Mayor Chris Beutler has named Chad Blahak as Interim Director of the City Building and Safety Department and Manager of the Development Services Center (DSC), effective January 2, 2014. Blahak is a licensed professional engineer and has worked for the City Public Works and Utilities Department since 2002. He will replace Fred Hoke who was named Building and Safety Director in December 2008 and helped to create the DSC.
"Chad has proven his abilities as a project manager for major City projects, including the infrastructure portion of the West Haymarket ," Mayor Beutler said. "In addition to his engineering skills, Chad understands projects budgeting, City codes and design standards. He's also been successful in working with consultants, contractors, developers and government officials at all levels. I'm confident that he will be an excellent leader for Building and Safety and the DSC."
Blahak also served as the City's coordinator for the federal stimulus projects and as project manager for the East Beltway preliminary design and corridor protection. He earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a masters in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before joining the City, he was an Assistant Engineer for Olsson Associates.
"I am very excited to serve Lincoln as the Interim Building and Safety Director and DSC Manager and thank Mayor Beutler for this opportunity," said Blahak. "I look forward to working with staff, the Mayor's Office, other City departments and private businesses to keep Lincoln a great place to live and do business."
The Mayor praised Hoke's contributions to the City. "Creating the DSC was a major initiative, and Fred's leadership, vision and organizational skills were instrumental in making it a success," Beutler said.
The Building and Safety Department is responsible for reviewing construction plans, issuing permits and inspecting new construction and existing buildings to determine their compliance with codes and regulations. The DSC - a "one-stop shop" for the review, permitting and inspection of development projects - has been in operation since March 2010. It co-locates five departments that work with development projects - Building and Safety, Public Works and Utilities, Urban Development, Health and Planning.