North Mankato adds new department to oversee sports and events

NORTH MANKATO, Minnesota (KEYC) – The City of North Mankato has added a new department to oversee sports and events.

“This reflects the work the City has done over the past decade,” said Mayor Mark Dehen.

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

“These are all of these wonderful activities that we have organized over the past few years under one roof,” added Katie Heintz, Director of the North Mankato Taylor Library.

North Mankato City Council approved the new department on Monday with a 4-1 vote. Council member Billy Steiner voted against.

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

Other members said it would make event planning easier and bring more activities to the region.

“Part of the goal is to make things easier, to plan things smoothly,” said Diane Norland, board member.

“He will be able to put everything in place so that you have a one-stop shop for all your needs,” added Sandra Oachs, member of the Board.

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

“It’s so much fun to engage, to be with people, to serve people and to give them this programming that is so well received,” said Heintz. “From youth football to the pumpkin patch, to 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 play roles.

“We’re just going to help each other. I did a lot of adult leagues [at Caswell], leisure tips for young people. Neil used to work with football, and now we can just coordinate together, ”Tostenson said.

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

It is not known who else will be involved and what their tasks will be.

Heintz said the department will get to work immediately.

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