NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

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MWCD Executive Director John Hoopingarner has announced plans to retire next year after 30-plus years with the district. (Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is going to be under new leadership for the first time in more than 30 years.

Executive Director John Hoopingarner has announced that he's retiring May 31st next year. He’s been executive director of the agency that deals with flood reduction and water conservation for about 20-percent of the state since 1989. He spent the 10 years before that serving as legal counsel for the MWCD. Hoopingarner says he had no expectations early on that he would stay in the position for three decades.

“Every day was a challenge. Every day was very rewarding. The conservancy district is a unique organization, and one that presents a variety of challenges in various fields, so there was never a dull day,” he says.

Hoopingarner says one of the accomplishments he’ll most remember being part of was guiding the MWCD out of some difficult times.

“I think looking back at the financial stability of the district, when I first became associated back in 1989, we were really struggling financially, and today I believe we are on very firm financial ground,” he says.

Hoopingarner says he’s proud to get to leave the district in good health.

“We’re now well into our capital improvement projects at all of our parks and lakes and also well into our partnership with the Corps of Engineer in repairing and upgrading the dams at various locations,” he says. 

The MWCD is working with the Waverly Partners search firm to identify local, regional and national candidates that could replace Hoopingarner when he retires in May.   

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