Havre Daily News - News you can use

County sanitarian-planner retires after 35 years


March 20, 2017

Havre Daily News/Floyd Brandt

Hill County Sanitarian and Planner Clay Vincent talks Friday in his office. Vincent is retiring this month after 35 years with the county.

Clay Vincent has only until the end of the month before his nearly 35-year stint as the Hill County sanitarian-planner is over and his assistant, Amy Ferguson, takes over as county planner.

It is unknown, as of now, he said, what the county commissioners will do about the sanitarian void that will be left, but they have a little buffer of time before needing to figure something out.

"Inspection duties will be caught up at least till July or August, and then they'll decide if we'll get someone part or full time, maybe look at a regional thing, with several counties around here," he said.

As for Ferguson, she'll be able to be reached at the same number as Vincent, and she will do everything Vincent has been doing as a planner, he said.

"She' ll work on zoning permits, new addresses, whatever rules the Legislature is coming up with, landfill issues, equipment purchases, what to do with things like asbestos or oil materials," he said.

A lot has happened in 35 years, Vincent said, looking back on a few big projects his office has been involved in. For starters, Walmart came into Havre under his tutelage, he said.

"You do all the working with the engineers, getting it sided, seeing if the zoning is appropriate, trying to figure out if the water and sewer, fire protecting, so on and so forth," he said.

The implementation of the county addressing system for 911 was another significant step for the people of Hill County , he added.

"Getting people a locatable address - if they have an emergency, being able to pick that up, put that number in there and the ambulance or sheriff can find them," he said.

The increase of U.S. Border Patrol presence in the county also was major, Vincent said.

"The new border patrol station up here went up 10 years or five years ago, and we had to have quite a few things done to our growth policy to be able to get that put in here," he said.

As for his retirement, Vincent said, his plans do not include laying around the house.

"I got some hobbies," he said. "We raise honey bees. I know we got some traveling to do. I've got a grandchild in Arizona. Then I got some other things that we got to take care of."

Vincent did not sound so sure Hill County has seen the last of him.

"Working for Hill County has been enjoyable, and I might at some point, come back and work part-time here, just trying to continue the services we're doing," he said. "The hardest thing will be cleaning this office so Amy will have a space to work."


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