Long-time Park Rapids HRA member retires
A founding member of the Park Rapids Housing and Redevelopment Authority has retired.
Larry Fick had been a volunteer commissioner of the HRA for 44 years. He was instrumental in overseeing the construction and renovation of River Heights Apartments.
"We did a lot over the years," he said. "It's a very good cause."
River Heights Apartments, overseen by the HRA, was the first low rental unit in Park Rapids. Occupants pay a percentage of their income, Fick said.
"I remember at the beginning some were paying $18 a month," he said.
The amount has increased over the years but remains affordable.
Sharon Voyda, executive director of the HRA, said Fick is a humble man who has given a significant amount of time to ensure affordable housing in Park Rapids.
"Nearly 700 people have been able to have affordable housing through River Heights," she said.
Fick was given a certificate of appreciation for his service to the city and the HRA.
Mayor Nancy Carroll said the city council "extends its sincere appreciation and thanks for the dedication of Mr. Larry Fick for his 44 years of volunteer service to the city of Park Rapids."
He owned "Fick Drug" for 36 years in downtown Park Rapids. The pharmacist belonged to the Chamber of Commerce, he said, but worked long hours that prevented from being more involved.
Fick served as chairman of the HRA for many years and recalled signing a lot of documents and checks.
Over the years, several improvements have been made to River Heights, including roof replacement and adding handicapped units.
Fick believes in the work of the HRA and hopes the city of Park Rapids can continue to offer affordable housing.