Local chiropractors voted good neighbor of the year |  news

The secret is out! The identity of this year’s Hugo Good Neighbor of the Year has been revealed.

2021 was the first time in 20 years that Dr. Bill Barrett participated in the Good Neighbor Days Parade; until this year he was helping with the parade on the corner.

Barrett, a resident of Lino Lakes, has owned the Hugo Chiropractic Clinic since 1978. Originally aspiring to be a teacher, he quickly decided to start treating chiropractic at the age of 19 when he injured his lower back while doing construction work that summer.

He was drawn to opening his own shop in Hugo because it is a small town. “When I first came to Hugo, Hugo had a tiny, tiny town hall that was open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and was closed on Friday… Marvin LaValle was mayor and he drove into town on his tractor , ran in to the post office or signed something at town hall and then got back on his tractor, ”recalls Barrett.

At the time, the city had a population of perhaps 2,800. A couple of times a week there was a part-time dentist in town and no chiropractor in sight. One of the charms of the small town was the power of word of mouth.

“I really didn’t have to buy any advertising. In a small town, good or bad, people will talk about you, ”he explained.

For 43 years, Dr. Barrett assisted residents of Hugo and surrounding towns including White Bear Lake, Centerville, Lino Lakes, Forest Lake, Scandia, and Marine on St. Croix with their chiropractic needs.

“Even though I gave something to the community, I feel like I got a lot more in return, and that’s why I stayed here,” he said. “Many of my longstanding patients have become friends. You get to know people. “

Barrett is no stranger to volunteering. He was a member of the Hugo Lions Club for at least 20 years and is also a founding member of the Hugo Business Association. “I grew up in a big family and my parents taught us how to volunteer, move up, do things,” he said.

When Hugo Lion called Katie Riopel to tell him the news, Barrett thought it was a joke.

“I know probably 90% of the people who have won this award in the past. You do a lot more than I do, ”he said. “I feel like part of an elite … I’m in good company.”

After more than four decades of caring for this community, Barrett still enjoys what he does for a living and has no plans to retire anytime soon.