By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
After almost 24 years of working for the Scandia Valley Township, Jerry Grossinger has retired. His last day was Jan. 17, his 65th birthday.
A celebration of his years of both part-time and full-time work will be held at the Scandia Valley Town Hall Sunday, Feb. 19, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Grossinger, his wife Sheila and their three children moved to Scandia Valley in 1976, and lived in the old Rail Prairie schoolhouse. In 1986, they bought 40 acres on Bugle Road and built their current home in 1990.
“When I started working part-time with the township in 1988, Gary Altrichter was the road supervisor and Paul Cantleberry was also part-time. When Gary left in 1991, I moved into his position,” Jerry said.
His job, over the years, was to maintain the 58 miles of roads in the township. He also operated the blade, snowplow, backhoe and was the chief mechanic for all the fire department and township equipment.
Grossinger said he has seen the population of his township grow over the years, especially when the Rail Prairie Township was annexed Jan. 1, 2003.
“This was a great job,” he said. “The Township Board was easy to work with, there were great benefits, it was close to home and I know just about everyone.”
Grossinger said there were few road complaints from residents, but when there was, he and the other employees would usually be able to take care of them before it even got to a board meeting.
“But sometimes I would need Board approval for funds,” he said.
While he admitted he won’t miss working (he said he caught himself singing the other day), Grossinger did say that he would miss working with all the equipment. What he won’t miss is the increase in the paperwork that has occurred over the past 24 years and that the job has become more high-tech.
“The Town Board is working toward getting the reports computerized,” he said. “I’m used to handwriting all the required information in ledgers. By the time I enter the necessary information and am out the door, the computer probably hasn’t even warmed up.”
Scandia Valley resident Mike Lahr will be taking Grossinger’s place as the road supervisor.
“He’s a young man with computer knowledge that will help take the township into the 21st Century,” said Grossinger.
Scandia Valley Board Member Arnie Akkerman said of Grossinger, ” Jerry has always been a reliable employee. He got his work done when asked and everyone in the township spoke highly of him.”
Future plans for Grossinger include working part-time with his daughter Geri Burtyk, owner of Mid-Minnesota Drug Testing Inc. in Little Falls. He will also spend more time with his passions: restoring old tractors and parading them at farm shows, plus attending auctions.
The Grossingers are self-proclaimed home bodies, and don’t plan on doing a lot of traveling. But, they did purchase a 1,500 cc Honda Gold Wing motorcycle last year and do plan on taking many day trips around Minnesota.
Grossinger and Sheila have three daughters who live in the Little Falls area, and six grandchildren.
Everyone in Scandia Valley is welcome to attend his retirement party.