Tofino’s top engineer leaves district amidst massive sewage treatment project

District office currently working through $60 million sewage treatment plant

Tofino lost a significant sprocket in its sewage treatment chain last week.

Ricardo Araya has left the district’s Manager of Engineering and Public Works position that he had held for over three years. The role officially became vacant on Nov. 4.

“I am leaving Tofino and the District of Tofino to pursue other opportunities with my family that are unrelated to work,” Araya told the Westerly News. “I wish the District all the best and feel grateful for all I learned and was able to participate in during my time here.”

The district’s chief administrative officer Bob MacPherson told the Westerly that Araya had advised the district in the summer that he would be leaving his role, so there’s been plenty of time to prepare for his departure.

“On behalf of district staff and council, we wish Ricardo nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” McPherson said.

It’s a tough time for Tofino to lose its top engineer as the district is currently working through a $60 million sewage treatment plant that the federal government has mandated must be in place by 2020.

“There has been a lot of work done and, while we have had consultants who have done a lot of the heavy lifting, both Ricardo and I were very involved in guiding this project,” MacPherson said. “There shouldn’t be any hiccups here…I’ve needed to be involved anyway and since we’ve known that Ricardo was leaving, I’ve made sure that I’m as up to speed as I possibly can be with the wastewater treatment plant, so I’m continuing to provide guidance to our team and to council as we make decisions to get this thing delivered.”

He said the Manager of Engineering and Public Works position would likely be tweaked with some responsibilities being moved to other roles in light of the sewage treatment plant’s workload.

“Specifically, the delivering of infrastructure projects might be split off from that, given the magnitude of what’s coming at us…We’ve looked at the job description and we’ve looked at our needs coming up and we’re making some tweaks to job descriptions knowing that we’ll have to add some personnel for delivering a $60 million project,” he said. “We’re trying to line all of that up now, that will be completed this week and then we’ll be going out to the marketplace looking for some new staff for engineering and public works.”

He said the district planned to begin advertising the position this week and expects to have somebody hired early in the New Year.

“We’re going to align our organization with this work that’s coming up over the next three years, the wastewater treatment plant as well as a few other capital projects that need to get done,” he said. “But, certainly, as we’re advertising and recruiting, the construction of a wastewater treatment plant is going to be front and centre with our considerations.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Tofino receives more than $40M in funding for new sewage treatment plant

READ MORE: Tofino pursues $40 million grant for sewage treatment

READ MORE: Tofino to treat sewage by 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet and Tofino mayors call for “calmness” and “empathy” as highway closure cuts communities off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

UPDATED: Tofino-Ucluelet highway will be open for “essential travel only” on Friday

Vehicles will be screened at the Tofino/Ucluelet junction and at Sproat Lake.

Tofino shakes up emergency notification service

“You can download maps and it has more functionality.”

Dylan Green set to launch B.C.’s first ride-hailing app in Tofino

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

Most Read