Angell, Lee bring experience to city-owned utility department

Photo by Chad Koenen
Thomas Lee and Joe Angell have recently joined the staff at the Henning Public Utility Department. They join Utilities Supervisor Ted Strand in the utility department. 

By Chad Koenen


Long before many of the downtown Henning businesses have opened, three members of the Henning Public Utilities Department plan the day’s activities in the back of city hall. There are a few laughs, smiles and a joke or two, as they get ready to complete a variety of projects before the end of summer. 

After being down to just one employee earlier this year, the Henning Utilities Department is back up to three full-time employees as Tim Angell rejoined the City of Henning in May and Thomas Lee started working in Henning just a few weeks ago. Both employees said they are excited to be joining the staff and credit current utility supervisor Ted Strand for helping to bring them to the community. 

Strand spoke highly of the two new employees. 

“Both of them are a big asset to the community,” said Strand of Angell and Lee. 

All-in-all the men are responsible for the city-owned electricity, natural gas, as well as sewer and water departments. They also come up with road maintenance plans and complete a number of other duties in the community throughout the year.

Lee joined the City of Henning staff on August 22 and has 16 1/2 years of experience in public utilities. He most recently worked for the City of Pillager, but spent 15 1/2 years with the City of Clarissa where he helped with the city’s water, wastewater and natural gas. 

A close connection to Henning Police Chief Mike Helle helped to bring him to the City of Henning.

“I was looking at a different place other than Pillager and Mike told me about this opportunity,” he said. 

After a little prodding from Helle, Henning’s newest employee applied for a position as a utility worker. Lee said he is looking forward for the opportunity to work in a variety of different aspects once again, especially in the natural gas department. 

Strand spoke highly of Lee and what his years of experience will bring to the City of Henning.

“He is well rounded and has a knowledge about everything,” said Strand.

While Lee is new to the community, Angell has worked for the City of Henning as a maintenance person at Willow Creek and COuntryview Apartments several years ago. Due to budget cuts at the time his position was eliminated, but he enjoyed the opportunity that working for the City of Henning gave him the first time around 

When several people quit positions within the utility department earlier this year, Angell said he received a phone call from Henning Mayor Darren Wiese who inquired about whether Angell would be interested in ever returning to the city.

“Darren called me up and said would you be interested in coming back to the city,” said Angell. “I was real happy the first time I was here.”

Angell said he has really enjoyed the variety the utility department job has provided him since starting in May. It’s that variety and the leadership of Strand that has allowed him to learn a variety of new aspects of the utility department work this time around.