New public works chief hired for township, village

Marie Havenga • Jul 12, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Wally Delamater first worked with Spring Lake Township Manager Gordon Gallagher more than two decades ago in Montcalm County's Village of Lakeview.

They are being reunited, as Delamater will take over as the director of public works for Spring Lake Township and the Village of Spring Lake on Aug. 6.

Delamater, 59, has served as the Suttons Bay village manager for the past 10 years. He worked as Lakeview's public works director when Gallagher was a new manager there. After Gallagher left Lakeview, Delamater was appointed village manager.

“We had a good working relationship then and I intend to make sure we have a good working relationship now,” Delamater said. “I'm a public works person and that's where my strengths have always been. I'm looking to apply that to this position and get involved in the community.”

Delamater said he plans to meet with both village and township staff in his initial days on the job.

“There will be a process of review and discussion,” he said. “I'm going in with my eyes wide open. I'm willing to take the time to do a thorough look and evaluation, and work with the current staff and figure out what we need to do to move forward, if anything.”

Delamater met with Spring Lake Village Council on Monday night. He told the council members that he has already announced his resignation in Suttons Bay because he wants to live closer to his grandchildren.

Delamater will replace John Stuparits, who held the shared Department of Public Works chief position for two years after managing the local wastewater treatment plant for many years. Stuparits, who oversees 10 employees, has agreed to stay on and train his replacement before he retires.

Delamater, who will earn $72,000 per year, was chosen from a pool of 11 applicants.

“Mr. Delamater stood out as an excellent choice to lead our departments,” Gallagher said. “He has served in a DPW director or manager role for the past 24 years. Prior to serving as a DPW director, he was a builder, and additionally he served in the U.S. Air Force for six years.”

Delamater is certified in water distribution and wastewater treatment, as well as holding a Class B commercial driver’s license.

“He has extensive supervisory experience and he has a friendly confidence that impressed our DPW staff as well as our selection committee,” Gallagher said.

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