The new engineer for the Cole County Public Works Department came to the department after several years working in two different state departments.
For nearly 17 years, Mattheuw Prenger worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation as a project engineer. He also worked as a highway designer for the Missouri Department of Transportation's Central District Office in Jefferson City.
"During my time at MoDOT, I worked on the U.S. 54 bypass at the Lake of the Ozarks and improvements on the southbound U.S. 63 lanes from Columbia," Prenger said. "At MDC, I was involved with anything related to engineering, whether it was a boat ramp, bridge replacements or communications towers. Coming into this new position, there was nothing strange about it."
Prenger said he had worked for about a year with Cole County Public Works Director Eric Landwehr while the two were at MoDOT.
"Coming to the county was the next stepping stone for my career," he said. "It got me back to my roots as far as roadway design."
Prenger was in charge of MDC's southeast region, so his work took him to places such as Ste. Genevieve all the way to Missouri's Bootheel.
"This job keeps me closer to home," Prenger said. "When you travel four hours one way for a meeting and have to drive four hours back the same day, it makes for a long day."
Landwehr, who had served as Cole County engineer before being named public works director, said stormwater projects will be some of the first things Prenger will be involved with.
"Matt was a good fit because he had the highway experience, which is a lot of what we do, but at MDC, he took projects and worked with them from the design phase through bidding and construction management, so he had experience from the start to finish of projects," Landwehr said.
Prenger grew up in Wardsville. He lives in St. Thomas and has served with the Cole County Fire Protection District for 12 years.