Hagen: ‘I’ve always liked challenges’

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Newest member ready to take up council action

Austin’s newest city council member was sworn in Monday, ready to serve the city.



“I’m looking forward to it,” Dave Hagen said. “I’ve always liked challenges and I want to do the best I can for the city I live in.”

A longtime Austin resident, Hagen has spent four decades working in the area and volunteering for the community. He was a regional sales manager at KTTC television and worked at KAUS before he decided to work for KSMQ public television in underwriting and development.

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The biggest thing for the city to accomplish, according to Hagen, would be to finish the purchase agreement between the city and the owners of the Oak Park Mall.

The city announced in October it would buy the mall site for $3.2 million in funds granted by the Hormel Foundation. The city plans to demolish much of the mall, save for Younkers, Cinemagic 7, Anytime Fitness and Shopko, to make way for a new 60,000- to 90,000-square-foot Hy-Vee store.

Austin doesn’t own the mall yet. City officials are working out a purchase agreement to buy the property with the mall’s current landlords, as well as with Shopko, Younkers and Cinemagic 7 representatives who all have agreements with the landlords.

Hagen also has a history of working in economic development in the area. He was named to the Austin Housing and Redevelopment board and the Development Corporation of Austin advisory board Monday to continue his economic efforts.

“I’ve been connected with that for many years and hopefully that experience will be able to carry over into the DCA and also with the HRA,” he said. “It’s a good combination.”

Before he took office, Hagen was also a part of the effort to convince Target representatives to keep the Austin, Minnesota location open after Target announced in November it would close 11 stores in February 2015.

Hagen has been involved in many local groups, including the original committee of Cedar River Days — now known as Freedom Fest — the Austin Jaycees Way and Means Committee, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Community College — now Riverland — and the Mower County Habitat and Pheasants Forever.

He is currently involved with the Friends of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, the American Legion, the Izaak Walton League, the Austin Area Commission for the Arts and KSMQ.

He is also working with the Vision 2020 Recreation Center Committee and the Austin Artworks Marketing Committee.

“I’m just so proud of him,” his wife, Paulette, said. “I know he’ll be fantastic for the city.”

Hagen said he’s looking forward to representing the 2nd Ward.

“I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me,” he said.