Shira McWaters, Oak Ridge Public Works Director, has died at 60

Local News

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — The city of Oak Ridge is mourning Public Works Director Shira McWaters who died on Saturday, June 19, following a short illness. She was 60 years old.

“Today we have lost a colleague and a friend,” City Manager Mark Watson said. “Our hearts are with Shira’s husband, children and family as we share some small measure of their grief at the loss of this vibrant woman.”

McWaters began working for the city in March 2016. She was described as a high-energy, involved leader who focused on maintaining the long-term viability of facilities she managed. Some of her accomplishments included establishing a program for facility capital investment, leading the charge to make upgrades at the wastewater plant and developed strategies to replace the city’s aging water filtration plant with the least financial impact.

“Shira will long be remembered for her unique pairing of incredible intelligence, keen insight and problem-solving skills with unending compassion,” Watson said. “Among just a handful of female Public Works directors in the state of Tennessee, she was a pioneer and a one-of-a-kind person who we were honored to have known.”

The Public Works Utility Manager Patrick Berge has been appointed interim Public Works director.

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