Castle Pines North Metro district hires in-house manager

Staff report
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Jim Nikkel, who spearheaded the design and construction of Rueter-Hess Reservoir and is currently assistant manager of the Parker Water and Sanitation District, will soon be the new district manager for Castle Pines North Metropolitan District.

Nikkel, who will start work officially on Sept. 16, currently manages, among other duties, the Parker Water and Sanitation District's new $50 million state-of-the-art water treatment plant.

“I believe that Jim Nikkel's depth and diversity of operational expertise in drinking water and wastewater utilities, his familiarity with our district's infrastructure and systems, and the fact that he is a respected engineer uniquely qualify him to lead the district,” Steve Labossiere, president of the metro district's board of directors, said in a news release.

“I'm pleased that we were able to recruit someone of his experience to help us continue moving our district decisively toward a renewable water future,” Labossiere said.

Kathy Rosenkrans, a board member, said the board always intended to hire a full-time in-house district manager, but they think highly of the current manager, Jim Worley of Greenwood Village-based Pinnacle Consulting Group, based in Greenwood Village, “and value his service over the last couple of years.”

Rosenkrans said this was the optimal time to switch to an in-house manager as the district launches a development process for a new renewable-water implementation program.

Ken Smith, a district spokesman, said Worley, who stepped in after the departure of the district's last full-time manager, Jim O'Grady, was with the district for more than two years, and skillfully got the district through some major projects.

But Smith said Worley always understood the district wanted an in-house person and an engineer. Worley's expertise is district management and he's not an engineer.

Smith said when Nikkel, who essentially has been Parker's chief engineer, became available, it seemed like the right fit, because of his engineering background and also because of his knowledge of Rueter-Hess, which Castle Pines has storage rights in and may build a pipeline to it.

Nikkel said that “tackling new challenges is imbedded in my DNA … The Castle Pines North Metro Board is taking on exciting and important initiatives. Planning and building renewable water infrastructure, implementing aggressive water conservation measures, and encouraging customers to xeriscape are action items that don't magically occur on their own. Each requires vision and focused leadership.

“I am genuinely happy to work with the board and to lead the staff and the community that we serve to new heights.”