The City of Palm Coast is creating a new Stormwater & Engineering Department, and Carl Cote, a City employee for nearly 14 years, is being promoted to Director of the new department.

The new Stormwater & Engineering Department - with 55 employees - will be made up of portions of the existing Community Development and Public Works departments.

The new department will include all of the functions of the Construction Management & Engineering Division of the Community Development Department - capital projects, traffic operations, paving management, utility design, private development infrastructure design review and construction inspections, and stormwater drainage system operations including design and construction. In addition, the Stormwater Division of the Public Works Department - which maintains the drainage system - will join the new department.

The reorganization is being driven by the City's new enhanced stormwater management program to address an aging infrastructure as well as drainage issues across Palm Coast. With the new approach for making large-scale drainage improvements, it will be more important than ever for collaboration and coordination between engineers, construction managers and maintenance crews in the field.

A registered architect and licensed building official, Cote is currently Manager of the Construction Management & Engineering Division. He has 19 years of experience managing capital projects for the City and, before that, for the State of New Hampshire.

Cote started at the City of Palm Coast in April 2005 as a plans examiner in what was then named the Building Department. He was promoted to Construction Manager in 2008 and oversaw planning, design and construction for City buildings and parks, eventually becoming responsible for all capital projects. He was named to his current position as a manager in 2015.

Over the years, Cote has overseen major projects including Palm Coast City Hall, Holland Park, Palm Coast Community Center, Palm Coast Parkway six-laning and Wastewater Treatment Plant 2. He leads the traffic signal optimization program, now in its third phase, and the recent re-start of the continuous streetlight program. Traffic operations are a major part of the job, including roadway safety improvements and pavement management. He manages the City's 5-year and 10-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and related budget.

"Carl has successfully managed countless major projects for the City over the past 14 years, and has proven himself to be a good and effective leader," said Interim City Manager Beau Falgout. "The number of projects we have in the works, combined with the new stormwater program, warrants a stand-alone department to make sure we have all of the resources we need working together efficiently and focused on providing the highest quality city services."

Cote grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire, and earned a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. Before moving to Palm Coast he was a Project Manager for Public Works for the State of New Hampshire, which oversaw 350 state buildings and new building construction for the state.

He and his family regularly vacationed in Florida and decided to move here in 2004 after visiting family at a timeshare in Daytona Beach.

"When we drove through Palm Coast, it was such a beautiful place, we knew this is where we wanted to be," Cote said.

The Cotes contracted to build a house in Palm Coast. By chance, his wife April discovered the City was hiring while she was at a job fair with her mother. Nestor Abreu, who is retiring this week as Palm Coast's Public Works Director, was one of the City employees recruiting at the job fair - and he was the one who hired Cote.

The Cotes have three children and a grandson. He enjoys long-distance running on the trails of Palm Coast, and often runs marathons and half-marathons.

"With the new stormwater program starting and several big capital projects such as the Public Works facility reconstruction on the horizon, it's an exciting time to be involved in Stormwater & Engineering for the City," Cote said. "I'm looking forward to bringing these divisions together in one new department to better serve our residents."

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