The Saugerties Village Wastewater Department hired Tristan Mahwin, a recent high school graduate as a wastewater operator trainee, as it continues to search for a new superintendent.
Village Trustee Don Hackett said a lot of municipalities have turned to hiring operator trainees and paying for their training as they continue to face a shortage of qualified wastewater plant operators.
“He’s very into it,” Hackett said. “He interviewed well and is a good young man.”
Mayor Bill Murphy said he’s known Mahwin for years, and he’s excited to have a young person looking to start a career join the department. Mahwin spent the summer with the village water department where he got to know Village Water Superintendent Mike Hopf, who is presently also serving as the Wastewater Superintendent.
Murphy reiterated that he’d like to create an agreement where all people who take advantage of the trainee program, funded by the Village, agree to stay on five years or have to pay back the cost of the training.
“We also want to make sure he doesn’t leave the department,” Murphy said, speaking about transfers to other village departments.
Murphy said he’d also like to see all future hires cross-trained in both the Water and Wastewater Departments.
“That’s the old school way of doing it,” Hackett said. “We could save taxpayer money if we do not have to fill as many vacancies. It could be a real opportunity for savings.”