OnFocus – On October 30, City Engineer Tom Turchi celebrates 25 years serving the City of Marshfield. His interest in the career started in his teens. While attending high school in his native Duluth, MN, Turchi had a summer job with the City of Duluth in the Water & Gas Engineering Division as a draftsman.
“The Engineering Director for the division challenged me by assigning aspects of the designs beyond drawing lines, thus drawing out my interest in the civil engineering field,” recalled Turchi. “I found that I had a true fascination of being given a problem with specific set of parameters and devising a cost efficient solution to the problem.”
Turchi then attended UW-Platteville and attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering before being offered a job as a Civil Engineer in Marshfield.
“Following graduation, I had just gotten married to my wonderful wife and was offered an entry level Civil Engineering position with the City and we felt Marshfield was a great community to start our family,” he said. “One of the main reasons we have chosen to stay in Marshfield is due to the great friendships we have made over the past several decades and how giving and caring many of our community leaders are behind the scenes through their donations of time or resources to address community issues and make our community a better place for all of us.”
From 1995-1999, Turchi held the title of “Civil Engineer I” before being promoted to his current role of City Engineer in 2000.
His favorite part of the job has been working with the rest of the engineering team and the community to bring projects to fruition.
“I enjoy the wonderful dedicated employees I get to work with on a daily basis who are willing to make the extra effort to solve problems, the wide variety of work, and the ability to improve citizens’ lives – many times without them even realizing that it is happening,” he said. “I also enjoy working with citizens and businesses to take their ideas from concept to completion.”
During his tenure with the City of Marshfield, Turchi has been involved in a number of significant projects, including reducing traffic crashes in the city and establishing a cost-saving sanitary sewer lining program.
“The accomplishments that I’m a proud are many,” he said. “The Engineering Division through good design practices have reduced traffic crashes in our community from 1996 to 2012 by more than 50%. Since being established in 1998, the sanitary sewer lining program has saved the city more than 6 million dollars and road restoration costs which in turn has rehabilitated more than 35% of the city’s sanitary sewer system by this method.”
Turchi also has played a part in attaining various grants for city projects.
“The Public Works and Engineering Division has received numerous Federal and State grants for street and infrastructure projects, thus saving taxpayers many millions of dollars over the past several decades,” he said. “On one particular project, the team was able to secure 1.3 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funding for a portion of Lincoln Avenue – in which more than 700 applications were made and only 32 were awarded in the state.”
For Turchi, engineering has been a rewarding career.
“Engineering is one profession where your ideas and acts progress step by step from paper to hard reality, improving lives either through improved living conditions or enhanced safety of the city’s vast infrastructure. Being able to see how your work has positively impacted peoples’ lives is a reward in itself,” he said. “There is a wide variety of work in the municipal engineering setting which keeps things exciting and constant changes in technology provide new and exciting ways to deliver projects and services quickly and efficiently.”
During his time in Marshfield, Turchi has been involved in a number of community activities, including Leadership Marshfield (Class of 2012), an Assistant Scout leader – Troop 385 Boy Scouts, an Our Lady of Peace member, and the St Vincent DePaul Transitional Shelter design.
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