The welcomed new public works director earlier this year, its first new leader in the department in nearly two decades.

Rob Nicolls, who started on the job May 24, succeeds Terry Huxel, ’s public works director since 2003. Huxel recently retired with high praises from Rusty Herzog, who called his many years of a blessing. His dedication to keeping beautiful, Herzog added, showed all around the city.

Nicolls knows there are big shoes to fill. While Nicolls wasn’t exactly on the job hunt when the opportunity opened, the more he found out about and the position at large, the more he liked about it, he said.

“Terry had been here a long time and wore a lot of different hats,” Nicolls said. “It’s hard to take over when someone had been here for so long. People in expect a high level of service, but the people who deliver that also expect a high level. It’s a nice atmosphere on both ends. I’m looking forward to continuing that tradition.”

Here are four facts about the city’s newest hire:

Moving On Up

Nicolls, prior to his hire in Wyoming, spent 16 years with the City of Middletown, first as a senior engineer and most recently as city engineer, handling various infrastructure, roads and sewer projects.

As public works director, Nicolls oversees a full-time staff of 14.

Street Sense

Several tasks fall under ’s public works purview, including snow and ice removal, park maintenance, landscaping and the city’s “leaves to mulch” program. For 2021-2022, road projects, Nicolls said, will take top priority.

“Roads will be a big focus, to get our streets back in top shape,” he said. “There are opportunities to do some things better in regard to streetscapes, whether that’s flowers in planters or mowing, and general maintenance around the city.”

He Hails from the Keystone State

Nicolls is a Pennsylvania native and graduated from Penn State University. After college, he worked for a heavy highway contractor, before moving to northern Ohio a few years later. He later made his way to Greater Cincinnati.

Home Away From Home

He and his wife, who is originally from the West Side, will continue to live in West Chester. The two have five kids, ages 22 to 2.5 years old.