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City Administrator Jim Neubauer with Mayor Tim Helbling on June 18, 2024.

Thank You, Mayor Helbling

June 24, 2024 – After deciding not to pursue another term in office, Mandan Mayor Tim Helbling’s last day in office is June 30. Helbling has served as mayor since 2016 and also from 2008-2012. Prior to being mayor, he served as a City Commissioner from 1998-2008, and before that as a member of the Mandan Park Board for eight years.

Helbling has seen Mandan’s population grow from 15,956 to 24,486! With such a large increase, he’s been involved in many projects to support and continue growth:

  • 1999 Old Red Trail completed.
  • 1999 $17 million for a new Wastewater Treatment Plant, changing from lagoons to a mechanical system.
  • 2000 Creation of City Administrator position.
  • 2003 The adult entertainment ordinance change along with a 2003 redevelopment plan is now credited with setting a higher standard for Mandan’s central business district. Mayor Helbling was part of the discussion suggesting a two-year transition period so business could have time to react. This issue was referred to the voters and received overwhelming support.
  • 2003 Mandan Farmers Elevator. The property was acquired from BNSF. The City demolished the troubled elevator, and in turn sold the property that now houses Family Dollar and O’Reilly Auto Parts.
  • 2004 Partnership with the State of North Dakota in initiating a lawsuit against BNSF Railway for clean-up of an underground diesel fuel spill first discovered in downtown Mandan in 1985. A settlement was reached in July 2004 which made way for a remediation system that allowed for redevelopment of the central business district. The settlement coupled with working with our local lenders, legislators and other elected leaders, amending and rewriting some of the North Dakota environmental laws made redevelopment in Downtown Mandan possible. Without the clean-up, and legislation, projects such as Library Square I and II, Mandan Place and People’s Square, Medicine Shop, and several other businesses would not have occurred.
  • 2004 Supported the combination of the Morton and Mandan Public Library merger, resulting in the opening of the Morton Mandan Public Library in the remodeled freight house.
  • 2005 The beginning of the Renaissance Zone and Storefront Improvement programs in downtown Mandan to encourage new construction, remodeling, business retention and recruitment.
  • 2005 Unity demonstrated by Mandan’s elected officials and residents in supporting the new middle school that was approved by voters in 2005 and opened in 2008.
  • 2006 Supported the hiring of a Business Development Director with the goal of bringing additional business and sales tax revenue to Mandan. The end goal was to attract more retail business to town, which in turn created more sales tax revenue, helping reduce property taxes.
  • 2011 Missouri River Flood. Mayor Helbling was instrumental in getting the bays plugged and offering whatever assistance he could.
  • 2014 Opening of Red Trail Elementary School.
  • 2016-2017 DAPL Protests
  • 2020 Library and downtown park enhancement project resulting from Former Commissioner Scott Davis and Mayor Helbling being approached by Energy Transfer with their desire to contribute to a project in Mandan. The result was a $3 million donation for the project, which was completed in Aug. 2022 and has been heavily used since its completion.
  • Numerous street improvement projects:
    • Old Red Trail, from a two-lane country road to a full four lanes, and later further extended to the west
    • From East to West reconstructions:
      • Mandan Avenue
      • Collins Avenue
      • Sunset Drive
    • Systematically moving through town for street maintenance items, with a goal of keeping roads that are in fair to good condition in that condition and working on the reconstruction of those in need.
  • Other Infrastructure Projects: 
    • $36 million Raw Water Intake
    • $4 million Public Works Addition and renovation
    • Construction of Fire Station 2 in Lakewood
    • Complete gut and remodel of Fire Station 1
    • Renovation of the existing Law Enforcement Center when Morton and Burleigh counties constructed a combined center.
  • Projects currently in process:
    • Memorial Highway
    • Lower Heart Levee Project
    • Beginnings of a Downtown Street Reconstruction in the heart of downtown
    • Redevelopment of the high school site
    • Wastewater Treatment facility – 25 years later – need for $100+ million upgrade
    • Replacement of Collins Ave Reservoir
    • Water Treatment Plant Optimization
    • City Hall renovation

The list goes on and on after 30 years of service to his hometown.

“Mayor Helbling might be best described as always bringing a commonsense approach to issues,” says City Administrator Jim Neubauer. “As staff, we were encouraged to present opposing opinions as he always wanted the best for the City as a whole and robust discussion was okay.”

Many may not know, but during his time in office (and even when not in office), if you saw a red pickup driving the streets in the wee hours of the morning, it was most likely Mayor Helbling, up before most to see what needed attention.

Thank you Mayor Tim Helbling for your dedication and many years of service to Mandan!