Marshall public works director to retire this year

MARSHALL — Glenn Olson has had a long run with the city of Marshall.

“It’ll be just over 19 years on June 12,” said Olson, Marshall’s director of public works and city engineer. Through that time, he’s worked on everything from city infrastructure projects to major updates on Marshall’s Main Street, industrial park, and airport.

But after those 19 years, Olson said it’s time to move on. He announced Tuesday that he plans to retire in June. Marshall city staff said they will soon start working on plans for a transition and filling the public works director position. Olson said the need for transition planning was part of the reason he was announcing his retirement months in advance.

“It’s a big job. I think it will take some time to have someone else move into the position,” Olson said Wednesday.

Olson came to Marshall in 2001 after a 25-year career in North Dakota. He started his career with the North Dakota State Highway Department, and later became public works director for the city of Devils Lake.

In Marshall, Olson oversaw projects including redevelopment and runway expansion at the Southwest Minnesota Regional Airport, expansions at Marshall’s industrial park, the reconstruction of Main Street, and the Saratoga Street pedestrian overpass project.

In 2002, the airport expansion received awards including the FAA/Governor’s Award for Excellence in Airport Planning, Development, Operation and Maintenance.

In 2007, Olson was named City Engineer of the Year by the City Engineers Association of Minnesota. He would go on to serve as president of the association in 2018.

“Director Olson’s dedication and passion have always been about doing what is best for the city of Marshall,” said Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes. “His ability to manage and delegate enabled the city to be successful in many projects over the years, and we thank him for his leadership.”

During his time in Marshall, Olson has also been active in the community. He’s a member of the Marshall Noon Rotary Club, as well as the STAR motorcycle club, Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited. Olson has also served on committees at First Lutheran Church.

“It’s been a great place to live and work,” Olson said of Marshall. People were engaged with the community, and understood what it took to make Marshall a regional center, he said. “It’s the community. It’s the experience you can have here.”

Olson said he hoped to retire at a time when he still had good enough health to enjoy it. After he retires this summer, Olson and his wife Connie plan to travel and spend more time with family, he said.


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