A woman known for the past decade as the face of the Napa flood project has left the Napa County Flood Control District, but she hasn’t gone far.
Julie Lucido, previously the local flood project manager, left the district in mid-December, moving a few blocks over on First Street to the city of Napa’s Public Works department. Last week, she began her new job as a senior civil engineer of special projects.
“After 10 1/2 years on the flood project, I’m anxious to do some different projects,” Lucido said. “I will be doing some project management, working on large projects for the city that require coordination across jurisdictions and departments. I’ll also be dealing with sustainability and helping to work on grants.”
Lucido said she will be managing large public works projects, in which her experience from working at the flood district will come in handy.
“I worked with a lot of the same people, built those relationships,” Lucido said, adding that she was required to manage budgets and schedules while working at the district, just as she will be required to do at the city.
“It’s really fun to come over here,” Lucido said. “I’m working with a lot of the people I’ve worked with across agency lines. The transition feels really easy from my standpoint.”
Napa Public Works Director Jack LaRochelle said Lucido is a “phenomenal engineer” who “knows this town inside and out.”
“We couldn’t be happier,” he said.
Lucido worked on the Napa flood project from the south end of town to downtown Napa to Napa Creek. She said she is proud of many projects she had a hand in, but the flood protection work completed on Napa Creek this year is “at the top of the list.”
“It was really challenging with phasing and getting the funding and working with the resource agencies to design the project, then construction,” Lucido said of her sense of accomplishment related to the project.
Lucido will fill an open position in the public works department.
The flood district does not intend to fill her position now, but will instead split her duties between two existing employees, said Phil Miller, Napa County deputy director of public works. If the federal government allocates money for the Oxbow bypass, someone could be hired to replace Lucido.
“I’m going to take over the flood project manager responsibilities and another engineer is going to take on the day-to-day work,” Miller said. “We don’t really need two full-time positions where we are right now.”
The federal government has yet to allocate the roughly $20 million necessary for the Oxbow bypass, so work has slowed on the Napa flood control project.
“The timing is pretty good considering how things are slowing down with the (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers),” Miller said.
Even still, Miller said Lucido will be greatly missed.
“Everyone refers to her as the ‘Face of the flood project.’ She truly was that,” Miller said.
Miller stressed that going to work for the city is a “great career move” for Lucido and one he supports.
“She will really get to spread her wings with the city,” he said.