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Parks director Joel Formanek to leave for Kansas City

By JUDY SCHLESSELMAN

Joel
Joel Formanek

The City of Belle Plaine will be looking for a new Parks and Recreation Director after Joel Formanek announced he will leave his post later this year.

Formanek will move to Kansas City after his Aug. 7 marriage to Victor-native Lindsay Beran, a student at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in Lawrence, KS.

“It’s kind of a lose-win situation. I love my job here but there’s a new chapter in my life and I’m excited about my future with Lindsay,” said Formanek, 26.

He intends to stay on the job until this summer’s recreation programs are finished but has not given an exact departure date.

Hired in March 2007 to replace director Jed Eichhorn, Formanek said he is interested in finding a similar job in the Kansas City area and will possibly take college courses toward a degree in secondary education and coaching.

“I enjoy working with kids in sports because I’ve grown up with sports all my life, and I think I can make a difference in teaching kids,” he stated. Formanek was a standout high school athlete at Belle Plaine and Wartburg College, where he played basketball and golf.

Formanek is happy the city’s new aquatic center is set to open before he leaves. “One of the main reasons I want to stick around is because the pool project has kind of taken off in the three years I’ve been here. I want to see it open and everything under my direction for the first summer.”

Park Board member Nick Palmer said of Formanek’s resignation, “We are disappointed to see him go but understand that family is important.” Palmer said the board has made no move yet to seek Formanek’s replacement.

UPDATED February 10, 2010 12:56 PM

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