By Bob Balgemann


Longtime Boone County Engineer Rich Lundin is getting a little more time in the job than he originally anticipated.

He announced his retirement earlier this year and wanted it to be effective May 1. However, when it became evident that time frame would not be met, he agreed to stay on board until the appointment was made.

Fast-forward to September and naming a new engineer remains a work in progress.

There was a delay last summer in meeting a state requirement that the final pool of candidates be sent to Springfield for testing.

The four finalists had been identified in June.

County board member Brad Stark, who also chairs the roads and capital improvements committee, reported on that state requirement during the board’s special meeting on June 29. He called that “a lovely thing mandated by the state of Illinois.”

In addition, he said names of those candidates had to be public, giving their employees a heads-up on their search for new jobs. “Only in Illinois,” he said.

Two months passed before the candidates were tested, on Aug. 24, according to Lundin.

A finalist was recommended by Stark’s committee during an executive session at the Sept. 6 meeting. County Administrator Ken Terrinoni was to negotiate an employment agreement before the next county board meeting on Sept. 21. At that point the committee’s recommendation will be up for a vote.

To make Lundin’s continued presence more formal, the committee also approved a resolution naming him the acting county engineer.

That was done in part because the new engineer, should the board approve the appointment on Sept. 21, will have to give notice to his current employer, so that will take the starting date into October.

Committee Chairman Stark was hoping for an appointment by the fall and it appears his wish will be granted.

Meanwhile, Lundin said he’s looking forward to retirement, albeit it will be starting a bit later than anticipated.

Travel is planned, with the first trip being to Las Vegas and a competition involving the Sweet Adelines, of which his wife is a member. While in the desert southwest, they also plan to take in at least one rim of the Grand Canyon.

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