Remembering Tim Mills

On February 21, the water sector in Vermont lost yet another long time operator and friend, Tim Mills. Tim worked at the Town of Bethel, running the wastewater facility for 31 years, and in 2018 stepped up as the Utilities Director, overseeing the water and wastewater departments. TPO Magazine wrote an article about Tim in 2017, which you can read here.

His family will hold a service at a later date to be announced. Read Tim’s obituary here.

In the meantime, our staff and partners would like to share some memories of Tim.

Photo of Tim Mills

Photo of Tim Mills provided by TPO Magazine

From Wayne Graham

I was fortunate enough to start working with Tim 16 years ago when I started with Vermont Rural Water. Being a small world that we live in, we realized we had a lot in common: we both grew up in northern NH, our fathers drove trucks together, and Tim went to school with my wife and her siblings!

Anyone who knew Tim knew that he was very organized and particular about his equipment, from tools at the wastewater plant to his immaculate GMC Denali truck. Recently, when Tim was ill in the hospital, I spent several days with his assistant operator, Richard, to complete and submit several reports to the State. I was very aware that if Tim returned to work to see we had messed with his computer files, someone was going to pay dearly! I told Richard that since I didn’t work with Tim every day, I would take the blame…and Richard agreed whole heartedly!

From Paul Olander

I met Tim 25 years ago or so, on the first of several technical assistance projects we collaborated on over the years. We tracked down two different sources of toxic slugs that caused plant upsets, then developed a complex process control scheme based on Tim’s discovery that he could make that little plant do things it was never designed to do, and together we wrote a very technical Nitrogen Removal Plan. Over that time I saw tremendous growth in Tim’s knowledge of the biological side of his process and how to make that work for him, and in his professionalism.

As I came to know him, I saw that what never changed was his devotion to his family, his friends, his communities, and his effluent. Tim cared enough to do, and keep doing, those “thankless tasks” that make communities and relationships whole. Truly, Tim will be long-remembered and missed.

From Shaun Fielder

So sorry to hear of Tim’s passing. A great loss to his family and friends and the community for sure. I am very confident all those in Bethel and the surrounding area appreciate all he did on an ongoing basis to keep the water services functioning properly. He will be missed. God Speed Tim.

Do you have a memory or message you’d like to share? Send it to and it will be posted here.