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Park to be utilized during construction

The Park Rapids City Council will allow the Farmers Market at Pioneer Park to have two parking spots in the alley during the 2010 season.

City Administrator Bill Smith told the council at its Jan. 12 meeting that there had been a lot of discussion about the Farmers Market and Pioneer Park in association with the Main Avenue project.

Sue Cutler, Park Board Chair, wrote a letter to the council on behalf of the board, recommending the market to be open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Allowing the Farmers Market to use Pioneer Park will mean the park will need to be protected from becoming a storage site for construction materials. This will also serve to protect the existing trees ... from construction damage," Cutler wrote.

The Parks Board is also encouraging the Farmers Market to adopt Pioneer Park through the Partnership for Parks program.

In other business, the council:

-Received a request from Dennis Ackerson about removing a tree that he said was damaged during a 2004 installation of a hydrant on Eagle Point Road. He said the tree has been dying over the past three years and was healthy before the project. He wanted the city to remove the dead tree and take responsibility for the cost of removal.

Public works director Scott Burlingame said the tree is on Ackerson's property, not city right of way, and the city typically doesn't remove trees on private property. Also, the hydrant is approximately 9 feet from the tree and the majority of the trees on his property are much closer to the right of way and would have received root damage. Those trees showed no signs of duress or damage.

The council denied the request for tree removal.

-Approved having the city of Park Rapids donate water for the ice track during a KC Pro West two-day snowmobile racing event Feb. 13 and 14. The council also approved the use of the front-end loader to clear the parking area. Scott Burlingame will donate his time to help prepare the track.

-Approved appointing Carolyn Conklin as the city's representative to the Kitchigami Regional Library Board.

-Approved Experience Works placing Melinda Snyder as an administrative assistant trainee with the city of Park Rapids. The city is a training site with the Senior Community Service Employment Program administered by Experience Works. Snyder will receive compensation from Experience Works and is not an employee of the city.

-Approved purchasing digital radios from Rogers Two Way for the Fire Department for about $40,000. The city's share will be approximately $4,000 after grant proceeds.

The radios will be purchased with a 2008 FEMA grant.

Fire Chief Donn Hoffman said his department decided to go with the digital radios instead of 800 megahertz radios because they would not be supported by the county at this time. The Fire Department's current radio equipment broke and loaner equipment has been installed in the meantime.

-Approved having Sentenced to Serve remove deadfall and stumps along the east bank of Fish Hook River along Mill Street pending a final OK from the Department of Natural Resources.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561