Picture of Dale Ronning and Lane Wegener looking at map

When it comes to ensuring the quality installation of utilities, storm drains, site grading, streets and other construction, two men in Eagan’s Engineering Division have excelled for almost 30 years. Dale Ronning and Lane Wegener have worked side-by-side as Engineering Technicians/Project Managers, and this fall the duo’s high quality work was recognized. The two were named the Engineering Technician/Field Personnel of the Year by the 1,000-plus member Minnesota chapter of the American Public Works Association.

“Dale and Lane are true professionals. They’re responsible for contract and project management for millions of dollars of City and private development infrastructure work,” says John Gorder, City Engineer. “Projects span a variety of improvements: publicly-built, privately-built, County, State, streets, utilities, water resources, parks—most with multiple and varied stakeholders.”
Whether managing all of the contractors at a City facility project like the Cascade Bay and the Eagan Community Center; or ensuring all of the sewer and water utilities at the Viking Lakes development meet State and City standards; quality work and an eye to the bottom line is always key for this pair.

“Lane and I basically treat Eagan like our front yards,” says Ronning. “If the work quality wouldn’t be good enough at our homes, we won’t accept it for the City.”

This level of quality helps save the City money by ensuring no corners are cut. But Gorder says it doesn’t stop there. He hears from contractors about the respect they have for Lane and Dale. In fact some say the work quality of this pair translates into an “Eagan discount” meaning a significant lowering of bid prices on public projects (like street overlay projects in which adjacent property owners are assessed for costs). “Contractors know what to expect from our team,” says Gorder, “honest, fair, experienced interaction and direction.”

Wegener agrees. “I think they (contractors and consultants) know what they’ll get from us. They know we’re fair, they know what we expect too and that we won’t micromanage them. But we won’t let them cut corners either.”

“There are a lot of similarities with these two and that’s why I submitted a joint recommendation for this award,” says Gorder. “They were hired within two weeks of each other in 1989. Their birthdates and even wedding anniversaries are days apart.” The most important similarity that Gorder sees, however, is that “they are true professionals who can be proud of the work they do and the city benefits because of the valuable service they provide each day.”