Village Manager David Fieldman announced today that Public Works Director Nan Newlon will retire after 10 years of outstanding service. Her last day in Downers Grove will be February 7, 2020.
"Nan's strategic and collaborative approach to project management has resulted in the successful completion of over $100 million in infrastructure improvements over the past decade. Her outstanding performance has always inspired others to do their best, " Manager Fieldman said.
Since her arrival as Public Works Director in January 2009, Newlon has guided the department through a wide variety of capital projects. For example, in 2015 the Village reached a road maintenance milestone by completing $25 million in reconstruction projects overseen by Newlon. As a result, 99% of all Village streets are in maintainable condition, with good drivability and low maintenance costs.
Newlon played an integral role in securing a new agreement with PACE to fully fund a local commuter shuttle service, once owned by the Village. Although popular, the service was costing the Village $100,000 per year. Beginning in 2010, Newlon and other staff members had a series of meetings with Pace officials in an effort to restructure the agreement and to substantially increase Pace's contributions to operate the shuttle. Pace's Board of Directors agreed to amend the operating agreement to include payment of all operating and maintenance expenses. The new agreement saved the Village money, while also allowing for an expansion of service in the area.
Environmental Sustainability is an important component of Village operations and during Newlon's tenure, the Public Works Department has achieved award winning results. For seven straight years, the Village has been selected as one of the Top 50 Greenest Fleets in North America. The award recognizes government agencies for their dedicated use of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles. In 2018, 83% of the Village's fleet utilized some form of alternative fuel. Being selected as an award winning Government Green Fleet is a great accomplishment for the Village.
Newlon's proactive approach to innovation also resulted in Downers Grove becoming the first community in the United States to install a solar and wind powered street lighting system in a residential neighborhood. Completed in 2010, the Prentiss Creek hybrid street lights save money and have resulted in a significant reduction in carbon emissions versus a conventional street lighting system. The Village received the Technical Innovation Award for the project from the American Public Works Association APWA.
As a result of these and many other accomplishments, Newlon was selected APWA 2018 Top Ten Public Works Leader. The award is given to honor the public works professional's career, for demonstrated excellence in public works, services, and infrastructure in their community.
"It has always been important to me as Public Works Director to encourage innovation and support the hardworking members of our team. I am proud of the work we have done together to improve Downers Grove's infrastructure. The department is well positioned to continue to do good things for the community," Newlon said.
The Village extends best wishes to Nan Newlon in her retirement. Thank you for a job well done.