NEW BRITAIN – Raymond Esponda, who has been working for the city for almost 17 years, was recently promoted to the position of full-time deputy director of the utilities division in the public works department.
Esponda had been serving as acting director of the division since November 2016, when former director Gilbert Bligh retired.
“Ray took over the supervision of the City’s Water Department at a time when the region’s water supplies were experiencing an unprecedented drought,” Mayor Erin Stewart said. “He has shown he has the ability to manage one of our most valuable assets and has worked to help position the Water Department for continued high levels of service to customers in the future. Ray has been a valuable contributor to the City of New Britain and I know he will continue to do so in the years to come.”
Esponda said that he wants to address some of the age and infrastructure issues of the city during his time in the position.
When Esponda started working for the city in 2001, he served as the city’s superintendent of water quality.
Esponda is a former employee of Connecticut’s Public Health Department, where he worked in the water supply section.
Esponda said he enjoys working for the city of New Britain.
He said he will be applying a lot of what he learned from working for the state in his position.
In his new role, Esponda will be responsible for overseeing the city’s water, sanitary sewer and storm utilities.
This includes making sure that the city complies with the federal and state guidelines.
Esponda is originally from New York. He moved to New Britain in 1994 looking for a less stressful life. He said in certain ways New Britain reminds him of New York.
He added that New Britain is a great city and said he finds delight in the amount of diversity found in the population.
With a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental engineering, Esponda is also a certified water treatment operator.
He teaches water utility, water treatment distribution, environmental science, and environmental regulation courses at Gateway Community College in New Haven.
Water treatment jobs are vital to the health of communities, and that is why Esponda encourages young people to consider the field.
“Water treatment operations involve engineering, chemistry, public health, ecology, law and many other topics. These jobs pay well and cannot be outsourced,” Esponda said.
“Right now it is predicted that half of the certified operators in Connecticut will be retiring within the next five years, so there are opportunities for young people to get into the field.”
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079.