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Water superintendent eager to step up to job

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GREENFIELD — Michael Fannin will take over as superintendent of Greenfield’s water utility next month.

The Greenfield Board of Works unanimously approved Fannin’s hiring Tuesday, two months after formally accepting the resignation of former superintendent Mark Nance.

Fannin, a native of Gas City, said he is looking forward to the career advancement. He’s currently the chief water operator at Marion Utilities in Grant County, about 60 miles north of Greenfield.

“It’s definitely a step up in position,” said Fannin, 40. “I believed in myself, in my abilities and I’ve been pushing myself as much as I can in Marion.”

Fannin has been working in Marion six years, and prior to that he worked on animal aquatics systems and swimming pools for Walt Disney World resort in Florida.

He said he is looking forward to the new challenge of managing a utility for an entire city, including overseeing more employees and stepping into the administrative role of managing a budget.

Fannin will have plenty to do when he starts Sept. 9, said Mike Fruth, utility director for the city.

Fannin’s first task will be to evaluate operations and personnel of the water utility and determine whether the right people are in the correct positions, Fruth said. He’ll also evaluate the city’s water maintenance program to make sure the city’s water plant and systems are on an accurate maintenance schedule.

The board approved a $57,270 salary for Fannin, but that could be increased to $60,270 after his 90-day probationary period. That is the same salary Nance had been paid.

Fannin’s hire comes at a time of transition for the water utility. Mayor Dick Pasco asked Nance to resign from his position in June. While Pasco said a concern for Nance’s health was the main reason, the mayor also said he disagreed with some of the administrative decisions Nance had been making since he was brought back as water superintendent in 2012.

Nance had worked a total of 23 years for the city but lost his job in 2009 when former Mayor Brad DeReamer did not reappoint him; Pasco had rehired Nance when he took office.

While senior operator Bob Lane had been acting superintendent in the interim, he was not interested in taking the position full time. City officials decided to advertise for a new superintendent.

Twelve people applied for the position, Fruth said, and six were interviewed. Fannin was the city’s top choice because of his people skills and ability to bring a fresh perspective from his experience with the municipal utility in Marion, Fruth said.

“He has a lot of ideas, a lot of energy and appears to be motivated,” Fruth said.

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