New county engineer settles in
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Ringgold County has a new county engineer.
Jared Johnson, 30, assumed the duties of engineer June 30.
After graduation from Creston High School in 2008, Johnson went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Iowa State University in 2011. While in college he interned in the office of the Union
Following graduation, Johnson went to work for the engineering firm of Calhoun-Burns in Des Moines, a firm specializing in structural design, roadway design and conducting bridge inspections for Iowa counties.
After a time there, Johnson took the opportunity to begin farming in the Orient area.
After a few years, he recognized that if he ever wanted to sustain a family, he would need to do something more long term. So he decided to return to what he knew best – engineering.
To that end, Johnson began scanning job postings on the website of Iowa County Engineer Association. That’s where he came across a posting from Ringgold County.
Soon after submitting his application, he was contacted by the county and soon found himself employed as the county engineer.
Johnson said he was attracted to the position for a number of reasons. First, he is still near his hometown, and he likes the rural setting. Plus, in this position he is not stuck in a cubicle but is able to get out in the county and get a variety of experiences.
Johnson cited funding as a main challenge facing the secondary roads department.
“It seems like we have a dollar to do $100 worth of work,” he said.
Considering Ringgold County has 245 bridges, maintaining good bridges is one main challenge he cited.
He feels if the county can afford to contract the repair or replacement of two big bridges per year, and the county crew is able to build or repair another three, the county should be able to keep pace with its bridge needs.
Opening up gravel roads that aren’t dead ends is part of that goal.
“We have a solid county crew,” he said. “They get after it and take pride in what they do.”
Overall, Johnson has settled in to his new responsibility.
“I’m happy to be here,” he said, “and I look forward to providing Ringgold County the best they need.”