Report by Paula Antolini, September 17, 2019, 5:56AM EDT
We previously reported on ‘Bethel Public Works Director Douglas Arndt Has Been Put on ‘Administrative Leave’ But No Word on Why’ now we have learned Douglas Arndt has resigned and Highway Superintendent/Asst. Director of Public Works Robert Dibble will be handling matters until a new director can be found.
The job opening and extensive job description for Bethel Public Works Director has already been listed, view here. It includes “perform complex administrative work planning, organizing and directing the engineering, highway department, building maintenance and transfer station, facilities maintenance and related operations of the town.”
On Friday, September 13th it was confirmed by First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker that Arndt, who was hired in October 2014 at a salary of $100,000+, has decided to leave his position.
We contacted First Selectman Knickerbocker about this development and he was not forthcoming as to why Arndt left. Knickerbocker said, “Doug has voluntarily severed his employment with the Town of Bethel. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
There is a past history of controversy when it was discovered that Bethel Public Works Director Douglas Arndt apparently never got approval to authorize the a town energy study, which was to see if installing LED bulbs in municipal buildings would save the town money. There is no written agreement with Earth Core Energy Services for the study. Arndt claims he was just trying to save the town money.
Two Earth Core Energy Services company executives billed a total of 258 hours of work at a rate of $150 an hour for a total of $39,000. The study from Earth Core Energy Services did find that by using LED bulbs it would save more than $550,000 over four years for the town by using LED bulbs, replacing most of the fluorescent fixtures.
Another company, Ameresco, had been chosen by the Bethel Energy Conservation Committee and Knickerbocker indicated Ameresco will follow the recommendation of Earth Core’s and install LED lights in Bethel. Comptroller Bob Kozlowski would try and negotiate a lower cost for the bill from Earth Core.
Other projects Arndt has handled are waster projects, renovation of the Plumtrees Road and Whittlesey Drive intersection and improvements to the town’s animal shelter.
Doug Arndt was unable to be reached for comment.
View Doug Arndt at the Plumtrees Road Groundbreaking Cermony on April 14, 2016 (Mark 5:33 to 6:29 in video below).
The Public Works Department is responsible for the upkeep of the infrastructure of the town. It is the organization responsible for the snow plowing and removal in the winter, road and street repair and new sidewalk construction in the summer. This office also maintains and oversees the water and sewer systems for the residents and businesses located within the town’s borders. It also oversees all building maintenance for the municipal structures. It works with the State and Federal Governments to coordinate and implement the major bridge replacement projects around town. It oversees the engineering aspects of all new construction within the town and ensures that these projects conform to local and state regulations. The Public Works Office is located in the north wing of the Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center on the second floor next to the Health Department and across from Planning and Zoning and the Building Departments.
The Public Works Department is composed of the following offices:
Director of Public Works: Douglas Arndt (presently resigned)
Highway Superintendent/Asst. Director of Public Works: Robert Dibble
Transfer Station: Mike Flanagan
Tree Warden: Rolf Brandt
Utility Department: Kelly Curtis
Phone: (203) 794-8549
Fax: (203) 794-8767
Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm