Public Works Director
Meet Your Public Works Director: Tyrome Russell
After years of traveling the world, Hattiesburg native Tyrome Russell has set his sights on a new adventure- leading the Laurel Public Works Department in providing the best services possible to the citizens of Laurel.
Russell graduated from North Forrest High School before getting his degree from Delta State University. Afterwards, he, like his uncles and brothers, followed in his father and grandfather’s footsteps and started working in the oil field industry. He was most interested in the engineering aspect of the job and worked as a Rig supervisor/ company man for Shell Exploration and Production Company.
He spent most of his career in that industry working overseas and working a shift rotation that provided him with plenty of time off to take trips to countries near where he was working. For nearly 30 years, he worked rotating shifts of 14 days on followed by 14 days off or 28 days on followed by 28 days off. He traveled the world racking up stories and memories of the beautiful glaciers in Argentina, a picturesque boat ride on the Adriatic Sea in Greece, playing golf on an immaculate course in Columbia, traveling through Amsterdam, and eating spaghetti in Italy while discovering that their sauce is not the bright red of Ragu but rather a delicious brown concoction. While overseas, he met his wife, Nataliia. They were married in 2014. In 2019, Russell started working an assignment in west Texas and by 2020, he was preparing to move overseas again when the pandemic began.
“I took off from work for a while and decided to stay at home,” he explained. “I didn’t know it would last this long.” When the position for Public Works Director in the City of Laurel became available in 2021, he applied because he wanted to be closer to his family. “I just didn’t want to leave my family with everything going on,” he explained.
Since then, he has been working hard to improve the department and its interactions with other departments and agencies. “My goal is to get this area, this yard cleaned up, put a new face on public works, and improve the services for the city,” he explained. “My personal goal is to bring confidence back. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take some time. I’m working on it one service request at a time.
The public works department oversees several services provided to citizens especially those linked to supporting the city’s infrastructure. These include maintaining the city’s streets, roads, and public buildings as well as maintaining and operating the city’s drainage facilities and central garage. The public works department also oversees the collection and disposal of garbage, brush, and household hazardous waste and provides engineering services for construction projects including design and supervision.