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Commissioner Mike Welch presents a plaque to longtime highway supervisor Mark Stauffer. 

ASHLAND -- Ashland County roads were still resurfaced with a chip-and- seal procedure instead of asphalt when Mark Stauffer began work for the highway department. 

The longtime highway superintendent was honored by Ashland County Commissioners and county engineer Edward Meixner during a Thursday morning meeting. 

Stauffer, who started as a county employee nearly 44 years ago, was named employee of the year by the County Engineer Association of Ohio in December 2020. Commissioners and Meixner wanted to further honor him with a proclamation Thursday. 

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From left to right, Commissioner Denny Bittle, highway supervisor Mark Stauffer, Commissioner Mike Welch and engineer Edward Meixner pose for a photo during a meeting where Stauffer was honored for his longtime work with the County.

"I know I'm an early riser. A lot of times I'd get up at 4 o'clock or so, and I've seen Mark out checking roads, seeing if they need plowed. That's commitment there," Commissioner Mike Welch said. 

Stauffer started as a highway worker with the Ashland County Highway Department in 1977. At that time, the digital systems used today didn't exist. Safety regulations would change time and time again between then and now. 

He was always willing to adjust, Meixner said about Stauffer, who worked his way up to become highway superintendent. 

"For past 25 years, on call 24-7, he takes care of emergency situations day or night efficiently and without complaint, often at a personal cost," Welch said. 

Stauffer's wife, Kay, joined him at the Thursday meeting. The couple raised six children in Ashland County.

"I'm just taken back. I never expected anything like this," Stauffer said.

When Stauffer steps down, Mike Weber will replace him. 

"He's got big shoes to fill," Commissioner Denny Bittle said. 

In other news at Thursday's Meeting 

Commissioners approved an agreement with A&M Fire & Safety Equipment for the monitoring fees of $600 annually for a fire alarm system for the former Pump House office building.

This story's headline was updated at 8:15 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8. It read "Mike Stauffer" instead of "Mark Stauffer." Mark is the name of Ashland County's highway superintendent. 

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