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New Owatonna trees honor retired city employees

Steele County Times - Staff Photo - Create Article
Ron Segner, left, who retired from the City of Owatonna engineering department, helped plant the northern red oak tree he chose with help from public works employees Brad Schrohte, Dave Gerhartz, and Clay Rehtmeyer. Staff photo by Joni Hubred
Joni Hubred, News Editor

The City of Owatonna gained 15 trees on April 29, in honor of retirees who left the city from 2019 to 2021.

Retirees and family members, along with city staff and Mayor Tom Kuntz, gathered on Earth Day for brief ceremonies at the city campus on West Hills Circle and at the Owatonna Library.

Ron Segner, who worked in the city’s engineering department, chose a particular spot for his Northern Red Oak. He said he chose the tree because it seemed sturdy and requested a spot that looked very familiar to him.

“I worked in an office up there,” he said, pointing to a spot on the back side of City Hall.

These retirees also had trees planted in their honor:

  • Clark Fell, Streets - Swamp White Oak at West Hills
  • Sandy Rickerl, Building Inspections - Amur Maple at Dartt's Park
  • Korey Kamholz, Fire Department - Accolade Elm at West Hills
  • Marie Sexton, Owatonna Library - Northern Red Oak, at Summer Park-North Cedar Hill
  • Marlin Kath, Fire Department - Amur Maple, at a small pocket park
  • Kelly Hanson, Fire Department - Red Maple, at Brooktree
  • Todd Schwanke, Police Department - Northern Red Oak, at West Hills
  • Joan Rasmussen, Owatonna Library - Red Maple, at the library
  • Bill Pekuri, Engineering - Northern Red Oak, at any park
  • Duane Perkins, Wastewater Treatment Plant - Amur Maple at West Hills
  • Bonnie Krueger, Owatonna Library - Ginkgo at the library
  • Mike Johnson, Fire Department - Northern Red Oak at Mineral Springs Park
  • Robbe Kniefel, Police Department
  • Leon Ellis, Wastewater Treatment Plant

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