Jon W. Erichson
Jon W. Erichson was born in Austin in 1956. After growing up in his hometown, he went to the University of Minnesota for a BS in Civil Engineering. He returned to Austin in 1979 to work as the Assistant City Engineer, a position he held until 1992 when he became the City Engineer and Public Works Director.
During Jon’s tenure in the city engineering department, he was directly involved with and responsible for some of the planning and projects that had far-reaching impact on the city’s future. He was the primary developer of Austin’s comprehensive flood mitigation system, and was the key player in promoting the flood sales tax initiative, the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) program. He oversaw the acquisition of nearly 300 flood property acquisitions, and designed the structural flood protection for the Hormel Plant. Flood control was such a critical part of his focus that he developed and wrote more than $12 million in grants for flood mitigation work. One of the enduring legacies of his career was the creation of the Cedar River Watershed District, which remains crucial to on-going reduction of flooding in ‘.
As City Engineer and Public Works Director, Jon also was instrumental in the design and project management of more than 40 miles of city street construction. He planned, coordinated and designed different projects that helped the Austin Municipal Airport expand from a runway capacity of 3,800 feet to its current length of 5,800 feet. Jon also planned and developed Austin extensive pedestrian trail system, which continues to grow. He played an important role in the annexation agreements developed between the City of Austin, Austin Township, and Lansing Township, processes which have changed Austin’s geographical footprint.
Always dedicated to environmental protection, Jon served as the supervisor of the Turtle Creek Watershed, saw to the extension of sanitary sewers into unserved areas, and supervised the Soil and Water Conservation District. He served on the Blazing Star Trail Development Committee and was active in numerous community programs such as the Austin Public Schools Facility Committee, a mentor in the Latino STEM program, as a United Way Section Leader and Board Member, and for more than 10 years gave his time as an Austin Youth basketball coach.
Jon Erichson has dedicated his working life to the service and betterment of his hometown, and his legacy endures in Austin’s streets, paths, parks and waterways.
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