Retiring Bolton town highway superintendent Tim Coon (center) examines a congratulatory plaque handed to him by Bolton Town Supervisor Ron Conover (left) at Coon’s retirement party. Also applauding Coon’s tenure at the recent event were town highway department mechanic Mitch Monroe (second from left), Doris Coon (fourth from left) and Adrienne Curran (far right).
Retiring Bolton Town Highway Superintendent Tim Coon walked through the doorway of the town community center recently as several dozen people greeted him with cheers and applause.
The occasion was a surprise party honoring Coon on his 40-plus years of service to the Bolton community as an employee of the town highway department, 22 of those years serving as Superintendent of Highways.
Coon’s daughter Adrienne Curran watched people congratulate him and thank him for his many years of work assuring public safety and motorist convenience.
“As a child, I remember waiting until he got home on Christmas so we could open gifts, and how he’d have to go back out and make sure the roads were plowed,” she said. “He always thought about his work duties first — He’s been very dedicated to his job.”
Bolton Supervisor Ron Conover offered plenty of praise for his town’s highway CEO — who had hours earlier concluded a 16-hour stint through the night clearing town roads, followed by just two hours of sleep before he returned to work, followed by the retirement party.
“His experience and dedication he brought to the job every day was really remarkable,” Conover said before he handed Coon a plaque. “Tim knew all the traditional highway maintenance procedures, yet he stayed current on the new materials and techniques. We give you, Tim, our deepest gratitude for your service.”
Coon worked day-in and day out during several destructive floods during the recent years, including the major 2005 washout of County Rte. 11, and the devastating tropical storms of 2011.
Tim’s relatives and town officials recalled how Coon had been camping in Long Lake with his wife Doris and his brother for merely one day when Tim heard of a major washout, returned home and tackled his work for 24 hours straight, they said.
Conover said the amount of work required in the highway superintendent’s post has been unprecedented during the last decade, whether it was reconstructing roadways after hurricanes, clearing roads after major tree “blowdowns” or replacing culverts after washouts.
“Tim was the best highway man in the county,” Conover said. “He kept the roads in good shape, he worked hard though all the historic violent storms, and he even sanded senior citizens’ driveways.”
Conover noted that Coon was named “Conservationist of the Year” in 2002 by the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District in part because he had worked with environmental officials to improve roadway stormwater management and to abate sedimentation of waterways. Coon also helped initiate the town’s program to convert to Magic Salt, a pavement-clearing substance that’s more environmentally friendly than rock salt, Conover said.
“Tim’s always been open to suggestions and new initiatives,” he said.
Doris Coon said that his retirement has meant they now will be getting new flooring in their house — she had been putting off buying new carpeting and hardwood flooring until his work routine permanently concluded.
“Over the years, Tim wore a path in the floor — from the kitchen to the living room — by pacing back and forth, looking out the window at the skies, worrying about storms,” she said. “We put off replacing the flooring until we knew he was going to retire.”
Coon said at the retirement party he was ready to end his tenure as highway chief. He had been working for the town highway department since he was in his 20s, he said.
“It’s been a good ride,” he said. “But finally now, I’ll be able to do what I want to do — more hunting and fishing.”
After receiving all the accolades, Coon deferred credit to the other town highway department employees.
“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all the guys that worked for me,” he said.
Retiring Bolton town highway superintendent Tim Coon (center) glances at a congratulatory plaque handed to him by Bolton Town Supervisor Ron Conover (left) at Coon’s retirement party. Also applauding Coon’s tenure at the recent event were town highway department mechanic Mitch Monroe (second from left), Doris Coon (fourth from left) and Adrienne Curran (far right).
Photo by Thom Randall