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After a 47-year career in public works, Wichita director Alan King will retire in March

Alan King retires after 11 years as director of Wichita public works and utilities.

Mayor Brandon Whipple praised the outgoing director for his service during his state of the city address Thursday night.

“The city has benefited so much from Alan King’s knowledge, particularly as we are upgrading our aging infrastructure. From time to time, let’s boil [water] order and Alan King is that steady hand, that steady voice that ensures we get back to work as quickly as possible,” Whipple said.

“Alan, I hope you enjoy your retirement, but I also hope you keep the same mobile number as there is a chance we might need to call you.”

King’s last day on the job is March 3.

“I’ve been there for 47 years in other places, so it was about time,” he told The Eagle.

King was previously director of public works for the city of Broomfield, Colorado and assistant director for Bellevue, Washington.

Under King’s watch, Wichita undertook the two largest infrastructure projects in the city’s history, the new $553 million Northwest Sewage Treatment Plant and a $357 million sewer system upgrade.

King said construction on the water plant will be finished by late 2024 or early 2025, and wastewater upgrades are expected to be completed by 2027.

When asked what he’s most proud of about his tenure, King said it’s not just about big infrastructure projects.

“The most obvious is the new water treatment plant that’s under construction, but really the smaller things that you don’t see,” King said. “The way we’ve developed models to help make informed decisions about what infrastructure to invest in, what types of services and what layers to provide, the management tools we’ve developed in the background that I think have really gone a long way in our success.”

And what will the next chapter be like for King?

“Family, making plans in my children’s and grandchildren’s homes — that sort of thing.”

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