KEEWATIN — The Keewatin City Council Wednesday took steps toward filling two vacancies created by recent retirements.

Councilors unanimously approved the police commission’s recommendation to promote patrol officer Chris Whitney to police chief effective Nov. 1. Police Chief Paul Fairbanks is set to retire Oct. 31 after working for the department for more than 25 years.

The council also gave the police commission the green light to post for a patrol officer.

“We need to keep things rolling,” said Councilor Paul Clusiau. “That’s important to this town, public safety.”

Applications will be accepted for two to three weeks, and interviews will be scheduled for mid October.

The City of Keewatin also has an immediate opening for street department supervisor. The council accepted the resignation of Mike LaBine retroactive to Aug. 29.

Six candidates were interviewed for the opening. The council unanimously approved authorizing background checks for the top two candidates.

The names of candidates don’t become public until a hire has been approved, said Mayor Bill King.

In other business, councilors:

• Adopted a resolution related to the purchase of the property located at 302 N. First St. in Keewatin, and approved a transfer of $17,000 from the savings account and $4,487 from the general fund for the purchase.

• Approved the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association mutual aid agreement.

• Approved Susan Thronson and Robin Jeranek to attend the Minnesota Clerks and Finance Officers Association Region II training Oct. 14 in Virginia.

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