SOUTH PORTLAND — The City Council has chosen Edward Collins, who has worked for communities in Utah and Maine, to be the new city manager, Mayor Tom Blake announced Monday evening.

Details of Collins’ contract are being negotiated, Blake said, but he’s expected to be paid $115,000 annually and have a monthly car allowance when he starts the job, likely in January.

Collins, 51, has been general manager of a civil engineering services company in Lehi, Utah, since 2006, after working as the city administrator there from 1996 to 2005.

Collins was one of two finalists selected from 23 applicants. The other finalist was James “Ty” Ross, former city administrator of Dalton, Georgia.

The finalists met with residents during an informal gathering at the South Portland Community Center on Wednesday. On Thursday, each finalist met with municipal department heads and the school superintendent during the day and had a second interview with the council in the evening.

The council sought a replacement for Jim Gailey, who left the job in July to become assistant manager of Cumberland County. Gailey was paid $121,000 per year, plus a monthly vehicle allowance. Interim City Manager Don Gerrish and Eaton Peabody Consulting Group assisted with the search.

Collins is from Bangor. His wife, Kaye, who is from Skowhegan, recently inherited her late aunt’s home in South Portland.

Self-described empty-nesters and regular visitors to Maine, the couple have been here a lot lately, working on the house and deciding whether to keep it. Collins said he decided to apply for the city manager position when he learned of the opening.

Before moving to Utah, Collins was town manager in Lubec from 1987 to 1988; community development director in Calais from 1988 to 1990; executive director of a regional job opportunity program in Washington County; town manager in Baileyville from 1992 to 1994; and business services manager for a redevelopment agency in West Valley City, Utah, from 1994 to 1996, according to his resume on linkedin.com.

Collins received a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of Maine in 1987 and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah in 1998.

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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