Village of Edwardsburg welcomes new street superintendent

Published 10:47 am Thursday, February 7, 2019

EDWARDSBURG — Behind the scenes in many small towns are the heavy lifters, drivers of odd vehicles and wearers of many hats who keep the community moving and functioning.

In the village of Edwardsburg, a new hat wearer stepped onto the scene on Monday, Jan. 21 to fill the position of street superintendent. Chris Powers, a Niles native, was looking for job that was more local and secure, and found one in his neighboring town.

“I saw the job posting and applied for it. [It is] something with a longevity career, something I can retire from,” Powers said about his new position.

Powers previously worked for Pepsi as a regional sales representative, but as he and his fiance prepare for their new life together, he wanted to work closer to home and become more established in his community. When it came to the village of Edwardsburg, a town he knew well from growing up in Niles and from visiting friends, he felt at home.

“I appreciate the reputation that comes with schools and the community pride. I grew up in small town, and I like being a part of that atmosphere,” Powers said.

The size of Edwardsburg is not beyond Powers’ acknowledgement in a number of ways. While he is an admirer of the small-town environment, he will be working with only a two-person staff — himself and the water superintendent, Rich Low — for which their work will be interchangeable and sharable in many ways. He is also prepared to work with a limited budget. Limitations considered, Powers believes he is up to the task as a hard, diverse worker.

“I’ve got my CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) permit, and I’ve been doing territory management for the last 13 years,” he said. “My skills are in self-accountability and self-management to get things done.”

With Michigan weather being chaotic the last couple of weeks, Powers’ first tasks have been hampered. He has spent time trying to get a feel for the village’s street and infrastructure needs, but said the simple fact is snow, negative temperatures and rain limit troubleshooting during the winter months. Even so, he’s preparing to address problems, issues and projects as they arise.

“Honestly, I can’t see a lot of problems with weather like it is,” he said. “I know we need to redo a lot of the paintwork on a few of the streets, and some patchwork. But with the crazy rain and weather we’re getting right now, we’ll look at those problems later.”

For Powers, his work with residents and becoming a community face is just as important as the work he will do and projects he will undertake.

“I’m good with public relations and working with people,” he said. “I don’t want people to be afraid to ask me anything. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find out. I want to be involved in the community.”

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