CHIPPEWA FALLS — A private businessman with a background in land surveying has been appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Chippewa Falls City Council.

Jason Hiess, 53, 481 Irvine St., was appointed Tuesday to the open 7th ward council seat. Hiess replaces Bob Hoekstra, who took a job in North Dakota and moved from the city. Hoekstra officially resigned from the Council at the end of June. The 7th ward generally covers the southeast corner of the city.

“I’ve lived most of my life on the south side,” Hiess told the council. “I run my own land surveying business. I’ve been married 31 years, and have three kids, who are now adults. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a number of years, but with sports and things, I didn’t have free time. I wanted to get back into community service.”

Hiess said he had no particular agenda or items he wanted to push. He said he considered seeking the seat a few years ago, but Hoekstra applied the last time there was a vacancy. Hiess said his daughter was still in high school at the time and he didn’t want to devote time to a council seat. He also liked Hoekstra so didn’t see a need to run against him for the seat.

“Because I’m a self-employed person, I can adjust my schedule for meetings,” Hiess said. “I like to follow through on things when I get on a mission.”

Councilman Paul Nadreau said that Hiess used to be his neighbor and spoke highly of him.

Hiess said his background in land development has him interested in being on economic development committees.

“Personally, I’d like to see more growth, more single-family housing. Maybe it takes a different person to re-energize some of these areas. I think we are getting saturated with multi-family housing.”

Hiess does have a brother-in-law who works for the street department. Mayor Greg Hoffman said he didn’t see that as a conflict of interest, but Hiess may be required to abstain on votes pertaining to that department.

Hoekstra was re-elected in April, so Hiess was appointed to fill the remainder of the two-year term through April 2021. Chippewa Falls city council members earn $3,000 annually.