Norwich City Council names health district board chairman to utilities commission

Norwich — After having served on the Uncas Health District board of directors since its inception, and more than 20 years as its chairman, William Warzecha will move to the Board of Public Utilities Commissioners.

The City Council on Monday named Warzecha to fill the vacancy left by the June resignation of former Chairwoman Grace Jones. Warzecha was one of six applicants for the position.

“I’m going to be a hard worker, be involved,” Warzecha said. “When I get involved in something like this, I put my all into it. I look forward to the challenge. I know a few of the commissioners. They’re good people. They’ll be good to work with.”

Warzecha will retire Oct 1 from his position as supervising environmental analyst for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. He said his longtime experience in dealing with water supply safety issues, water treatment and wastewater treatment should help the utilities commission deal with the long-term project of upgrading the city’s aging sewage treatment plant and improvements to the city's drinking water system.

He also has experience with installation of solar arrays on former landfills and the need to ensure that landfill caps are not breached by the new systems. Norwich has a solar array on the former Rogers Road landfill. He also has experience with testing of sediments that accumulate behind dams. Norwich has hydropower dams in Greeneville and Occum.

“I have a lot of experience and a tremendous amount of contacts in regulatory agencies that regulate public water supply issues,” he said.

Warzecha was a founding member of the Uncas Health District board in 1988. He had previous experience in public health, having worked for the state Department of Public Health, for the former Norwich Health Department and as chief sanitarian for the Northeast District Department of Health.

Uncas Health District started with Norwich and Montville and has added nine towns since 2007, including Preston this fiscal year. Health district Director Patrick McCormack said Warzecha was very much involved in the district’s expansion, attending meetings in municipalities and making new board members from expansion towns feel welcomed and comfortable.

Warzecha's last health district board meeting was Sept. 11, and the board gave him a standing ovation for his service, McCormack said.

“I can appreciate the amount of time he’s given to us,” McCormack said. “I have no question he’ll be a great value to (the utilities commission). His history of running boards, and career history and how to run a meeting and his enthusiasm for being on a board is invaluable.”

c.bessette@theday.com

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