After 30 years of service to the city of Granite Falls, Public Works Director Paul Krogstad hung it up this week with a humble, unceremonious sendoff in the lobby of City Hall.
The sparse crowd at the request of Krogstad featured only Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski and City Manager Bill Lavin. The two took turns expressing heartfelt thanks for Krogstad’s 22 years as Public Works Director, noting his exemplary performance and attention to detail in a high profile job that often goes thankless.
“Paul was an excellent employee,” said City Manager Bill Lavin. “He made my work a lot easier and I’m sad to see him go.”
During his tenure, public works had to deal with a tornado and two major floods, one of which gained national attention, earning Krogstad an interview with CNN.
“It was such an adrenaline rush, I don’t even recall what was said,” admitted Krogstad.
A story often shared involves a time when Krogstad was driving a payloader along the river and got the bucket stuck under water, attracting many people to watch from the foot bridge before it could be towed out.
“That was definitely the dumbest thing that has happened,” Krogstad said with a laugh.
For the future, Krogstad doesn’t have many plans and is set to lay low. He will take a week off from work until his next part-time job kicks in, as well as continuing to help out with Willie’s Korner store.
As far as the future of public works, Krogstad isn’t worried about the change.
“I had an excellent crew,” Krogstad said. “It will go smoothly without me. They know what they are doing and work well together.”