Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer
The Town of Franklin Public Works Department has announced the retirement of Jay Gibson, Public Works Director. Gibson has been employed by the Town of Franklin for 35 years. He worked in the Public Works department for 18 years before becoming director in 2000. Gibson was instrumental in upgrades and expansions at the towns waste water treatment plant and the water treatment facility. He oversaw sidewalk repairs and upgrades, operations of the collections and distribution systems, street cleanup’s and snow removal while supervising the town’s largest department. Gibson was also on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Rural Water Association.
Before starting work for the town of Franklin, Gibson worked for Hedden Brothers Well Drilling Company just after completing high school in 1981. After one year on the job at Hedden he decided to apply to the Town of Franklin’s Public Works Department. He worked as a laborer for minimum wage which he estimates was about $3.25 an hour back then. He learned all the aspects of the job. He installed sewer lines and sewer taps for homes and businesses. There was always maintenance. Over the years he feels his job as director has changed in that there was more responsibility and more regulations to deal with. What he enjoyed the most were his employees and he didn’t feel that there were any drawbacks to what he did. A bit of advice he has for the new director, Nathanael Moore, is “good luck.”
Now that Gibson is retired, he plans to spend more time with his family. He is married and has two grown children, a son and a daughter, and two grandchildren. He also plans to do some hunting and fishing and here and there he will work on fixing up some old cars. Gibson plans to stay local so he has no grandiose plans for overseas travel although he would love to visit Australia but feels the flight would be too long for him to deal with.
The town is holding a retirement party for Gibson Friday, Sept. 14, from 2 to 4 p.m.