Though his first official day on the job won't be until Monday, March 2, Detroit Lakes' new public works director, Shawn King, is ready to hit the ground — or snow? — running.

"It's going to be a totally different system," said King, who has been with the Minnesota Department of Transportation for more than 24 years, with the last 10 being spent as a transportation operations supervisor at the Detroit Lakes office.

"It will take me some time to learn some of the policies that the city has," he added, "but I'm excited to start a new chapter."

He said that he didn't originally intend on making Detroit Lakes his home when he came here to work at the local MnDOT office 10 years ago, but, "It's a great place to work and raise a family."

So when he heard about the opening in the city's public works department, he decided to apply, so he could advance his career without having to relocate. "My family doesn't want to leave (Detroit Lakes)," he said. "They love it here."

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That family includes wife Candice and their three children: Clay, Abagail and Ethan, who have all attended Detroit Lakes Public Schools, where Ethan is now a sophomore.

A native of Windom, Minn., King attended college at Oklahoma State University for a couple of years after graduating high school, but after deciding academia wasn't for him, he moved back to his home state, and got his first job working for MnDOT.

After working for MnDOT for virtually his entire career, King said of his new duties, "I'm a little nervous, but excited at the same time."

Contact public works

The Detroit Lakes Public Works department is responsible for the maintenance and repair of city streets, sidewalks, parks and sanitary and storm sewer, as well as animal and weed control.