Barton County Road and Bridge/Memorial Parks Director Dale Phillips announced Monday he will retire at the end of this month, concluding a 44-year career with the county.
His last scheduled day of work will be June 30, but he will be taking some vacation time this month.
“It’s time for new challenges ahead,” Phillips said.
The director praised his staff and encouraged them to apply for his job once the position opens.
“There are people ready to step up,” he said.
After spending a lifetime working for the county, Phillips said, he plans to enjoy some time off before planning his next career move. He said he’s appreciated his career with the county.
Commissioners commended Phillips on all he had done.
“We’ve known this day would come eventually but it doesn’t make it any easier to hear,” Chairman Jennifer Schartz said.
Commissioner Kenny Schremmer noted that he has a mostly rural constituency and has therefore worked closely with Phillips for years. Sometimes “road closed” signs need to be set up in the middle of the night after flooding, for example.
“(Phillips) was always willing to handle it, even if it was on a Sunday. You call and right away he gets on it,” Schremmer said. “I want to congratulate you and thank you for being such a well-trained individual on this job.”
Phillips also reported on operations at his departments, which have both had a busy month.
His staff was able to overlay one entire mile of asphalt on West 10th Street in a single day, minimizing the inconvenience to those who use the road.
Last week his department handled six “trouble calls” that were mostly due to recent rains that washed out culverts and caused other problems throughout the county.
His department plans to overlay 35 miles of asphalt and seal an addition 110 miles this year. A lot of work is going on at county roads and bridges.
“That work will continue,” Phillips said, asking the commissioners to remember that as they work on next year’s budget. “Barton County has some of the best roads in the state and we intend to keep it that way.”
At Hillcrest Memorial Park, work on the fence has begun and should be completed before Veterans Day.