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Meet East St. Paul's new Municipal Engineer - Andrew Blanchette

Posted: September 17, 2018

Meet East St. Paul's new Municipal Engineer
Andrew Blanchette

The summer has flown by for East St. Paul's new Municipal Engineer, Andrew Blanchette, who began work on June 4 and has been familiarizing himself with the RM while jumping into ongoing projects.
It's an exciting time for the 32-year-old, whose background with Manitoba Hydro and other private companies has prepared him for his new position with East St. Paul.
And, he said, most exciting of all is the collective mindset of his team - Municipal Technologists Nomar Yorobe and Nikolaus Homuth - which has them pointed towards a long-term vision for the municipality.
"The team here is really excited to work together this winter and get a good plan for next year.  Ultimately the big picture is really more of a five-year plan where we change the culture around East St. Paul," Blanchette said.
"The goal is to develop programs throughout the municipality that benefit not only the RM for future, but the residents and also we want to have good working relationships with all the contractors and consultants."
Mayor Shelley Hart said she's happy to see Blanchette come on board and admitted most municipalities don't yet have an engineer on staff.
Hart said Blanchette is available on a daily basis for everything from Development Agreements to day-to-day issues with streets and drainage.
Before hiring an engineer, the RM did a cost comparison using several years of engineering billing.  Not only will having our own engineer conservatively save the RM approximately $50,000 per year, we have the expertise available to us every day.
"Having this level of expertise on staff will ensure our contractors and developers complete their work as required and deficiencies won't cost the RM in the future," Hart said.
"This is key, we want the job done right, the first time."
Hart said Blanchette's experience with project management as well as writing Requests for Proposals is a huge asset.
Blanchette certainly has experience in many areas, including project/construction management roles on multi billion dollar projects, including the Riel and Keewatinohk Converter Stations, Keeyask Infrastructure Project and Pointe du Bois Spillway Replacement.
He also brings experience in quality assurance programs, contract administration, reviewing work and safety plans, tendering contracts, completing inspections and managing multiple contractors.  In addition to his Civil Engineering degree from the University of Manitoba, Blanchette has completed the Municipal Engineering Technology program at Red River College.
Blanchette said the long-term vision includes introducing programs to enhance aging infrastructure and ensuring that new development is done in a way that it doesn't negatively impact the municipality in the future.


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