SAUK RAPIDS -- Three people are vying for two open seats on the Sauk Rapids City Council.

David Rixe, photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

David Rixe is the lone newcomer however the 30-year Sauk Rapids resident is not new to community involvement, he spent seven years on the Advisory Park Board, four years on the Planning Commission, and two years on the Benton County Park Commission.

He says with capped enrollment now in the Sauk Rapids-Rice school district he'd like to help create more single-family housing in the city to bring more families into town.

I feel we need to help develop and attract more developers to get more single-family homes in the area to help support that.  We need to help attract new businesses in the area to help support existing businesses.

Rixe says it's likely the city will have to offer more assistance to local businesses impacted by COVID-19 as well.

As for the park redevelopment project along the Mississippi River that is under construction right now, he says as a former park board member he fully supports that project.

I think it's going to be very nice looking coming across the bridge into Sauk Rapids from St. Cloud.  The water park is going to have color lights, it's going to be very attractive.  The existing buildings prior to COVID have always been booked throughout the summer. I think this will be another feature that will help support the area.

He says Sauk Rapids' small businesses will benefit from more people using the redeveloped Southside and Lions Parks.

Rixe says he has wanted to run for the city council for a while and decided now is the time because he's not traveling as much for work as he used to and can commit more time to the community.

Dottie Seamans, photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

Dottie Seamans is on the council now after being appointed to the position to fill a vacancy. She says she's a 37 year resident of Sauk Rapids with decades of non-profit work including spending 17 years on the Sauk Rapids-Rice School Board.

She says she wants to be elected to help make Sauk Rapids more of a destination location.

There is so much that goes on across the river that if we want people to come to our community to increase our tax base and spend money here and enjoy the community we have to make a reason for them to come.

Seamans says she wants to help attract more businesses to town. She also believes the redevelopment of Lions and Southside parks will help draw more people too.

It's going to be gorgeous.  And, we're going to use the river, this whole area I think lacks sometimes in the use of the river, so I'm pretty excited about that.

As for helping the restaurants in the community with COVID-19 relief, Seamans says the expanded outdoor seating has been well received and she'd like to see that continue for at least the next few years.

Nicholas Sauer, photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

Nicholas Sauer is seeking his third term on the Sauk Rapids City Council. He says during his eight years in office he's proud of the city's effort to bring the tax rate down, as well as the transition that was made to a single hauler garbage system.

Sauer says he's mostly pleased with the park project that is underway right now.

We have some great looking green space, I think the water feature is going to bring some people in, it's going to bring more people to our downtown, and it's also going to give something for the people on the south side.

Sauer says he thought the building size is a little too big, but it didn't make sense to go any smaller.

He says the city will have to continue to find ways to help the local businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Liquor licenses we waived those fees this last year and I would think that would be one small step that we can take again next year.

He says one of the challenges facing the city is permits for new housing are down. But, he expects the capped enrollment policy for the school district could help to bring in new residents. Sauer is a life long resident of Sauk Rapids.

The office of Sauk Rapids Mayor is also on the ballot this year. Current Mayor Kurt Hunstiger is running unopposed.

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