Walter (Wally) Wysopal, city manager of North St. Paul since 1998, will be moving to the same position in Fridley. Wysopal, 51, a Fridley resident, was chosen by the City Council from a pool of 46 applicants, nine of whom the council interviewed.

He will succeed Bill Burns, who retired Dec. 31 after 24 years as Fridley city manager.

"There are some great opportunities in the areas of economic development and housing that really attract me to Fridley," Wysopal said. He noted some mixed-use projects planned for near the city's Northstar train station. "The city is turning the corner into redevelopment. Those are the kind of things you need to do to continue to be a viable place to live and work."

The city paid $30,000 to Slavin Management Consultants of Norcross, Ga., to manage the search. The interviewed candidates included one from New Mexico, five from other Minnesota cities and three Fridley department managers.

The city will negotiate a contract that must be approved by the council.