The Southwestern Water Conservation District seems to have identified a replacement for longtime director Bruce Whitehead, who retired earlier this year.
Bob Wolff, president of the water district board who represents La Plata County, told county commissioners earlier this week the district is attempting to hire Frank Kugel, who is currently the general manager of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District.
A representative with the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District said Kugel was out of the office and not available Friday.
The Southwestern Water Conservation District board on Monday unanimously named Kugel as the finalist to take the helm at the district. The board intends to send Kugel an offer of employment next month.
“He’s going to be able to hit the ground running,” Wolff said. “And we have a lot of water going under the bridge right now, so we’re excited.”
According to the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District website, Kugel received a civil engineering degree from the University of Colorado. He has previously worked at the Colorado Division of Water Resources as an inspector in the dam safety branch, and as a division engineer based in Gunnison.
The Southwestern Water Conservation District was created by the state of Colorado in 1941 to conserve and develop water resources in nine counties: Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, San Miguel, and parts of Hinsdale, Mineral and Montrose.
Whitehead retired April 1 after more than a decade at the district.