By Taylor Boyd
Bryce Simmons, director of the Patrick County Economic Development Authority (EDA), is set to be Stuart’s new town manager.
Simmons, who has served in his current position for just over two years, submitted his resignation on August 27. His first day with the town is September 7.
Simmons said there will be some overlap between his beginning date and current town manager Terry Tilley’s retirement later this year.
“Terry has indicated that he will be staying on until the sewer plant project is completed. I do hope to work closely with him on identifying the town workings and to better understand how the town works,” Simmons said.
During his tenure in previous positions, Simmons oversaw the water systems that included Patrick County. “So, I’ve actually done inspections of the water treatment plant and was the regularity authority for the state overseeing Patrick County. I have that sort of knowledge to be able to meet regularity responsibility and requirements,” he said.
In fact, Simmons said he applied for the post because he felt his background in civil engineering and water resources would be beneficial to the town, which is the primary utility service provider for the town and county.
“So, being able to utilize my experiences both from my past and my experiences I’ve gained as the economic development director will be a great fit,” he said.
Simmons also served as the chief engineer for the City of Danville’s Public Works department, where he oversaw the gravity systems of the storm, water, and sewer systems.
“I have the knowledge of how construction and maintenance of utility systems works,” he said.
He is currently working on a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the Downtown Historic District and hopes to continue to be involved with that in his new role. He will also be working on some of the town’s goals, which includes the expansion of the sewer system, particularly in the Ashby Drive and the Glenwood Terrace areas.
Leaving his position is bittersweet, because he’s been instrumental in getting some projects moved forward. “However, I know my experience and work ethic will be of great benefit to the Town of Stuart, and I think I’m going to do a god job for them,” he said.
Simmons said he will miss working on ongoing county and EDA projects.
“It’s really a struggle with having to not be involved with those projects anymore,” he said, adding none of the current projects with the county will be completed before his departure.
Undertaking the broadband challenge has been his greatest accomplishment with the county, he said, and added “there has been a presentation on behalf of RiverStreet Networks to the county, and we have a plan to expand broadband.”
Simmons added he was told the county administration will take over his current responsibilities.
A Patrick County native, Simons graduated from Patrick County High School in 2003 and attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for civil engineering.
In 2007, he became a municipal engineer for Dewberry & Davis, Surveyor in Danville, where he designed water and sewer treatment systems and administered funding for towns, communities, and counties. Four years later, he became the district engineer with the Virginia Department of Health (VDOH) Office of Drinking Water and oversaw the regulations regarding water treatment systems.
He served as the chief engineer for public works for the City of Danville, where he was the stormwater engineer and inspected plants and construction projects.
He is the president of One Family Productions and enjoys being outside and fishing.