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Sam Benshoof/FOCUS From left, Lane Kline (holding 1-year-old Hadley Kline), Shanon Kline, 3-year-old Morgan Kline, Laura and Red Jacobson. Together, the family runs Sewer Service in New York Mills.

Sewer Service a family-run enterprise

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A little more than a year ago, Shanon Kline was working in construction. Had you told him then that in a few months he would own and run a sewer company with his family, he might not have believed you.

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That's where he is now, though. Along with his wife, Lane, his children Hadley ,1, and Morgan, 3, and his mother- and father-in-law Red and Laura Jacobson, Shanon runs and owns Sewer Service in New York Mills.

With a new shop recently completed, the family will be hosting a customer appreciation and open house event on Saturday, Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cookies and refreshments will be available.

When they heard that Mark and Rita Wagner, the previous owners of Sewer Service, were open to selling the company, Shanon and his family decided they'd try something new.

Although getting set up as owners of Sewer Service took the family many months of paperwork, getting trained by the Wagners and certification classes in the Twin Cities, "it didn't take too long to get the hang of it," Shanon said. "It's going pretty smoothly."

One reason the family was so willing to try their hand at something they had never done before was because they knew that septic service is something that most households can't go without.

"No matter how the economy is, this is something that needs to be done," Shanon said. "It's a business to be in."

Red, who had worked his whole life as a farmer and construction worker, said the transition to the new job was a little difficult at times. In the end, though, "it's easier than construction."

As for working with family every day, it's apparently not as bad as one might think.

"It's going pretty good that way," Shanon said.

"So far so good," Red agreed. "They're my bosses, so I have to do what they say."

The family also seemed to agree that they enjoy the freedom of being self-employed and the hours that come with it.

"The hours aren't so bad," Red said.

The off-season isn't so bad, either - Red and Shanon spend the winter hunting and fishing.

The people they meet over the course of the job makes it worth it as well, Laura said.

"You meet all kinds of people," Shanon added. "You see a lot of different places, a lot of lakes."

Morgan estimated that Sewer Service's customer area extends as far west as Frazee, north to Butler, south to Ottertail and east to Bluffton.

"We get to the whole lakes area," Shanon said.

The newly completed Sewer Service shop is located at a mile and a half south of NY Mills at 37151 County Hwy 67. For more information, call 218-346-7436.

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