Bob Geyer said he made one promise when he was elected as the Greene County engineer in 1996.
“I will leave the county in better shape than I found it. And I think I accomplished that,” said Geyer.
He announced this week that he will retire in May.
“It has been a pleasure to serve as the engineer for the last 22-plus years, but the time has come to step down,” Geyer’s email to county officials reads. “Thanks for the opportunity to serve the residents of Greene County and my best to all the employees and elected officials. I can only hope that you all will work to continue to make Greene County a great place to live, work and play.”
The 71-year-old, a 1966 Xenia High School graduate and 1970 Purdue University alum, has overseen the maintenance and construction of county bridge and road projects for 22 years. That means making sure 286 bridges and 330 highway miles that are under the county’s purview are safe to travel.
Geyer said he is proud of putting tax revenue from the bridge levy that voters originally passed in the mid 1960s to good use. In terms of the conditions of the bridges, Greene County is in better shape than most others, he said.
That work included restoring three historic covered bridges and the construction of two new covered bridges.
“They are here for people to see our transportation history,” he said. “I like to think I helped preserve the area the way it was.”
Paying for all the bridge work involved leveraging the county’s existing tax revenue to get state and federal grant funding, said County Administrator Brandon Huddleson.
Geyer’s ‘vision’ to restore and rebuild the covered bridges led commissioners to rename one of them in his honor, Huddleson said.
“For years to come, people will be able to enjoy the Robert N. Geyer Charleton Mill Road Covered Bridge among the others due to Bob’s vision,” he said. “Bob has been committed to keeping our county roads and bridges in excellent shape. As a direct result of his efforts, he will be leaving our infrastructure in better shape than he found it.”
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Geyer said he will move to Florida near St. Petersburg with his wife Kathy. His last day will be May 31.
To replace Geyer, commissioners are expected to make an interim appointment in the weeks leading up to his last day. The county’s Republican central committee will then elect a person to serve the remainder of his term, which expires in 2020.
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