Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities Director Mike Barber announced his plan to retire effective Jan. 1, 2018, in a letter given to City Manager David Mackie during Monday’s city council meeting.

The front of the Hillsdale Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Nic Rowan/Collegian

“I would like to thank my BPU board and the city council for allowing me this opportunity and their support for the past few years,” Barber’s letter said. “Working with both of these bodies has been great and I feel we have accomplished a great deal.”

Sessions said he enjoyed working with Barber and that the city would miss him.

“I just want to thank him for everything he’s done for the city,” Mayor Scott Sessions said.

Barber has worked for the the BPU for 39 years. He was appointed interim manager of the BPU in October 2015 when Nate Rusk was fired for not disclosing the full costs to the HBPU board of directors of rebuilding the BPU’s power generation plant’s diesel generators on Baw Beese Lake.

Barber was appointed the director of the HBPU in January 2016 by the Hillsdale City Council upon the HBPU board’s recommendation.

“Mike stepped up to help BPU in the time of need,” Mackie said in an email. “We wish Mike and his family all the best as they enter into a new phase of their life.”

Barber did not respond to requests for an interview and the BPU declined to comment.