CLARKESVILLE — As expected, the Clarkesville City Council voted unanimously Monday to contract with ESG Operations Inc., of Macon for the management of certain city services.
“They will be the operations, maintenance and management of public works, sanitation, water treatment plant, water distribution, the wastewater treatment plant, and the wastewater collection system,” City Manager Barbara Kesler told AccessWDUN. “So basically, everything public works was doing, which includes streets, sanitation, and all of our enterprise funds activities with the water and wastewater treatment.”
The transition will begin this week.
“Actually, ESG will be out here beginning on Wednesday of this week to start that transition,” Kesler said. “There are group meetings set up on Wednesday with their H.R. folks and our folks who will be transitioning. They’ll have individual meetings with them on Thursday. They will have people from ESG staff coming down here looking at how both of the plants work, surveying the shop property. Basically, the contract is approved and they’re going to be jumping right in and they’re ready to hit the ground running. That’s what they do.”
All grounds, facilities, equipment, and vehicles now owned by the City of Clarkesville or acquired by the city during the term of the agreement will remain the property of the city.
The management contract with ESG will help the city fill gaps created by the recent departure of several members of the leadership team in public works and project management.
“It will be good to have their experience and their leadership here for the City of Clarkesville,” Kesler said. “I think it’s going to be very beneficial.”
Kesler said having a company with a pool of qualified personnel is important to the city.
“In Clarkesville, we have come to expect a level of excellence in performance,” Kesler said. “In the water/wastewater/public works arena, there aren’t a lot of people going into that these days.”
Kesler said she read an article last week explaining that the younger generation isn’t going into construction and labor-related fields.
“We were finding that there was a shortage of people who were willing to come in and fulfill those jobs,” Kesler said. “ESG offers us the opportunity to continue to provide the excellent level of service, and also sort of steps up our game on the amount of experience that we can rely on that they have.”
There are a few personnel who will not fall under the management contract, including the city’s gardens and grounds department, and city hall office staff who handle billing and administration.
“Gardens will not go under that contract,” Kesler said. “And, none of our billing or administrative functions will go under that contract. Our administrative employees and the billing and collections are going to stay with the city.”