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Lake Andrew Township clerk, 82, retires after 56 years

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

NEW LONDON -- Ellsworth Hatlestad will be ending his 56-year career today as the Lake Andrew Township clerk.

Since 1952, when he was a 26-year-old farmer, Hat-lestad has been recording the official activities of the township.

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Now 82, he will perform that duty one last time during the annual meeting tonight, documenting the votes for everything from the road and bridge budget to the gopher bou-nty.

Hatlestad will also record the votes for his successor.

Residents from the rural northern Kandiyohi County are expected to elect his replacement tonight.

Sharon Oleson, a 15-year resident of the township, agreed to file for election for the job and has been serving as the deputy clerk for the last six months, learning the ropes from Hatlestad.

Hatlestad had tried to bow out of the job in the past but finding a replacement did not come quickly.

Much has changed in 56 years in the township. Back then the annual budget was less than $10,000, he said. The proposed budget for this year is $365,000.

The township had been mostly farms and gravel roads back then. Now there are housing developments and tar roads.

Hatlestad enjoys local government and said he'll miss the monthly township meetings but that changing technology was too much to adapt to.

With information being sent and delivered electronically, Hatlestad said it was time to turn the job over to someone with computer skills.

Hatlestad was recognized Monday during the Kandiyohi County Township Association's annual meeting.

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