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Mohan picks ex-student as town engineer

Amherst Supervisor Satish B. Mohan has chosen one of his former University at Buffalo engineering students, Jeffrey S. Burroughs, to replace Paul M. Bowers as town engineer, he said Thursday.

Burroughs, 36, a professional engineer who has worked for the town for about 11 years, will be appointed to the $85,810 post on a provisional basis until he passes a civil service exam, according to a motion filed Thursday by Mohan.

Mohan also said he was naming Jeffrey D. Angiel, who works in maintenance in the town Engineering Department, to head the town's controversial program to convert sludge into fertilizer.

Burroughs' appointment must be approved by the Town Board, which meets Monday.

One town lawmaker who has been critical of Mohan in the past said he was unsure how the board would vote on replacing Bowers, 59, who has worked for the town for 19 years and has extensive ties in professional engineering organizations.

"I can't believe it. I can't believe it's being handled this way," Council Member William Kindel said. Kindel, who has said he supported Bowers' reappointment on a conditional basis, said Bowers was out of town Thursday and apparently not aware of Burroughs' appointment. Bowers could not be reached to comment.

Three weeks ago, Mohan announced that he was not reappointing Bowers, whom he described as being employed on a "day to day" basis.

Bowers joined the town's engineering staff in 1987 after working for a number of private companies and was an assistant town engineer before being named town engineer.

Among other duties, he is responsible for the operations of Amherst's Sewer Plant 16, including the pellet program that is designed to convert sludge into fertilizer.

He has been criticized for his department's lax purchasing practices and overspending.

Burroughs, a graduate of UB's Engineering School, where he was a student of Mohan, joined the town in 1994 after working for Rich Products. He is in charge of the town's Environmental Controls Division, which oversees the compost facility.

Burroughs could not be reached to comment.

e-mail: tdolan@buffnews.com

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