Landfill director to retire

JOHNSTOWN – Longtime Fulton County Department of Solid Waste Director Jeff Bouchard plans to retire Aug. 31 after nearly 34 years of service to the county, but he will work as a private consultant for the county for three years.

The Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a resolution indicating the county will retain Bouchard’s services as a private consultant after he retires. He will earn $85 per hour for an estimated 16 to 32 hours per week. His compensation from the county will not exceed $102,000 per year, according to the resolution.

Bouchard now earns slightly less than $100,000 per year.

Bouchard started his service with the county in November 1980 with the county Highway Department before moving to the county Department of Solid Waste, where he worked his way up to the top administrative position.

The resolution approved by the board states Bouchard will take a new position with Gerhardt LLC of New Hartford, Oneida County, and provide management consultant services to solid waste management facilities on an as-needed basis.

Supervisors authorized a three-year county contract with Gerhardt and Bouchard for management consultant services to run from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2017.

Action by the board followed a closed-door executive session to discuss employment history. Bouchard sat in the executive session for a while, and when he left the meeting, said he was excited about the Gerhardt opportunity.

“I saw an opportunity and I took it,” Bouchard said.

He said he worked his way up through the county ranks to learn every aspect of the solid waste operation.

Gloversville 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael F. Gendron, chairman of the board’s Economic Development-Environment Committee, said today he anticipates the county will look for a “qualified director” of the solid waste agency by the end of Bouchard’s contract in 2017.

“We will post the job in the future,” Gendron said. “Right now, we need Jeff for the budget and the landfill expansion.”

The resolution indicated Gendron’s committee recommended contracting with Gerhardt during the “recruitment, hiring and orientation” for Bouchard’s successor and while the county considers the next landfill cell expansion scheduled for 2016-17.

The 55-year-old Bouchard said today, “I thought I would try to enjoy the family a little bit and work part time.”

He said he realizes the landfill and Department of Solid Waste will go through many changes in the future, and he still wants to have a hand in some of the unfinished business.

“I want to protect the investment I’ve worked for,” Bouchard said.

He said he has “absolutely” enjoyed his years at the landfill operation and “all of the opportunities presented.”

He noted many changes he helped guide – from recycling to converting methane gas to electricity. He praised his “excellent” staff for their service over the years.

Fire coordinator

The county board also took action on another high-profile department head position.

Former county Civil Defense-Fire Coordinator Allan Polmateer retired June 27. The board on Monday hired his replacement, whose identity will be made public this week, said county Administrative Officer Jon Stead.

Supervisors also agreed to hire Polmateer, of St. Johnsville, as a private consultant.

The board authorized a contract with Polmateer not to exceed $20,000 for consulting on the county’s interoperable radio communications project.

Polmateer will serve as project manager to coordinate and monitor completion of the project.

The resolution says Polmateer will be paid at a rate of $50 per hour, which includes all consultant expenses such as cellphone use, travel and fuel.