The Ventura City Council on Monday hired as project manager for the city's proposed desalination plant a civil engineer who recommended last year hooking up with the State Water Project over desalination.
Glenn McPherson of Boyle Engineering Corp., based in Newport Beach, has been chosen to head the construction of the plant, which residents voted for in November over the State Water Project.
When the city was considering long-term water sources last spring, McPherson, acting as a consultant, wrote a report saying that building a hook-up to the State Water Project would be cheaper than constructing a desalination plant.
McPherson said that recommendation would have no bearing in his new project. His previous recommendation was based on an engineering standpoint only, because desalination technology is not as well established, McPherson said.
"This is a whole different project," McPherson said. "We're excited about jumping in and getting going. We have a vested interest in the outcome of the project because we have offices here. It's our community too."
Councilwoman Cathy Bean, who was on the selection committee, said McPherson was chosen partly because he is already familiar with the city's water system and partly because his firm has offices in Ventura.
"There are going to be people crawling up and down, night and day, scrutinizing this project," Bean said. "If we have someone from Ontario or San Diego, that will be harder."