Residents Invited to Informal Gathering to Celebrate on Jan. 4
LYNNFIELD — When Kenneth Burnham joined the Lynnfield Center Water District as its superintendent in 1974, he agreed to do so on a six month trial basis. Next week, he’ll retire after nearly 44 years on the job.
When he joined, the district was at a crossroads, much as it is now. In the mid-70s, the district and its ratepayers were faced with the choice of building a reservoir, tying into the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s water supply or building additional groundwater wells.
Burnham’s retirement comes as the district and its members must again make decisions about its future, and he thinks its best those decisions are made by people who will be around to see them through.
“I think it’s time,” said the 75-year-old Burnham, who has lived in Lynnfield since moving to town as a young boy in 1950. “Most people get out a lot earlier, but I enjoyed the work so I stayed, and things have really come full circle.”
The district has changed considerably in the four-plus decades since Burnham sold his heavy equipment business and came to work full time in the district. The crew he works with has expanded dramatically, and the building on Phillips Road that once served as a garage has become the district’s headquarters.
During Burnham’s tenure, the district has added gravel packed wells, built a treatment plant on Phillips Road and expanded service to several residential developments that have been constructed over the years.
“I’m proud of the fact that we have been able to keep costs down by doing work in-house, and I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone,” Burnham said. “We work for the people, and they decide how we operate and spend our money, so I’m grateful for the relationships we’ve had with residents throughout the years.”
Burnham added that he’s also proud of the work the district has done to expand and improve service while keeping water rates low, including new wells and the implementation of a new flushing program in recent years.
Residents are invited to an informal gathering in Burnham’s honor at district headquarters between 10 a.m. and noon on Friday, Jan. 4. Anyone who would like to attend for any portion of the gathering to wish him well is welcome to do so. Light refreshments will be available.