Reviewing 20 years of work on the roads
After decades of doing the best job they can for Marion County residents, the road and bridge department loses two longstanding employees at the end of the month.
Mark Heiser and Patrick Holub are retiring.
Mark Heiser spent 21½ years operating a motor grader on unpaved roads at the north end of the county.
Through all those years he was working to give the county better roads, he said.
“I really think we’ve seen improvement in the last five years,” Heiser said.
One of his most memorable experiences is plowing through snowdrifts, he said.
“We’ve had a couple memorable blizzards,” Heiser said.
Sometimes the drifts stood taller than the grader.
The one thing that made his job difficult was not having enough rock.
More manpower also would help.
“When I started out, we had 99 miles per man,” he said. “Now we have almost 140.”
There were 16 road graders when he started working for the road and bridge department. Now there are 12.
“I’ve enjoyed my job,” Heiser said. “I’ve enjoyed trying to make my end of the county a better place.”
Now the future holds full-time farming and more time with his grandchildren. His wife is also waiting with a long honey-do list.
Patrick Holub spent 20 years repairing road graders, dump trucks, pickups, tractors, and whatever equipment the department needed repaired.
He’s also had to go to the sites of wrecks, stuck bulldozers, and excavators that need extracted.
“We go get that,” Holub said.
He’s heard a few complaints from people about road conditions.
“They don’t realize mechanics don’t have anything to do with roads,” Holub said.
In his position, he said he “kind of got in on everything that goes on in the county.”
What he’d like people to know is that the road and bridge department tried to do a good job.
“People don’t always think so because they think about the road that runs in front of their house,” Holub said.
Last modified Dec. 31, 2020