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Akeley's Crow Wing Lake Drive to get much needed upkeep after resident complains about washouts

The condition of Akeley's Crow Wing Lake Drive continues to surface at council meetings, Donald Sabinske arriving Wednesday to elaborate on a four-page complaint he'd filed with the city.

"All concerns are in the process of being addressed, mayor Jennifer Mitchell assured him. (The council approved spending $6,314 for roadwork on Crow Wing Lake Drive in June.)

Sabinske acknowledged work had begun, "therefore I will be withholding most of those concerns until a later date."

But he voiced aggravation with the road's washouts after heavy rains. "There will be lawsuits," he predicted. "If we get an inch of rain, we need a road grader."

"You can have the road paved," Brian Hitchcock said, noting it would be at a cost to homeowners.

Cliff Johnson reminded him the entire city is in need of road upgrades. "Every single person on a city street lives with a dirt road," he said.

Sabinske conceded the problem did not arise with this council. "You inherited the problem. But you need to take the bull by the horns. I've seen no plan."

The work schedule calls for Second and Hulet to be completed first, Mitchell explained.

"There's no base on the road," Sabinske continued. "The sugar sand creates dust." He also asked for speed limit signs and suggested the road be cut off from through traffic.

This drew an expletive from an audience member.

"That's not fair," Hitchcock said of the impact on other residents and the campground.

In the letter, Sabinske stated by July 1 people arriving at the campground were totally ignoring the speed limit signs and dust was flying all over the place."

Sabinske said he headed to the utilities superintendent's office, which was closed, then on to Mitchell's residence.

"I would have liked to see some temporary speed limit signs put up for the weekend. Unfortunately, that did not happen," he stated.

He compared 11th Crow Wing Lake surroundings with Leech, Cass, Winnibigoshish and Squaw lakes.

"Have you ever noticed how much better the cities that surround these lakes look?" he asked in the letter. "Their tax paying dollars appear to be well spent. In my opinion, Akeley appears to be moving in the opposite direction...

"If the culvert project on Crow Wing Lake Drive is a success, then I believe the noise and dust situation can be fixed with a quick and very inexpensive procedure," he wrote. "More speed limit signs are a must and maybe drop the limit from 20 mph to 15 or even 10. Police in town are a must," Sabinske wrote.

"Because of the city-owned campground and the public boat launch, the city has a responsibility to maintain Crow Wing Lake Drive to the best of their ability," he concluded, noting "92 percent of the traffic on Crow Wing Lake Drive goes to these two areas."

In other action, the council:

n Approved hiring James Hanson as the part-time police chief. Six applied for the position. The council set a work session at 9 a.m. Monday, July 19 to discuss duties with him.

n Learned the Akeley Regional Community Center is "going great guns," having earned $5,000 in clothing sales. "But we're in desperate need of volunteers," Larry Holm told council members.

He's recruiting volunteers to work Thursday, Friday and Saturday, "or we may have to close on one or more of the days," he said.

Volunteers may contact Karen Andress at 652-3082 or Holm at 587-4473 for more information.

n Reported liquor store earnings of $3,576 in June, $8,910 year to date.

n Approved a $2,199 quote to clean the water tower and a $1,290 quote to rebuild the irrigator pump.