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Akeley work session to address Paul Bunyan Days contribution

The Akeley Council will convene a work session at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss granting a request for $4,000 toward Paul Bunyan Days.

The city has historically made a contribution to the event via pull-tab proceeds at the liquor store.

A community fund was established to address such requests by a former council. That fund is now part of the general fund.

Denice Johnson requested the donation at the April meeting, but mayor Scott Vettleson asked to table the matter pending further research.

Deputy clerk Denise Rittgers said the city's accountant has advised her that the money, as part of the general fund, cannot be designated for this type of expenditure.

Vettleson contacted the League of Minnesota Cities on the matter but would not comment on the issue when contacted by phone, calling the request for information "inflammatory," adding "the matter will be discussed at the meeting."

Minnesota statutes addressing criteria for "valid public expenditures" by cities states, "Although there is no general obligation for festival expenditures, there is some statutory authority to support these expenditures in limited circumstances."

The League of Minnesota Cities suggests consulting an attorney if the expenditure is in question.