Wayne Sandberg, Washington County Engineer and President of the Minnesota County Engineers Association visited the Polk County Commissioners for a local Presentation of the 2018 Outstanding Engineer of the Year Award to Polk County Engineer Rich Sanders.  “Our association is appraised of all 87 counties,” Sandberg.  “We have full membership across the state and had our annual conference a few weeks ago.  At that conference, we recognized Polk County Engineer Rich Sanders as the 2018 Outstanding County Engineer of the Year.”

Sandberg added Sanders is a leader among County Engineers on the local, state and national level.  “It’s really a reflection of his work not only on the local level here in Polk County but at the state level in Minnesota,” said Sandberg.  “He works with the legislature, various activities with safety and promoting a good roadside environment.  At the national level, he’s the leader with the National Association of County Engineers and really continues to give back to our profession in so many ways.  I wanted to make sure we thanked not only Rich but the Polk County Board for giving Rich the opportunity to act in these various roles.”

Sanders was surprised to receive the award and said the honor is special.  “It is very humbling and was very much as a surprise,” said Sanders.  “I went to our annual conference down in Brainerd in January expecting the conference to go like every conference goes and all of a sudden I’m winning the Outstanding County Engineer of the Year Award.  It’s very emotional.  I’ve been going to that conference for many years and watching people get it.  For them to name me is very special for me.  I think I do good work up here in Polk County.  I have tried to do that for many years and to be recognized is a blessing.”

For Sanders, the 2019 conference might only have been better had he listened to his wife’s instincts.  “I just wish I would’ve followed my wife’s instincts and had her go with me to the conference,” said Sanders.  “I told her there was no reason to and she should stay home.  Sorry honey.”

County Commissioners Joan Lee, Don Diedrich, Warren Strandell, Polk County Engineer Rich Sanders, Commissioners Gary Willhite, Gerald Jacobson, MCEA President Wayne Sandberg