THAYER -- Long time Thayer street department employee Darrell Phipps was honored June 5 for working for the city for 40 years.
Cake was served at the street shed in the city and Phipps was presented a new watch and a knife with his name on it.
Phipps, 57, is a 1966 graduate of Koshkonong High School. He was hired by former Thayer Mayor Ted Sullivan June 14, 1966.
Phipps said when he was hired his starting pay was $1.25 an hour.
He has done a little bit of everything while working for the city. In the early 1980s he spent a year working for the water and electrical departments. Other than that, Phipps has spent his entire working years with the city in the street department.
"I like the street department better than water and electric. I've never worked for the police department so I don't know much about it," Phipps said.
He said his early days working for the city were spent patching streets by hand, using a shovel and picking up trash. He said the trash route in the city ended in 1976 when the city dump was closed.
Today the majority of Phipps' work is done on the backhoe and road grader.
Alderman Buddy Rogers has been Phipps' boss off and on for 27 years.
"Darrell has been a marvelous employee. He will do anything he's asked and can do anything," Rogers said.
Rogers said Phipps knows where a lot of the old water and sewer lines are in the city that the newer employees are not familiar with because he installed some of them.
Phipps has worked for nine mayors in the city in the last 40 years.
"I've seen a lot of changes in 40 years and improvements in our equipment. I have seen a lot of employees come and go," he said.
Thayer Mayor Allen Deckard has served as either an alderman or mayor since 1995. "Darrell does what he is told. You couldn't expect more out of an employee," the mayor said. Deckard said he told Phipps last week he would like to have another 40 years of work out of him before he retires.
Phipps said 40 years is a long time to work at one job.
"All the guys I work with are great. I thank all of them and the officials at City Hall and the police department for all their support," he said.
Phipps lives on a small farm near Thayer. When not working, Phipps said, he farms a few cows.