WILLIAMSTOWN -- Scott Park had a major goal for his time working for the Department of Public Works: To make the town the first without any potholes -- and he got close, he said.
Park, who served the DPW for 41 years, celebrated his last day Friday, Jan 11, when he retired from his post of highway superintendent.
"I'm probably the only one who worked in all of the departments," he said, recalling the various positions he's held.
Park started working as a laborer in the Highway Department in 1971. After 10 years, he was appointed foreman. Shortly after, he transferred to water and sewer, and eventually became superintendent there before becoming highway superintendent.
After 41 years, Park can tell you anything you want to know about Williamstown infrastructure. The town has 53 miles of road, he said, 15 of those being dirt road, and 22 miles of sidewalk.
Director of Public Works Timothy Kaiser said Park has been an integral part of the department.
"He kept working until the end with enthusiasm," Kaiser said. "He never got tired of it. He's just a great guy."
Kaiser added that Christopher Lemoine has worked with Park for a year and is ready to step up to the position of highway superintendent.
Park said he loved the pace of the job and the ways it varied day to day. But the nature of the job meant Park was always on call.
"I used to get calls in the middle of the night," he said.
And storms required careful planning. Before rainstorms, workers had to check catch basins and, on dirt roads, check that culvert pipes were clear and open.
In addition to serving Williamstown, Park also gave his time to the Massachusetts Highway Association.
"One of the things I liked [about Mass Highway] was traveling all over," he said. Meetings would be held in towns all over the state, as far away from the Berkshires as Foxborough. DPW employees from all over would share ideas for better roads and sidewalks, Park said.
One of the challenges the department has faced in recent years, he said, is a troubled economy. Despite rising costs, the department saw level funding.
"Everything's related to oil," he explained, pointing to how the price of blacktop has gone up 50 percent in recent years. And rising fuel costs mean it's more expensive to order deliveries of materials.
"But we're in good shape here in town," he added. The department has always found creative solutions to problems to save money.
Park said he'll miss the education and outreach the department did. The DPW's "Touch-A-Truck" events were one of the most fun, he said. Many kids were excited to see the DPW trucks and emergency vehicles up close.
"I always used to say, one of these kids could decide to be an engineer someday," he said.
Park said his time after retirement will be split among spending time at home working on projects and spending time with his family -- his wife, Kathy, daughter, Angela, and son, Jason, and of course, his pet dog and parrot. And once he gets a new laptop, he'll be working from home helping maintain the Massachusetts Highway Association's website.
"I used a computer in the office," he said. "But I never had time to use one at home."
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