By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN Jeff DeGrote, formerly of Clara City, joined the City of Cokato’s public works team as its new director last Monday.
DeGrote was hired to take over the position of former director Ken Bakke, whose last day was Tuesday.
Previously, DeGrote worked as assistant public works director for Clara City, a town west of Willmar with a population of roughly 1,400.
With 20 years experience in public works, DeGrote is looking forward to the challenge of working in a larger city and having even more responsibility.
DeGrote has a Class A waste-water license and is a certified pool operator.
One of his main hobbies is fishing, and the lakes were one of the factors that drew him to this area.
DeGrote moved to Cokato just days before his first day of work, which was spent learning the routes for snow removal in preparation for the snowfall that was to come overnight.
Aside from plowing, DeGrote will be responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the community, among other duties.
He has three children, Jesse, 28, a paramedic in Grand Forks; Alissa, 23, who is finishing her special education degree; and Chasen, 10, who currently lives in Mankato.