A new face at Blaine Public Works
By Tara Nelson
The city of Blaine’s public works department has hired David Bren earlier this March to replace former assistant public works director Sandy Petersen, who left to join the city of Bellingham’s public works department.
Bren will assist public works director Steve Banham with reviews of private developments as well as public capital improvement projects.
He earned both his Bachelor of Arts degree and his Masters of Arts degree in civil engineering at the University of Washington. In addition to his current position with the city of Blaine, he also works as a design technical engineer for his company Bren Technical Services.
He is a former teacher at Bellingham Technical College, and a former project engineer for the City of Ferndale and the Ayers Professional Group in Bellingham. He is married to Katherine Bren, a civil engineer who works for Weden Engineering in Ferndale. They live with their daughter Kyanna, 8, in their 1920s farmhouse near Blaine.
Bren said he met his wife while pursuing his bachelor degree and the two were the only married couple to attend the same graduation ceremony in 1995.
The couple moved to Ferndale shortly after graduation. After looking up and down the I-5 corridor, they decided to settle here because they liked the quality of life and the natural beauty of the area. Like it or not, Blaine is located between two large cities and Bren said it could use more engineering talent as growth projections are high.
“As engineers, we want to locate in a place that is slated for growth and there is so much happening here,” he said. “It’s exciting to see the number of projects that will need to be completed from the $30 million water reclamation facility to the D Street roundabout and the U.S. Olympics. There’s a lot of work to be done.”
Bren said during his time onboard with the city, he wants to continue the precedent of long-term thinking and investing in capital improvements that will last over the years.
“When I first came on board, Steve Banham told me if we do things right, we don’t have to keep fixing them, and that means lower long-term cost,” he said.
“A lot of people might not like the decisions you make today, but we have to think about the long term here.”