Steven Smith's experience includes managing more than 200 people as a utility superintendent and being responsible for water, electricity and wastewater operations at BASF.

The newest appointee to the Hannibal Board of Public Works (BPW) has considerable utility experience, wrote City Manager Jeff LaGarce in a memo to the City Council.

Steven Smith retired from BASF after 38 years of service. His experience includes managing more than 200 people as a utility superintendent and being responsible for water, electricity and wastewater operations at BASF.

“His responsibilities were very similar to those of (BPW) General Operations Manager Bob Stevenson, so he understands both the importance and challenges of operating vital utility systems,” LaGarce wrote.

Smith’s nomination comes after the surprise resignation of Dan Patterson, who moved out of Hannibal to Arizona. The term on the board would only last until July 2018 — fulfilling Patterson’s term. Patterson, who was sworn into the BPW board in December 2016, was supposed to finish the unexpired term of Betty Anderson, who also moved out of the city.

According to LaGarce, Smith signed a petition to place Proposition 1 on the ballot and supported the measure. Proposition 1 mandated the discontinuation of ammonia as a disinfectant in the city’s drinking water system within 90 days of the ordinance’s adoption. The proposition passed in April, was approved by the council as an ordinance in May, and has since been revised to allow until March 2020 to phase out the use of ammonia.

The water issues have caused significant consternation for many of the utility’s customers.

“The city is now in implementation stage; since its my appointment, I deem it important for an experienced and qualified Prop 1 supporter be a part of that leadership effort,” LaGarce said.

Smith has experience with carbon filtration, a likely alternative method to water disinfection.

The City Council will first hear about Smith’s appointment at its Sept. 5 meeting. He could be approved by the council at its Sept. 19 meeting. The earliest Smith could be sworn into the BPW board is at its October meeting.

Smith could be the third new BPW board member sworn in this year. Lennie Rosenkrans was sworn in at the board’s June meeting. Bill Fisher, who is taking the place of longtime member Randy Park, will be sworn in at the board’s September meeting.

Reach editor Eric Dundon at eric.dundon@courierpost.com .