LISBON - Columbiana County Engineer Bert Dawson was presented a Paul Harris Fellowship of the Rotary International Foundation during the regular weekly meeting of the East Liverpool Rotary Club on Oct. 1.
Occasionally the award is presented to a non-Rotarian who has distinguished himself or herself in their service to others which is the motto of Rotary "Service Above Self." Dawson was chosen particularly because of his service benefitting residents of the county when he went above and beyond his duties as the county engineer.
Dawson has been elected to serve 11 consecutive terms as county engineer over his 44 years in office.
He is responsible for maintenance of over 1,000 miles of county and township roads and over 350 bridges. The annual budget of the office is $6 million. He also serves as the county sanitary engineer which operates three sewage treatment plants in the county.
Dawson has served as advisor to the County Airport Authority, County Regional Planning Commission and the County Port Authority as well as numerous other state and county groups. He succeeded in procuring for Columbiana County the largest federal aid grant for roads and bridges in Ohio, second only to Cuyahoga County.
Dawson was president of the County Engineers Ohio Association in 1976 and served on its board of directors for 10 years. He was selected to receive an award from the National Association of County Engineers as its 2005 National Urban County Engineer of the Year.
Some projects when Dawson went beyond the normal duties of his office included assisting with the procurement of funds with the county commissioners for the federal prison, widening of state Route 170 in Calcutta to five lanes, funds to establish the Columbiana Port Authority and the Buckeye Water District.
Dawson designed and helped with construction at the Old Timers Baseball Complex, build running tracks at East Liverpool and Beaver Local high schools, a new sewage plant at Beaver Local School and the Thompson Park outdoor Amphitheater.
On behalf of the county commissioners he helped oversee construction of the county airport, the county jail and water, sewer and drainage projects throughout the county.
Dawson designed and helped with the rehabilitation of P.L. & W Train Station in Lisbon, restoration or reconstruction of four of the county's remaining covered bridges, the Challenger Drive Memorial in Calcutta, three historic bridges over Beaver Creek, the Sprucevale Scenic Overlook near the State Park, and is presently working on the Bow String Arch Bridge at the County Fairgrounds.