Owatonna Swears in New Police Chief
New Owatonna Police Chief Jeff Mundale was sworn in during the Owatonna City Council meeting Tuesday. Mayor Tom Kuntz says it's nice to have someone already familiar to town stepping into that role, "Jeff has been with the Owatonna city police department for the past 27 years."
During an appearance on the AM 1390 KRFO Talk of the Town program Wednesday morning, Kuntz said, "So, it is very rewarding to have an internal candidate make the grade and become our new chief...(his family) started in 1923 four generations of service into the police departments. Very, very nice. Jeff brings a lot of credentials with him. We're all excited about having him take the reigns from chief (Keith) Hiller."
In other notes, Kuntz said a review of city-owned buildings was addressed, "The City of Owatonna owns a lot of buildings scattered throughout town. And which buildings are worth keeping, which buildings are worth selling or destroying or tearing down...The budget process starts and so they wanted to get that recommendation into the budget process."
Kuntz reported that a new trucking company is coming to town. He added that activity is vibrant at the Owatonna Airport. And that the battle against Emerald Ash Borer continues. The city removed 175 ash trees in 2021 and 2022.
The new Courtyard by Marriott is set to open on August 4. Kuntz said details on the ribbon cutting are yet to be finalized. That is the same day as the final Downtown Thursday event in Owatonna with special food vendors and street merchants throughout downtown.
There is still time to sign up for a block party for the Night to Unite on Tuesday, August 2. "Those block parties are intended to bring in the neighbors, so you can meet your neighbor and get better acquainted with them." Kuntz said 16 block parties were signed up and he is hoping more are added.