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The Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority's Board of Directors has hired Jeanine Wilson as the new director of operations. Wilson will replace interim director Doug Selby, the former Auburn city manager who has held the position since last summer.

Wilson, a resident of Port Byron, has worked at the authority for at least 20 years, said Paul Dudley, the board's chairman.

"She knows the operation inside and out, backwards and forwards," Dudley said. "I'm just happy that she accepted the job, and I know she brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Now she gets to implement that knowledge."

Selby said Wilson is currently working as a senior clerk for the authority, a position directly below director. She has run day-to-day operations and filled in for Selby when he was out of the office. She is expected to start in her new capacity on Feb. 6.

Selby and Dudley could not comment on what the director position's salary will be, as Wilson had not yet signed the proposed agreement. Selby said he hopes the contract is finalized this week.

Wilson could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Wilson was one of approximately 12 applicants for the position, which has been vacant since last summer after former director Michelle Baines left her post. When the authority first advertised for the position, Selby said only three applicants expressed interest, including Wilson. When the authority extended their recruitment, they ended up with 12 total interested parities, which made the board feel comfortable moving forward, Selby said.

"(Jeanine's) got a lot of history with the agency, and a lot of good relationships with customers," Selby said. "She will pretty much hit the ground running. There's not a lot of start-up time for her."

Meanwhile Selby will transition from interim director to a consultant for the authority. His primary duties will be to create a county-wide master plan of water and sewer systems, something the authority received a $100,000 grant from the state to do. Cayuga County will contribute an additional $100,000 for the study.

Dudley said the board of directors decided to keep Selby on hand for that role because of his work to secure the grant, and his firsthand knowledge of what needs to be done.

"We felt he was the best person to implement it," Dudley said.

For now, Selby said he's going through the grant agreement with the state. He said the next step will be to solicit proposals from consulting firms and highlight a scope of work that needs to be done. He expects that part of the project to begin in February.

Staff writer Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or gwendolyn.craig@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.

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County Government Reporter