On Jan. 28 George Hutson was honored by the City of Champlin with a key to the city. It’s been more than a decade since the City of Champlin has bestowed anyone with the prestigious recognition. The acknowledgement is reserved for rare circumstances, said Deputy City Administrator John Cox.
This time it also called for some sly efforts on the part of city staff and council.
“George is the kind of person who if you told him you were going to give him an award, he wouldn’t want the attention,” said Cox who said the staff and council tried to keep quiet about the award as much as possible until presenting it at the council meeting Monday night.
The key to the city presentation was planned for the same night the Crime Prevention Fund received a donation from the Champlin Athletic Association. Since Hutson leads the Crime Prevention Fund city council and staff knew he would be in attendance to accept the donation on behalf of the fund.
Mayor ArMand Nelson spoke about Hutson’s volunteer efforts within the community and his reputation as a business owner.
In accepting the award Hutson said he has sold his business in Champlin, Filtration Engineering, but still owns the building. His son is the current president.
“Don’t worry, I’m not gone though,” he said. “I’ll continue to volunteer and be involved with the Crime Prevention Fund. I’m pleased with what we’ve accomplished so far… it is very positive.”
Hutson was admittedly surprised by the presentation and appreciative.
“From the minute I met John Cox in 1995 and started talking about buying a piece of property in Champlin up until this very minute right now I’ve been extremely delighted with the City of Champlin,” he said. Hutson’s support and volunteer efforts over the years demonstrate that sentiment.
While the city currently does not have a list of criteria to determine a person’s eligibility for a key to the city, in reflecting on Hutson’s contributions to Champlin the council and staff concluded he was definitely worthy. Cox said the process led to a discussion about whether there should be a formal list of criteria for the future. Consensus is they would like to continue to reserve the honor for those special individuals who have met high standards of contribution to the city, such as Hutson.
A report prepared by John Cox, Champlin’s deputy administrator stated: “Hutson has unselfishly contributed to the betterment of the Champlin community.”
In 1996, Hutson moved his filtration membrane process equipment business, Filtration Engineering, into the Park Ridge Business Park. Since then, Hutson has expanded the company’s plant and international footprint numerous times while becoming a civic fixture in the Champlin business community.
While inventing new filtration technologies and innovations, he has always made time to support local community activities. For years, Hutson and Filtration Engineering have been the chief sponsor of the Father Hennepin Festival’s fireworks show. He has also been a sponsor and supporter of the Champlin Ice Forum and the city’s Annual Business Appreciation Day.
Last year, Hutson accepted the role of president of the newly established Champlin Crime Prevention Fund. In this role, Hutson leads a community effort dedicated to raising funds that support local crime prevention programs. Some of the fund’s sponsored programs include DARE, Safety Camp, and Cash Reward Programs such as the Quick 25 and the Major Crime Reward Fund. Currently, the Crime Prevention Fund is raising support to acquire a mobile police alarm system that can provide police officers with real-time crime information.
Contact Mindy Mateuszczyk at [email protected]