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Akeley dispute over snow plowing will cost city $1,200

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
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Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

The Akeley Council has agreed to pay city maintenance supervisor Frank Thelin's $1,200 legal fees stemming from a confrontation with Alf Staffenhagen in April 2008.

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The matter began after the April 2008 snowstorm when Staffenhagen stopped to offer maintenance worker Greg Everett some advice on plowing snow.

According to a narrative filed by police chief Eric Klein, Staffenhagen stated Thelin allegedly threatened him with physical harm when he attempted to speak to Everett.

Thelin was allegedly in a "fighting stance with fists up" using profanity and threatening physical harm, according to Staffenhagen's statements.

Klein's report states Thelin denied the accusations, but did admit to telling Staffenhagen to leave Everett alone "in a polite way."

The statements were filed with the courts with Klein stating, "I believe the parties have worked out the issues."

But Thelin said the matter escalated when the issue appeared in "incidents" in the newspaper, although Staffenhagen was not identified.

Thelin's wife, Andrea, filed an Akeley citizen complaint, alleging Klein took statements from her husband, Everett, Staffenhagen and herself but the only information Klein included in his report was submitted by Staffenhagen.

Klein wrote a letter of apology for the missing statement, agreeing to revisit the matter.

Statements and court documents charging harassment and other allegations by both parties came to an end in September when an amended restraining order was filed.

Both Thelin and Staffenhagen were ordered to "refrain from harassment."

At Akeley Mayor Jennifer Mitchell's suggestion, the council agreed the city would be responsible for Thelin's $1,191 legal fees.

In other action, the council:

-Approved a security system for the liquor store at a cost of $5,957.

The liquor store reported a loss of $9,207 in September with a net income of $9,732 year-to-date.

The liquor store will host a chili cook-off Saturday, Oct. 24 with tasting to begin at 2 p.m. and voting at 4 p.m.

Eleven contestants, to date, will be vying for prizes. Cost is $10 to enter chili and $5 to taste with the proceeds to be donated to Audrey's Purple Dream.

-Rescheduled the November council meeting due to Veteran's Day. The meeting will convene Tuesday, Nov. 10.

-Learned the city has received $4,800 in FEMA funds to repair roads.

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