Plymouth Worker Retires after Four Decades on the Job
Every major city needs a fleet of vehicles to keep things going.
“Of course we’ve got street sweepers. We do all of our own street sweeping now,” said Tom Nelson, Plymouth’s fleet and facilities manager.
Nelson happens to be the man who oversees the maintenance and purchasing of that fleet for the city of Plymouth.
“We’ve got about 500 pieces of equipment that we maintain,” Nelson said. “Everything from loaders, fire trucks, police vehicles, down to lawnmowers.”
But Nelson remembers a time when Plymouth didn’t always need that many vehicles. He began working for the city at the age of 18.
“In ’76 I worked in the street department operating equipment,” Nelson said. “At that time, Plymouth was roughly 14,000 people. Everything on the other side of Highway 55 was gravel roads.”
If Nelson sounds nostalgic, it’s because he’s had some time to reflect on the old days.
“One year led to the next into the next and all of a sudden, here we are,” he said.
Four Decades of Growth
Over the span of his four decades with the city, Nelson has seen Plymouth grow to more than 78,000 people.
“It’s crazy when you think back to the changes. But at the same time, it’s been a great ride,” Nelson said.
Now after 43 years of operating the equipment, repairing that equipment, and then supervising the entire department, Tom Nelson plans to retire. Aug. 29 will be his final day on the job.
“I’ve been very fortunate here,” Nelson said. “I’ve been very blessed throughout my life with good health and so I want to continue to be able to use that and use it in volunteering, ministry work, lots of various ways.”
A well-deserved retirement plan for someone who has given his entire adult life to the department.
“I couldn’t expect or want any more from an employer,” Nelson said.
Meanwhile, Nelson says Plymouth has hired his successor from outside the city. That person will begin Sept. 9.