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WSB Announces Jake Newhall Promotion to Director of Water Resources

November 28, 2022

Jake Newhall

WSB, a Twin Cities-based design and consulting firm specializing in engineering, community planning, environmental, and construction services announced Jake Newhall’s promotion to director of water resources

As director, Newhall will assume day-to-day operations of the water resources group as well as focus on strategy, business development, and setting operational goals with company leadership.

“We continue to see an increased need for robust water resources services in the communities we support,” said Andi Moffatt, WSB’s vice president of environmental services. “Expanding our water resources leadership and focusing responsibilities ensures our team is positioned to deliver exceptional services for our clients. I have no doubt that Jake will thrive in this leadership role and will continue to help our team develop and drive our business forward.”

Throughout his tenure at WSB, Newhall has been instrumental in shaping the growth of WSB’s water resources team. His well-rounded skills and experience have allowed him to solve some of the firm’s clients most complex stormwater management challenges.

“I am proud that I have the opportunity to grow my career at WSB,” said Newhall. “For more than 16 years, I have worked at WSB with a focus on solving complex stormwater and water resource related problems. I look forward to serving in this new leadership position, advancing strategic initiatives to expand our firm and delivering unparalleled results for our clients.”

WSB’s water resources services balance engineering, ecosystems and social impacts to create sustainable water infrastructure.  The firm offers services in stormwater, floodplain management, lake and stream habitat restoration, water quality monitoring and more. Additional information about WSB and its services are available at

Electric vehicles

Electric Vehicles Infrastructure: Four Tips to Set Communities Up for Success

November 15, 2022
By Amy Fredregill, SR Director of Sustainability, WSB

Electric vehicles (EV) are here, and consumer demand is growing. That means more communities are exploring how to integrate EV chargers into their city planning. The bipartisan federal infrastructure law passed last year, which created programs like the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, opened the door for even more funding opportunities and grants for cities to install fast charging stations. 

The problem, however, is that many cities don’t have an EV policy or goals in place. If communities don’t begin preliminary planning and outline larger policy goals, going after funding opportunities can leave cities scrambling and unprepared.

Here are a few tips and ideas that can help cities prepare for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and advance a plan that best fits the needs of residents and businesses, providing for positive future growth. 

  • Start the conversation and ensure policies are up to date. Initiating conversations with city administrators and/or city council members is an important first step, especially if electric vehicles have not been on the radar of community leaders to date. Determine what actions need to be taken including updating zoning codes. Do your codes allow for charging infrastructure or do guidelines need to be updated? Should the city encourage or require charging infrastructure with new construction? Is certain signage required where chargers are placed? Guidelines must be in place so that the community can meet its EV goals and promote orderly development. 
  • Determine your city’s plan and budget. Different communities have different goals for EVs, and it’s important to adopt goals that reflect the needs of residents, businesses, visitors, and the community. Does it make sense to take on an ownership model where the community owns the EV charging stations and related infrastructure, including maintenance and upkeep? Will it make more sense to work with a third-party vendor to own and operate the equipment on city property? Is your city installing chargers for city owned EVs? Should the ownership model be the same as publicly available chargers or different for fleet vehicles? By clearly defining and establishing structured goals and budgets, cities can determine what works best for their city, staff capacity, and budgets. 
  • Work with your utilities and look at your infrastructure power capabilities. As more EV chargers are built and utilized, cities must also look if they have the infrastructure and power capacity to support it. Utilities will sometimes help cover the cost of upgrading power systems or help find ways to balance capacity by setting higher fees at peak demand times. By working to communicate costs and decisions with utility companies, cities can avoid undue stress and complications. It is important to consider upfront costs, monthly or annual fees, and possible profit both in the short and long term based on the ownership model you determined in #2. Additionally, working with your building maintenance and electrical teams can help you understand your building’s electrical capacity.  
  • Consider why these upgrades are important. Growing consumer demand and more funding for EV infrastructure are just two of the reasons why cities should have an EV plan in place. Some communities are using their fast-charging infrastructure to attract business and residents, advertising itself as an EV ready city. Still other communities find opportunities to partner with companies to place charging stations in popular areas to boost visits to local restaurants and businesses. EV infrastructure can also help communities reach their sustainability goals as transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

There is no one-size-fits-all EV plan for cities, and WSB is ready to assist with determining a strategy and workplan, policy writing, grant applications, reviewing zoning guidelines, and whatever else communities need to advance an electric vehicles infrastructure plan that’s right for your community.

Bridget serves as the Sustainability Program Manager at WSB, helping propel sustainability projects and opportunities forward for our clients to reduce costs while meeting their community and stakeholder needs. She has led the Sustainability Growth Coalition at Environmental Initiative and served as chair of the St. Louis Park, MN Environment and Sustainability Commission, moving forward progress on climate and energy, while engaging community members and business leaders.

[email protected] | 920.202.0234


When the Leaves Fall: Proactive Leaf Management Tips for Communities

November 15, 2022
By Jake Newhall, Project Manager, WSB

Autumn is in full swing. While the arrangements of red, orange, and yellow are stunning, the mass collection of leaves that enter a city’s sewer system after a rainfall can cause serious damage – from clogs to flooding to pollutants in our waterways. 

When the Leaves Fall

When leaves fall, especially when followed by heavy rainfall, leaves on roads, sidewalks, and other impervious services can wash down into city sewers. When the leaves break down and decompose, the nutrients they contain can end up in water. This leads to harmful algal blooms and degraded water quality in rivers, streams, lakes, and other water bodies. 

Additionally, too many leaves washing down stormwater systems can also clog pipes and drains, cause localized flooding, and lead to expensive maintenance costs for cities. 

How can cities proactively address fall foliage and prevent these issues? Here are some tips and tricks. 

Targeted Street Sweeping

The first thing communities can do to avoid these problems is establish a targeted street sweeping plan which analyzes and maps impervious surfaces and high tree canopy coverage areas, as well as their proximity to high-value water resources. Street sweeping is one of the most cost-effective methods to reduce pollutant and nutrient loads to waterbodies and can be very helpful in achieving TMDL goals.

While leaf fall can happen at different times each year depending on several factors including weather, an efficient street sweeping plan prepares communities to manage and strategically target optimum leaf removal.  

Community Education 

Another thing communities can do to help prevent leaves from clogging drains and entering into waterways is to educate residents and private property owners about best practices in autumn. Raking leaves, bagging them, clearing the gutters near private properties, Adopt-a-Drain programs, and properly disposing of the leaves can go a long way in reducing the total amount of nutrients in our waterways and leaves in storm drains. 

How WSB Can Help 

Not sure where to start with creating a targeted street sweeping plan? WSB can help create a customized street sweeping plan that meets your community’s needs. WSB can also help communities reach their pollutant removal goals and execute on water quality management. 

Jake has more than 15 years of engineering experience designing and managing many types of water resources projects, including modeling, planning, design, maintenance programs, and construction. Jake has worked with various municipalities, counties and state agencies to solve challenging water quality and water quantity problems.

[email protected] | 763.231.4861