Dion Allen is the new roads project manager for Lee Public Works.
LEESBURG, Ga. — Lee County and Dion Allen are, it appears, a perfect match.
Allen, who is overseeing Lee Public Works staff’s involvement in preparation of road projects in the county, started work last week, and Public Works Director Mike Sistrunk said the Mobile, Ala., native hit the ground running.
“Dion came in here with boots on the ground, and it didn’t take him long to get everyone on board,” Sistrunk said Friday. “He’s got so many skills that are perfect for what the commission is doing with this aggressive road project they’ve initiated.
“With Dion on the job, I’m not having to constantly run from one place to the other. It allows me to be more efficient in running this office.”
Allen came to Lee County, as fate would have it, through a temporary employment service. A University of South Alabama graduate with a degree in civil and structural engineering, he worked with the Alabama Department of Transportation, as a civil and structural engineer with Halliburton and as owner of the Superior Pipeline civil engineering firm in Atlanta.
When the economy went south and work slowed to a trickle, Allen shut down Superior Pipeline and sent his resume to The Staffing People, an employment agency whose ad he’d seen on the Georgia Department of Labor’s website.
“They took a look at my resume and said, ‘We’ve found the perfect fit for you’,” Allen said. “After interviewing with The Staffing People folks and having them check my references, they called Lee County. I interviewed with Mike and (Planning and Engineering Director) Bob Alexander, and we just hit it off.
“They gave me a call, and here I am. I’ve only been here a week now, but I’ve fallen in love with the place. These are the friendliest people I’ve ever met.”
Allen and a Public Works crew had dirt flying Friday on Flowing Well Road in eastern Lee County. They’re grading the road and preparing drainage for a paving project that should be completed in February.
“What (Lee County officials) are doing is a great idea for the taxpayers,” Allen said. “We plan to have this and other projects on the county’s list in order for the asphalt companies to just come in and do the paving. It’s going to save the county a lot of money.”
That savings is what allowed the county to bring Allen on board.
“In order for us to use Public Works crews, we needed someone to oversee their work,” Sistrunk said. “We’ve figured that our work could save the county as much as a half-million dollars in costs, and we’re using some of that money to pay Dion. He’s really come in and done an awesome job for us.”
It’s a job Allen hopes might become permanent.
“I wanted to give it a shot, see how things went,” he said. “It’s a much smaller place than I’m used to, but it was love at first sight. The people here are wonderful. I was hoping to find a job that could turn into a long-term position for me, and this is certainly one that I’m open to.
“We’ll complete the projects we’re working on and re-evaluate in the fall.”