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Jimmy Hansen
Jimmy Hansen

Akeley tries to tackle speeding problem through town

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news Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

By Sarah Smith

Akeley has a speeding problem.

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Despite the pleasant little town’s ambiance, drivers are careening through town at well over the 30 mph speed limit, endangering pedestrians at several points in town.

City Council member Trygve Karl sounded off over the matter at Wednesday night’s meeting, saying “it’s a miracle” no one’s gotten killed. Two major highways, 34 and 64, bisect the small town and council members say no one is abiding by crosswalks, which are clearly designated.

Council member Bobbie Emery brought up the same concerns last month.

Police Chief Jimmy Hansen agreed to give the spots extra patrol, but Mayor Jerry Tatro said if concerned citizens have issues, they should be calling the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Department for assistance.

Hansen is a one-man unit and doesn’t work around the clock.

He took the request in stride, saying summer traffic always increases in intensity and speed and issuing a few tickets might curb the lead-footed.

Karl was a bit more passionate about the issue, saying people can’t cross city streets safely and a pedestrian fatality is only a matter of time if motorists don’t slow down.

In other business, the council:

n Voted to spend nearly $10,000 on water improvements. The 20-year-old water tower was inspected in 2010 but the city has not invested any money into repairs.

Of that sum, $2,675 will be spent to hire a team of divers to clean and inspect the inside for peeling paint.

The additional funds will be spent to rehab city wells and paint the outside of the tower.

n Allocated $500 for National Night Out, a crime prevention and awareness program that will be held Aug. 5.

n Agreed to give Kelly VandenEykel the title of Public Works Supervisor. VandenEykel has been referred to as the “water sewer maintenance dude” for lack of a better description.

VandenEykel made light of his own elevated title.

“You mean I’m not the dude anymore?” he laughed.

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