NEW KNOXVILLE — Although he is not out the door yet, New Knoxville Village Administrator Rex Katterheinrich is already adding up his accomplishments as he looks to retirement after 10 years with the village.
He announced at the July Village Council meeting that he intended to retire. It was not a surprise to Mayor Keith Leffel, who knew the village administrator was considering his options.
“Keith asked me to give him at least two week’s notice when I had made up my mind,” Katterheinrich said.
Katterheinrich said he will be on the job until his successor is named and brought on board. Interviews are already being lined up.
A couple of things happened to bring Katterheinrich to the decision to retire, he said. For one, his wife Janet had retired from Honda the year before. Then he realized he had to pick his own endpoint.
“I always thought I would stay until the last project was done but realized there would always be another project. So I decided to hang up my spurs, so to speak,” he said.
Katterheinrich said he has deeply enjoyed working with the village employees and residents in completing many needed projects.
He said he is most proud of his participation in the expansion of both the industrial park and two housing subdivisions, as well as annexation of the Neil Armstrong Airport to include its new terminal.
“The industrial park expansion has brought in Advanced Machine Solutions and Modern Ag Supply since we extended the utilities and road out there,” he said. Eight more lots are ready for new businesses in need of their services.
He said the expansion of the village’s two housing subdivisions, Westphalia Estates and Estates at Northfield, was also very significant to the village’s future, since new homes will bring more people into the community. New Knoxville, like many rural municipalities, is surrounded by valuable farmland, so acquiring acreage to build on can be difficult.
The annexation of part of the Neil Armstrong Airport allowed the village to provide water and sanitary services to the new terminal, which is anticipated to be completed at the end of August.
“When the commissioners were awarded an FAA grant to build the new terminal, they requested that village water and sanitary services be extended to the airport,” he explained. “The commissioners and the village agreed that annexation was needed, That way we could build the services to village specifications and meet their needs.”
The airport project also allowed the village to eliminate aging septic systems at the hangars.
“When the airport was created in 1968,” he explained, “each hanger owner dug his own well as well as a septic tank and leach field.”
Now, the buildings are connected to modern water and sanitation services.
Katterheinrich, a New Knoxville native, spent most of this career in public service.
“The day after I graduated from high school in the summer of 1969, I was working for Auglaize County Engineer Clayton Stimmel,” he said.
He and then-assistant engineer Doug Reinhart were sent out in the field for two summers in a row, assigning numbered addresses to every property outside of corporation limits in Auglaize County. Katterheinrich said this was before 911 services were common.
“It is like he (Stimmel) saw the writing on the wall and made numbering homes a priority.”
He added the summer job was an interesting experience, not only in determining who owned what property but also because he met a lot of people.
Before coming to New Knoxville, the village administrator worked from 1989 to 2009 as the director of Safety and Service Department for the city of Wapakoneta.
He served as sanitary engineer for the Auglaize County Commissioners from 1977 to 1986. His major project was working on the southern end of a project to create sanitary services around Grand Lake St. Marys.