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County hires new highway engineer

Becker County has hired a new highway engineer.

Jim Olson has 17 years of experience in civil engineering working at various government agencies. He has been engineering project manager for the city of St. Louis Park for the past nine years.

He managed the development, design and construction of the city’s public works improvement projects. He also served as project engineer for the city of Richfield, where he managed the planning and construction of large, complex transportation and public works improvements.

Besides his work in local government, he has also worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation in Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls.

At MnDOT, he directed and supervised personnel in the operations of construction and maintenance activities on the state highway system.

He has a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and is a registered professional engineer.

Outside of work, he enjoys the outdoors. He likes to fish, hunt and work on his hobby farm.

The County Board on Tuesday set his salary at just over $88,117 a year (the highest salary for the position under the county pay scale) and authorized up to $2,000 to offset moving expenses. His start date is May 30.

Olson replaces Brad Wentz, who resigned Dec. 27 after leading the county highway department for 12 years. He took a job with the Advanced Traffic Analysis Center at North Dakota State University.