidates should have well-developed knowledge of all aspects of water and wastewater treatment, water distribution and sewer collection systems, capital project planning, financial modeling, construction and design techniques, and governmental procurement processes. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to think critically, make decisions, and set priorities.

Compensation and Benefits

The pay range for the Utilities Director position is between $70,138 and $103,334. The City Manager will determine starting pay for the position based on experience following the interview process. The position is exempt and not eligible for overtime pay.

In addition to a salary, the City of El Dorado offers a competitive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision health insurance. The City pays up to 75% of the premiums for these coverages. The City also offers paid sick, personal, and maternity leave, and YMCA membership. The City participates in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) and contributes to a 457 deferred compensation program. The estimated value of the City’s benefits package for this position is $26,000.

Application Process

The City of El Dorado invites interested candidates to submit a cover letter and resume for review and consideration. This position will remain open until filled, although candidates should provide their information no later than December 11, 2020. The City will review applications and schedule interviews with an initial round of candidates. The City envisions the interview process having at least two rounds, and may include additional exercises for the City to evaluate candidates’ abilities. The City will conduct background and reference checks with a selected candidate following final interviews. Ideally, the selected candidate will begin work with the City sometime in the month of January 2021.

Haley Remsberg
Human Resources Manager


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