From 1970 to 1985, Early’s population increased by 110%. In 1982 the current City Hall was built and in 1985, the post office was built. That’s the year that Wade Walker was hired as a full-time employee with the water department at 19 years old.
“Thirty-seven years is a long time to dedicate yourself to a job and we are thankful that Wade Walker has chosen to dedicate his 37 years to the City of Early.” said City Administrator Tony Aaron.
Wade Walker was honored for 35 years with the City back in 2021 at a city-wide Christmas party. He was unable to attend the party but did have a chance to speak to us about what he remembers throughout his time with the City.
“It feels like yesterday. It just doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. I had no intentions of even staying when I started.” said Wade Walker.
He says that he has seen several different people in administration, on City Council, in the mayor’s seat. In fact, Wade obtained his Class C Water License in 1987, his Class C Waste Water license in 1989 and was appointed as the Director of Public Works in 1997. He states that although he has been apart of and seen so much change, the town has always kept its mindset of growing and providing a hometown feeling for its citizens.
“Things have definitely progressed from when I started. We basically started out with nothing, 35 years ago and now it’s totally different, it’s first class. Back then we worked with whatever we could find to work with and now it’s just evolved from nothing to what it is today.” said Wade.
Not long after Wade was hired by the city, the water treatment plant on Hillcrest was built. Wade was here to watch the treatment plant be built, go into service and then go out of service in 2015.
“I was here for its entire life-span and ran it the whole time.” said Wade.
But Wade also saw the new elevated water storage tower go up, the treated water pump station and the 2-million-gallon ground storage tank. He saw the completion of the waste water treatment facility; he saw the creation of the agricultural irrigation and hay production and several residential and multi-family housing developments come to Early.
Wade was honored at the City Council meeting last night at the Early City Hall and was given the plaque shown here. Everyone at the City of Early is very thankful for everything that Wade has done for the city and the many years of his expertise that he provides in several situations.
“If there’s an issue, there’s a high likelihood that Wade has had to fix it in the past. He can tell you exactly where every water line is located without looking it up. He is a great asset to the city and we couldn’t be more honored or thankful for his many years of service.” said Tony Aaron.
Not only is Tony Aaron and everyone else at the city thankful for Wade, but Wade is just as thankful for the city.
“If I didn’t have this job, I don’t know what else I would have done. I just fell in love with what I was doing so I stayed and I’m very thankful for this job.” said Wade Walker.
We wish you the best Wade, and hope that retirement is as good to you as you were to us.