HJ/EDApril 3, 2006

Cokato mayor looks ahead

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Cokato’s mayor, Bruce Johnson has Broadway on his mind; the street that is.

With the bonding bill passing through the legislature, the reconstruction of Broadway and Third Street is Johnson’s most important issue at this time.

“We just signed the papers,” the mayer said regarding the bonds needed for construction. Bidding will begin April 5.

Each year there seems to be a project that needs to be done, he said.

Five years ago, Highway 12 was reconstructed which cost the city $1.5 million and last summer was a new waste and water treatment plant costing the city $4 million, both were “big money projects,” he said.

The town has alot to offer, Johnson said.

With Cokato’s own city museum and city-owned swimming pool, it has “several city-owned operations, and we don’t want to lose them,” Johson continued.

“We are comitted to the one we have now, and is adequate for now,” but looks ahead in hope of a new City Hall someday, Johnson explained.

In the years to come, Cokato will need a new fire barn sicne it’s space is limited.

“Fire trucks are getting bigger and there’s need for classrooms,” Johnson said.

Johnson began his term in 1998 and is on his fourth term. He initially ran for office after hearing people talk around town on the direction of the council.

There were three seats open and and he decided to run for mayor, “It was only a dollar more to run for mayor,” he laughed.

Johnson and his wife Gloria graduated from Cokato. He went to college and earned a degree in education and taught in Albert Lea and Anoka before moving back to Cokato in 1992.

His term ends Jan. 1 and whether Johnson will run again, he is unsure, “My wife says ‘No’.”

Johnson feels Cokato has a good city council and they always come to the meetings prepared.

“I’m glad where I’m at,” he said in regards to the city he governs.

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