Bruce Surratt talks about retirement from Parks and Lakes

By Ryne Turke on January 13, 2015 at 1:08pm

The Jacksonville Parks and Lakes Superintendent is retiring after 38 years of service.

Bruce Surratt spoke with WLDS/WEAI News after the announcement and says he has truly enjoyed his time in the public service department and is grateful for the opportunities he has received.

Surratt believes that this was a situation where it was right to step down.

“It’s a job that certainly requires a lot of time and is something you never get away from,” says Surratt.

“I’m just turning the page in my life and I have four grand kids that I like doing things with. There are a lot of projects coming up that I think a younger hand and someone with new eyes on the subject might be best for the city. It is a perfect time for me to leave and has worked out perfectly. I am very excited for the future.”

Surratt says he has seen a lot of changes during his time as the Parks and Lakes Superintendent.

“I’ve been with four mayors, six fire chiefs, five police chiefs and six city clerks,” says Surratt.

“Time rolls on but I thank the citizens of Jacksonville for treating me so kindly. We have accomplished a lot of great things in that time. I am very proud of the work history I have had. It has been the very best, from life guards to union employees. They have allowed us to get a lot of stuff done.”

Surratt comments on some of those accomplishments.

“Starting at the Community Park, where we acquired the property in 1981, and what a wonderful 62-acres it has been with special activities,” says Surratt.

“We were able to get money to build a Community Park Center, the Kiwanis new toy at Community Park and we dropped in our Disc Golf Course here. I’m very proud that Lake Jacksonville has been filled to capacity since 1981. For a very small town we have made leaps and strides in recreation.”

Lake Jacksonville was also named the top place to fish for bass in Illinois in May 2007.

Surratt still plans to be active in the community, including work with Kiwanis and First Christian Church.

March 31 will be his last day of work.