November 23, 2014

Elyria
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Avon Lake honors retired utilities chief

An Avon Lake official removes the covering to reveal the new name of the Avon Lake utilities building.

An Avon Lake official removes the covering to reveal the new name of the Avon Lake utilities building.

The John W. Kniepper Municipal Utilities Administration Building in Avon Lake was rededicated at a special event Aug. 31 that was attended by city officials, board members, employees and family and friends of John Kniepper.

The 20,000-square-foot facility, dedicated as the Avon Lake Municipal Utilities Office/Garage Complex in May 2004, was renamed for John W. Kniepper, who retired as chief utilities executive in December.

Kniepper’s career spanned 43 years, first as the utilities assistant director in 1968, then as director in 1971, and finally as chief utilities executive in 2003. Kniepper continues to serve as the utilities special projects adviser.

During his tenure, Avon Lake Municipal Utilities expanded from a water and wastewater treatment operation that primarily served the 12,000 residents of the of Avon Lake to a $70 millioin operation that now sells water and sewer services to more than 188,000 people living in a 600-square mile area of Lorain, Medina and Huron counties. He is currently serving as ALMU’s adviser to the Lorain County Rural Wastewater District, which is completing a $27.7 million dollar sanitary sewer system to provide sewer service to rural Lorain County.

Kniepper attributes most of his success to the support he received from a dedicated staff, board and city council.

Board Chair Chuck Whitmer said, “John Kniepper’s active involvement in the community made ‘Kniep’ one of the best known and respected government officials in Avon Lake.”

Kniepper served as president of the library board when the new Avon Lake Library was built, president of the Greater Years Organization that built Beach Park Towers, and still actively serves in Kiwanis.