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North Mankato adds new department to oversee sports, events

The Culture, Recreation and Quality of Life Department was approved Monday.
The Culture, Recreation and Quality of Life Department was approved in a vote Monday by the North Mankato City Council.
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 6:45 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2022 at 7:13 PM CST
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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The City of North Mankato added a new department to oversee sports and events.

“It’s reflective of the work that the City’s been doing for the last decade,” Mayor Mark Dehen stated.

The North Mankato Culture, Recreation and Quality of Life Department will manage aquatic programming, Caswell Park and youth sports and local events.

“It’s all these wonderful activities that we have been putting on for these last few years coming under one umbrella,” North Mankato Taylor Library Director Katie Heintz added.

The North Mankato City Council approved the new department Monday in a 4-1 vote. Council Member Billy Steiner voted against it.

“I just don’t see the need to have another department to run everything,” Steiner mentioned.

Other members said it will ease event planning and bring more activities to the area.

“Part of the objective is to make events easier, to plan things without glitches,” Council Member Diane Norland stated.

“It’s going to be able to put everything together so you have a one-stop-shop for whatever need you might have,” Council Member Sandra Oachs added.

It is headed by Heintz, who will also determine its responsibilities.

“It’s just so fun to engage, and be with the people, and serve the people and give them this programming that is so well received,” Heintz said. “From youth football to the pumpkin walk, to the music in the park, it’s just fun to be a part of.”

North Mankato Youth Sports Director Neil Kaus and Caswell Sports Director Phil Tostenson will have a role.

“We’ll just be assisting each other. I did a lot of the adult leagues [at Caswell], the youth recreation stuff. Neil was working with the football, and now we’ll just be able to coordinate together,” Tostenson said.

Sandy Bromley, a new aquatics director, will also be brought on the team.

It’s unclear who else will be involved and what their duties will be.

Heintz said the department will get to work immediately.

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