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Campground upgrades to Akeley park are scrutinized

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BY JEAN RUZICKA

The completion of electrical work at the Akeley campground was put on hold this week, pending discussion on possible changes to the plan.

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Jeff Walter of Northern States Electric completed initial work last year based on criteria developed by maintenance supervisor Frank Thelin. But a $9,550 proposal to complete the work met questions from the council.

“The problem is this was never brought to the council,” Dan Riggs said.

The campground is undergoing additions of RV sites. Tent sites will now have power and new bathrooms have been added to the west end of the campground.

Walter said he’d been approached by Thelin last year to complete the work, but council members indicated this week that they had not been apprised of the details.

Questions were raised as to the proposal of 30 amp RV receptacles, as opposed to 50 amp.

But Walter said the plan is in compliance with state standards. He indicated after the meeting he’s amenable to modifications, if the council deems them necessary.

The council agreed to table decisions on the matter until the next month.

Meanwhile, the city is planning to recruit volunteers and those with Bobcats to clean up the campground once the snow disappears. Members of the Chamber or Lions will likely receive a call.

In other action, the council:

n Reported upgrades to Paul Bunyan are still in the negotiation stage between the League of Minnesota Cities, representing Akeley, and the Krotzer family, who created the sculpture.

Mayor Jerry Tatro refused to speculate as to whether the matter will be reconciled by Paul Bunyan Days in June.

n Learned file cabinets for the city office were delivered, thanks to Akeley resident Dick Elander, at a cost of $100. But he stated he and wife Karen will donate the amount plus an additional $400 to Akeley’s SAFE Parks Program.

Coordinator Brandi Vredenburg reported on the program at last month’s council meeting.

n Reported liquor store earnings of $14,511 year to date, $5,376 in January, $7,942 in February and $1,193 in March.

n Approved a variance request from Mary Ann Hanson to put a 16- by 80-foot trailer house at 85 Hulet Avenue. Dwellings, according to the housing ordinance, are to be no less than 20- by 40-feet.

The former mobile home on the site was destroyed in a fire a few weeks ago.

Chamber president Kristin Fake objected to the decision, noting the city has an ordinance in place precluding this.

Council members cited this as a hardship case.

n Tabled a decision on the purchase of a used backhoe at an approximate cost of $24,000, the funds to be realized from water, sewer and road funds and the approximately $3,000 from the auctioned vehicle.

Brian Hitchcock pointed out this was not budgeted and recommended consulting with financial advisors on whether the allocation is feasible and in what proportion by fund.

n Approved a variance to move an 800-square-foot, 24.5-by 32.5 home onto a lot on Broadway, at the request of Barb and Frank McLean.

n Approved a $300 donation to the Akeley Community Library.

n Approved a refund of $853.40 to Waleya Matson for sewer billing. The residence at 7 Broadway was never hooked up to municipal wastewater services but Matson was billed. The total amount she was awarded was reduced by $275 for the sewer hookup, soon to be completed.

n Agreed to extend Thelin’s medical leave to April 18, during which time Kelly VandenEykel’s hours will continue to be at 40 per week.

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