John Papponetti to be named next county highway superintendent

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2019 at 5:37 pm

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature next week will name John Papponetti the county highway superintendent, according to the agenda for the meeting on Wednesday.

John Papponetti

Papponetti, a former Albion resident, works as an engineer for Labella and Associates. He will also serve as the county’s engineer.

He is to be appointed during the Legislature’s 4:30 p.m. meeting on March 27. He will succeed Jerry Gray, who retired as highway superintendent on Dec. 30.

Papponetti grew up in Albion and served on the Village Board when he was in his 20s. His father Harry is the Albion fire chief.

Papponetti has worked closely with the County Highway Department in recent years doing an inventory of the conditions of county bridges and culverts. He also worked with the department last year when it poured the concrete slabs and constructed a culvert on Culvert Road in Ridgeway. That was the first time the highway department did that kind of project by itself. It reduced the construction costs by an estimated $180,000.

“Orleans County is proud to announce an important new addition to our staff,” said Lynne Johnson, the County Legislature chairwoman. “John Papponetti has been an instrumental team member as a consultant and now joining our team as a Department director.”

Peter Houseknecht, the deputy highway superintendent, has been acting superintendent since Gray retired. Houseknecht joined the county after serving as the superintendent of the Village of Medina DPW. Johnson said Papponetti and Houseknecht will be a great team leading the department.

In 2014, Papponetti was honored by the Rochester Engineering Society as the “Young Engineer of the Year.” He has worked the past 15 years with Labella and Associates. He is the past president of the Association for Bridge Construction and Design, Western New York chapter.

Papponetti will receive an additional $20,500 stipend to serve as the county engineer. Having him on staff will save the county an estimated $70,000 in engineering expenses, said Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer.

“Our goal is to be the best run small county in New York State and I think we will take another big step in that direction with the addition of John Papponetti,” Nesbitt said. “We are really excited about our management team going forward.”

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