Woodville Village Administrator Bob Rickard will be retiring Sept. 30 after working for the village for 35 years.
When he started, Rickard worked in the wastewater department and earned his Class I Wastewater and Water operators’ licenses. Nine years later, in 1984, when Ted Bowen retired from the Village Works Administrator position, Rickard was hired as his replacement and worked under that title until early 2009.
Village council made the change to a village administrator position – a post he was then appointed to.
During his tenure, Rickard oversaw or had a part in many projects, including the widening of State Route 20 to four lanes, improvements to downtown parking, the building of the new water treatment plant and the demolition of the old one, sewer treatment plant and lift station expansion, waterline loops and extensions, Flag Park flagpoles and pond, various Ohio Department of Transportation projects, a new utilities building, new substation and distribution circuits, downtown revitalization project, improvements to the town hall and police department building, and the building of a new water line from the municipal wells to the treatment plant.
He saw the construction of two new subdivisions and a McDonalds restaurant on State Route 20.
Asked what he would have liked to see done before retiring, he replied “Well field expansion project and electric distribution line upgrade.”
The biggest project on the horizon is the sewer separation mandated by the EPA, which has been in the planning stages since 2007.
“I will miss overseeing all of the utilities (lights, water, sewer and streets) for the village and the camaraderie of all the village employees. The work load and stress of the job is what I think I will miss the least,” he said.
He plans to use his free time to do projects around the house, spend more time fishing and getting to spend a lot of time with his new grandson that is due in December.
“Although I’ve known Bob a long time, I’ve only worked with him for a few years. During these years I’ve witnessed his passion to make Woodville a great place to live. His commitment to the village will be difficult to replace,” said Barb Runion, clerk-treasurer.
Mayor Richard Harman said, “It is very difficult to measure the loss of 35 years of expertise, especially when the job is to oversee the infrastructure of a community. We will certainly miss Bob's knowledge and sense of urgency. His absence during our upcoming sewer separation project will be immense. We hope Bob has a long and happy retirement, enjoying his hobbies and his family.”