The city of Ardmore will add a city engineer to its Christmas shopping list this week as Wayne Busma has announced his retirement effective Friday.

Busma has worked for the city for more than nine years and decided the time is right to begin another phase in his life.

"It's just time," he said. "I've enjoyed this job so much. I've enjoyed working with the people. It's been a joy and challenge creating the engineering department."

Busma said the timing of his retirement reflects the timing of current projects, as the city is wrapping some up with others projected to start after the new year.

"In fairness to whoever comes in to fill my shoes, they won't have to step into something that is halfway through," he said.

Ardmore City Manager J.D. Spohn said the city is in the process of developing a plan to move forward, and anticipates naming an interim city engineer this week. He credited Busma for his efforts on behalf of improving the city of Ardmore.

"I certainly appreciate everything he has done for the city," Spohn said. "He started the concrete labor program, and expedited the secondary sidewalks program. He has certainly improved our street program, and has developed an annual plan to renovate and rehabilitate the streets."

Busma listed the building up of the engineering department as well as getting it up to speed both technologically and personnel-wise as among his top achievements. He also cited the interaction with the street department for the engineering department's achievements.

"We have been able to do a lot with the resources we have," Busma said. "We have done some good things, and I'm proud of that.

"The city still faces a lot of challenges. Infrastructure is in a precarious situation, but we have been able to do a lot, and I'm proud of us in that regard."

Busma said he plans to move back to Norman to be closer to his children and grandchildren. And there are hobbies to help occupy his time.

"I love to read and study different topics," Busma said. "My interests as I have gotten older are more varied, and I'm looking forward to doing a lot of that. Also, I have a sailboat that needs to get in the water. We just never seem to have the time to do what I wanted to do with it.

"I expect there will be some opportunities arise. What they might be, I don't know. But I'm anticipating new challenges."