The O'Neill Water Department has a new water supervisor. Jason Baker took the job starting Dec. 1 from retiring supervisor Curt Kizzire. Kizzire was an employee of the City of O'Neill for 40 years.
Baker is a 1996 graduate of O'Neill High School. After graduation, Baker was in the private sector for a year before entering the United States Air Force.
Baker was a Joint Terminal Attack Controller and called in air strikes. He spent two years in Afghanistan, two years in Iraq, and one year in Bosnia/Herzegovina. Baker spent the latter part of his service in Texas, where he polished his managerial skills.
In 2018 Baker and his family moved back to O'Neill where he was hired on to the City of O'Neill Water Department as a Water Operator.
It was around this time that Kizzire expressed his desire to retire in the upcoming future. Baker started his training to become qualified for the supervisor position by taking three years of classes in water and wastewater treatment.
Baker now holds certificates as a grade four and three Water Operator and certifications in waste water treatment.
The city has been working on upgrading its infrastructure for years, and with the completion of the new water tower in 2019, the city has been focusing its sights on water main and sewer replacement.
"In the next 1-3 years, we will be doing 25 blocks of water main replacement that will significantly increase capacity and fire flow for emergencies. We will also be doing 10-11 blocks of sewer line fixing which will give older pipe another 30 years of life," Baker claims.
Jason is the son of Don Baker and Candi Baker. Jason is married to his wife Teresa and has three children.