Bookmark and Share


In Uniform John Huber, ‘Good Roads, Good People, You Bet’ vBy Cora Van Olson John Huber, ‘Good Roads, Good People, You Bet’ John Huber is the supervisor at the South Dakota Department of transportation in Yankton County. He started with the DOT in 1998 in Menno as a highway maintenance worker where he worked for a number of years. “I did the Military from ’91 to ’95, and after that I took some odd jobs, and this came along in Menno in ’98 so I jumped on it,” he said. “I started as a bottom-level highway maintenance worker and I worked up three ranks, so I went from highway worker, to lead worker and now supervisor. I will have 20 years in November,” he explained. John works in Yankton, but still lives in Menno with his wife, Michele, who is a sign language interpreter for the Yankton School District. They have two children, a boy, who just graduated high school, and a girl, who will be a high-school freshman in the fall. In his spare time John likes hunting, fishing and camping, and volunteers at the Fire Department in Menno, “I’m sure it’s just like any other fireman you talk to. There’s challenges, there’s been dangerous situations, there’s been sad situations, there’s been happy situations.” He was an EMT in Menno, until he and Michele had the children, which left little time for the demands of being an EMT, so he let it go. John held the lead worker position in Menno until four years ago, when then- Supervisor Larry Kirschenman retired. John was promoted to supervisor, a position that oversees the Yankton, Tyndall and Menno shops. The shops manage upkeep of the state highways. When asked what exactly that involved, John smiled and pointed to a large poster on the wall with lots of tiny print and said, “We do a lot of activities. This is all our activities.” He then pulled out a large, detailed map, again with a lot of tiny print, and said, “This is what’s called the Yankton area. There’s two supervisors, so I have Yankton, Tyndall and Menno, my co-partner has one in Beresford and Junction City. So we have the whole southeast corner of the state. I have about 550 miles of road.” The job, as he described it, is pretty straightforward, “All the signs that are on the state highways, those are ours, the culverts are all ours, anything between the fences is our responsibility.” That includes the medians and the ditches. Wintertime it’s snow removal, that is our primary goal, primary job on the state highways. That is probably our biggest thing in the winter,” he said. “Summer we do a lot of mowing, spraying, patching holes, lots of road work.” Year round his department is responsible for keeping up with the litter, debris and road kill that wind up on the state highways. Taking care of the roads involves a lot of project management, “I do all the planning, order a lot of the supplies, line up truck drivers, line up employees. Any maintenance I supervise, I set it all up and make sure we’ve got enough people to do the job,” he says, and so the job varies from day to day. vHUBER continued on page 24 HISVOICEvJULY/AUGUST 2018v7

© Copyright 2015 Her Voice Online