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Domeier tapped to head St. Paul Park's Heritage Days

With few differences to choose from between a pair of rival applications, St. Paul Park City Council members on Monday tapped an experienced hand with an established non-profit status to lead the 2011 edition of Heritage Days, the city's popular summer festival.

Heritage Days Fesitval, Inc., the non-profit group that operates the Heritage Days Royalty program and is led by former Heritage Days planning co-chair Jim Domeier, will now take charge of planning for the August event following a drawn-out selection process.

"We have a good group," Domeier said. "And I'm sure we'll get some other volunteers to help."

Domeier's group applied to plan the festival alongside a group that guided last year's event, led by Greg Langbehn and Willie Tennis, under the city's new special events ordinance. That ordinance requires groups to submit detailed plans for any event that will require city assistance -- like police or public works help -- for review by city officials.

The city cut its official ties with Heritage Days late last year because of liability and financial concerns.

City officials had urged the two groups to work together in planning the 27th annual Heritage Days, which will take place the third weekend in August. Neither party expressed interest in that arrangement, however.

Council members made the selection Monday following a workshop on the issue before the regular City Council meeting. The main difference between the two bids, Mayor John Hunziker said, was the Domeier group's existing non-profit status. Langbehn said he had begun the process of securing the designation, but was months away from finalizing it.