City Water Reclamation Director retires after 44 years

Johnny Massingill — flanked by Rome City Manager Sammy Rich and Assistant City Manager Meredith Ulmer — retired Wednesday after working for the city’s water reclamation facility for 44 years, 28 of them as director.

Longtime city employee and Blacks Bluff Road Water Reclamation Facility Director Johnny Massingill is retiring Wednesday after 44 years on the job.

Massingill served as director for 28 years. He oversaw the cleaning of wastewater from the Black’s Bluff and Coosa facilities as well as the discharge of the water into the Coosa River.

“I control the reclamation process mainly,” Massingill said. “It’s a biological process. We’ve added a chemical process to it in the last few years. I also look after personnel, do the hiring and do the training. We make sure everyone gets the necessary certification. I also handled the reporting to the state and federal folks. The job entails a good bit.”

Massingill started at the bottom and worked his way to the director role. In fact, the city of Rome has been his only employer. Fresh out of Armuchee High School, he started at the plant as a maintenance mechanic, then became an operator, then chief operator, then a lab analyst, then a supervisor. In 1993, he became director. In all that time, he never had the urge to work for anyone else.

“I just liked the job,” Massingill said. “It was a good job making good money. The city paid for me to go back to school and get some more education. They also paid for me to get certified from the state. The city has been a good employer to work for. It’s a great place to work.”

The city hosted a retirement party for Massingill Monday. He was thankful for all the love shown to him but was quick to show appreciation for the employees under him.

“It was great,” Massingill said. “I do appreciate it. Every one of our employees are great. I’ve had some surgeries lately and they took care of things while I was away. The employees do all the hard work.”

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