From sewer mains to pump stations, much of Bud Smallwood’s work is done behind the scenes, and not always the target of public accolades.
Still, when the longtime University Park director of public works retires at the end of August after 27 years of spearheading infrastructure projects, city officials say his legacy will leave a mark well beyond his departure.
“He served this city well,” said Bob Livingston, who retired last year after a 23-year stint at UP’s city manager. “He’s always had the best interest of the city at heart. The impact he’s had will be felt for many years.”
Among the accomplishments for the Kansas native are guiding the opening of the Peek Service Center in 1997 and overseeing the reconstruction of Lovers Lane a few years later. He also helped bring in a new booster pump station in 2010. Smallwood also helped start the “mile-per-year plan,” in which UP sets aside money each year for the replacement of about a mile of water and sewer pipes.
Smallwood was recognized with an ovation at the UP city council meeting on Tuesday, with many of his family members on hand.
Jacob Speer, who has worked for UP since 1999, will take Smallwood’s place. Most of Speer’s tenure has been in public works, although he recently served as interim director of community development.