The last day of work for Mel Kreul was a cold and blistery day in the City of Cuba City. After 23 years on the job, Kreul has hung up his work belt. His last day was Friday, Feb. 15.
Kreul, who started with the city at the age of 32, knows the ins and outs of the daily operation of the city. Kreul, a Benton High School graduate was 19 when he attended Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire for the lineman apprenticeship program. Following graduation, Kreul secured a job in his hometown of Benton where he spent 13 years on the job before moving to his position in Cuba City in February 1989.
During his tenure in Cuba City, he was responsible for making sure the citizens of Cuba City didn't go without power. "I maintained the electric system and installed the new electric meters, wiring and transformers," Kreul said.
As with any job, the implementation of technology and computers made the job interesting. Along with the implementation of technology, Kreul said the city grew at a steady pace, which meant more work for Kreul and the entire city staff. "I've always enjoyed working for the city of Cuba City," Kreul said. "I also enjoyed working with the fellow city employees and the citizens of Cuba City.
After 36 years in the same business, Kreul said he figured it was time to retire and get out and enjoy life before he got too old to do anything. Kreul has no immediate plans for his retirement. He is enjoying some much-needed down time and plans to spend the summer golfing, fishing and camping.
The City of Cuba City is looking for a lineman to replace Kreul. Kreul said if needed he will come back and help train the new person, however, he is unsure if the new hire will need much training.