Athens County Hires Assistant Engineer

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An assistant engineer has been added to the staff of the Athens County Engineer’s Department.

Donnie Stevens started in the position July 29, according to County Engineer Jeff Maiden. Stevens, who previously worked for Maiden in the private sector when Maiden owned RJM Engineering, is a registered professional engineer. Stevens also is a surveyor in training and will be eligible next year to take the professional surveyor examination, Maiden said.

Stevens said he received a degree in civil engineering from Ohio University in 2005, and went to work for RJM Engineering that year. He gained his surveyor-in-training status in 2009, and became a licensed professional engineer in 2010.

He most recently worked for The Buckley Group, which acquired RJM Engineering in 2012.

The prior administration at the Athens County Engineer’s Department had the position of deputy engineer for operations, although the person holding it was not a registered professional engineer.

Before taking office in January, Maiden told The Messenger he would not initially have a deputy engineer, but indicated he might decide later to hire one and that anyone hired for the job would be a registered engineer.

Maiden said Thursday that he decided to create the assistant engineer position because it will save money.

“It became apparent we could save the county hundreds of thousands (of dollars) of engineering design fees by doing our design work in-house,” Maiden said.

Maiden said he also will do design work himself.

“I would never have the time to do it (all) myself,” he said.

Maiden said the department will be able to design 13 FEMA projects in-house and get reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, rather than the money going to outside firms.

Stevens’ annual salary is $68,640.

“It’s a competitive salary with what ODOT pays its engineers,” Maiden said, referring to the Ohio Department of Transportation.