Fort Smith hires utilities director
FORT SMITH — Jerry Walters has been hired to lead the department responsible for executing a federal consent decree to eliminate chronic violations of the federal Clean Water Act from the city’s wastewater system.
City Administrator Carl Geffken announced in a news release Thursday that Walters will become director of the Utilities Department beginning April 3.
Walters, of Alexandria, Va., will leave his position as an appointed general engineer at the Pentagon for the U.S. Army. Before that, he served 7 1/2 years as public works director at the U.S. Army base in Baumholder, Germany. He also served in engineering positions at five other Army bases in the United States and abroad, according to the release.
Walters also served as senior environmental planner for Clark County, Nev.
His more than 30-year career included 15 years working in water and wastewater management, the release said, and he has worked under consent decrees at domestic and foreign Army bases.
Fort Smith officials signed a consent decree in December 2014 with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice and with the state of Arkansas to eliminate sewer overflows and maintain the sewer collection and treatment system to comply with the Clean Water Act.
City officials estimate complying with the decree will cost about $480 million over the 12-year life of the decree.