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Detroit Lakes mayor lists city's accomplishments

Detroit Lakes Mayor Matt Brenk gave his first State of the City address Tuesday evening at the city council meeting, and despite a recession, the city is reaching goals and doing well.

"I will continue to be optimistic about this great city," he said.

Although nearly $1 million in local government aid has been cut from the city budget since 2003, Brenk said "much progress can be contributed to (the city's) fiscal responsibility."

And while the city had to raise taxes this year, most taxpayers aren't seeing a difference in taxes because of an expanding tax base.

Reading through a list of accomplishments for each committee, Brenk listed everything from the crescent area to jobs created through new businesses.

Some of the goals and successes he touched on included the sale of Lincoln rink, keeping the warming houses open this year, completed airport projects, consolidation of the public utilities building under one roof at the new building on North Tower Road and thousands of dollars given out in energy rebates to electric customers.

Other goals reached included a slight increase in building permits, expansions of St. Mary's Innovis and MeritCare, purchase of Floral Impressions and Mac's buildings, reaching an agreement with the railroad over the Kris Street Crossing, moving the summer rec program over to the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center and the expansion of Snappy Park.

The liquor store also topped $5 million in sales for the year, an increase of $421,000 over 2008. It also saw an increase of 15,000 patrons.

"I think you would agree we did in fact accomplish much in 2009," he said.

Projects he would like to see continue in 2010 include the business corridor, the flowering rush issue, citywide cleanup day, expansion of the North Industrial Park, shared services, updating the city charter and the trail system in and around the city.

"I believe we can reach our redevelopment goals," he said.

Brenk asked that the council hold a special meeting in mid-February to discuss portions of the business corridor, building a new liquor store and controlling the flowering rush, specifically.

He offered his thanks to the council for their "hard work and dedication to Detroit Lakes."