GERING — A familiar face has been named as Gering’s new city engineer. She’s Annie Folck, the city’s former city planner.
“I’m a professional engineer, but haven’t had the opportunity to do a lot of engineering in my career,” she said. “It’s something I truly enjoy and being with the City of Gering where they have their own in-house engineer gave me that opportunity.”
The city has been without a full-time engineer after the departure of Brendan Lilly. That gave Folck the opportunity to help with a variety of projects, from streets to the currently under construction Gering Civic Plaza.
“Annie has already done some projects for us, so I’m confident she’ll do a good job,” said Director of Public Works Pat Heath.
Also working with Folck on the Gering City Plaza is Parks Director Amy Seiler.
“I’ve enjoyed working with Annie for years,” she said. “She’s a capable engineer that pays attention to detail, so it will be great to have her aboard.”
Folck will be in the office four days a week, as she was in the planner position.
“It’s still going to be a balance with family and everything else going on, but that’s true for everyone,” she said. “I’ve been filling in for some time so I have a good idea of what’s expected in the position so it should just be a different title.”
She said Gering, like every community, faces the challenge of how to grow, how to attract business and development. One of the big items to assist in that area is updating the municipal codes, something she’s already been working on.
“Our codes really need to be brought up to date and we should be getting an updated code book in the next few months,” Folck said. “We’re making some changes so our codes are much more business friendly so people will want to come here.”
One of the smaller projects for the city, but still important, is the re-engineering of the intersection of Lockwood Road and M Street. While that project’s on the radar, others are more pressing.
Some of the bigger upcoming projects include the new softball/baseball quad complex in Oregon Trail Park, which should get started this fall, after the season ends for local teams. Plus the city is waiting to hear a start date from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, which is providing $225,000 in grant funding for the project.
Another major ongoing project is the Gering landfill, which additionally provides service to both Scottsbluff and Mitchell. Current projections have the landfill reaching capacity in 2026, so a site for a new one will have to be identified soon. Gering is working with Scottsbluff and an independent engineer to determine the best location.
Stormwater is another project in the queue for Gering.
“We may do a citywide study to determine where we can improve our stormwater retention system,” Folck said. “The feds give us the guidelines, but we have some flexibility on how we’re going to accomplish it.”