Thursday, May 8, 2003

Engineer joins Boone planners


Hebron man is newest commission member

By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BURLINGTON - As the newest member of Boone County Planning Commission, Greg Breetz says his first task is to study up on the county's Comprehensive Plan.

GREG BREETZ
Age: 46.
Education: B.S., mining engineering, University of Kentucky.
Home: Hebron.
Family: Wife, Bridget; two sons.
Work: Director of civil and site engineering at Burgess and Niple Inc., Cincinnati.
Activities: Airport's noise abatement board member since February.
"That's the guide," said Breetz, who attended his first commission meeting as a member Wednesday night.

The 180-page plan is a guideline for growth in the county for the next 20 years.

Breetz, 46, was unanimously approved by Boone Fiscal Court Tuesday after being nominated by Judge-executive Gary Moore.

A Hebron resident, Breetz is director of civil and site engineering at Burgess & Niple Inc. in Cincinnati.

The company is a large-scale engineering and architectural services firm, with experience throughout the U.S. and overseas in projects ranging from water quality studies to planned residential communities and large office parks.

Breetz fills a vacancy on the 15-member commission that was created when Fiscal Court refused to reappoint Dave Zimmer.

Zimmer, whose four-year term was up, had been labeled anti-growth by homebuilders and developers after he voted against a 727-home development that has since been approved.

Moore had nominated Zimmer to a second term, but he could not get one of the three members of Fiscal Court to second the motion.

So, left with an empty spot, Moore said he talked to three or four potential candidates, "but Greg was so impressive that I stopped at that point."

Moore said Breetz's background as a mining engineer would be beneficial to the county, which has dealt with mining issues in the past.

Also, the northern part of the county also needed representation on the commission, Moore said.

Breetz said he doesn't want to be labeled as pro- or anti-growth, but he realizes that development is an important issue in Boone County.

"I am not against growth, that's part of our society," Breetz said.

"I know the county has been struggling with this."

The best way to deal with inevitable growth is to "try to identify the areas that are well suited for it," he said.

Breetz said his goal is to improve the quality of life for Boone County residents by controlling the negative impacts of growth.

"I think Greg Breetz will be very balanced," Moore said. "I think he will look at each issue on its merits."

Moore remembered Breetz from several Fiscal Court meetings Breetz had attended and asked if Breetz was interested in the commission.

"I felt that I had some time to devote to a good cause," Breetz said. Now that his two sons are grown, Breetz said he has the time to get involved in the community.

In February, he joined the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport's noise abatement board.

Breetz's career as a civil engineer should be a plus for the commission, said Kevin Costello, executive director of the Boone Planning Commission.

"When you have someone with technical background, it always helps the Planning Commission to make decisions," Costello said.

Breetz graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1985 with a degree in Mining Engineering.

He also has experience in construction of industrial, commercial and residential developments, recreation facilities and state highways.

He has worked for a mining engineering consultant and was involved in mineral processing and marketing 10,000 acres of land for a mine.

Breetz has designed water distribution systems for Florence and Harrison Township, and storm water systems for Cincinnati, Oxford, and Forest Park.

He has also designed the sites for six hotels in Ohio and Kentucky.

E-mail bkelly@enquirer.com




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