NEWINGTON - The town welcomed a new department head recently.
Gary Fuerstenberg has taken over as town engineer, filling the spot left vacant by Chris Greenlaw, who left earlier in the fall.
The Town Council presented Fuerstenberg with a proclamation at its last meeting, his official introduction to the public and a chance to meet elected officials.
“I believe and I have witnessed that he is making a wonderful transition to our staff,” Town Manager Tanya Lane said.
Fuerstenberg brings 20-plus years of civil engineering experience to Newington as a consultant, contractor and educator. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, he earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin before going on to earn a masters in civil and environmental engineering. He is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in 11 states, including Connecticut.
“It all started in a great big sandbox under an apple tree in the backyard,” Fuerstenberg explained of his earliest interest in the field. “I love engineering and the outdoors. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
As councilors reviewed copies of his resume and credentials, Gail Budrejko pointed out an interesting piece of personal history.
“I’m most impressed that you hiked the Appalachian Trail,” she said. If you can do that you can withstand the pressures in Newington.”
Fuerstenberg went on to share his tale of a six-and-a-half month, 2,180-mile journey.
“It was a great learning experience,” he said. “My backpack always stays half-packed in the basement. If I get the opportunity I’ll head outdoors.”
He is also an active volunteer, as chairman of the CT Society of Civil Engineers’ geotechnical engineering committee and on the Industrial Advisory Committee at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich. He also served as a Boy Scout troop leader for many years.
“I’ve made a great introduction to the staff and I’m looking forward to working with all of you,” Fuerstenberg said.
“You’ll be seeing a lot of us in upcoming months,” Mayor Roy Zartarian told him.
The town engineer is responsible for planning, directing, supervising, budgeting and coordinating professional engineering services for the town. He is primarily concerned with roadways, storm drainage, septic systems, water lines, street lighting and bridges. He also provides oversight to the town’s Inland-Wetlands Commission and assists in the review of development plans for the Town Plan & Zoning Commission.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.