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Akeley to draft capital improvement plan, reviewing new EHCFD joint powers agreement

The Akeley Council agreed to move forward with drafting a capital improvement plan for the city, Dick Grabko of SEH stating this would be at no cost at this point.

Grabko explained the plan would include possible projects that could be initiated within a five-year period, including "determining assets to improve or maintain."

He explained the document would be used as a "planning tool" and would be helpful in making applications for funding, which require a 12- to 18-month timeline prior to a proposed start date.

"It provides an opportunity for favorable financing," Grabko said, adding public input will be sought on proposals.

Mayor Jennifer Mitchell asked that the Akeley Chamber and the city's Housing and Redevelopment Authority be apprised of the proposals.

In other action, the council:

n Received for review an "Amended and Restated Joint Powers Agreement" with the Eastern Hubbard County Fire District.

The council is expected to vote on the agreement in August. The plan is expected to be a topic of discussion at Wednesday's EHCFD board meeting.

n Reported municipal liquor store net earnings of $11,540 in June, with year-to-date earnings totaling $3,635.

This comes after four months of negative earnings; the liquor store reported negative earnings of $7,905 at the end of May.

n Heard from Crow Wing Lake residents Don Sabinske who questioned the council's interpretation of parliamentary procedure and Dick Elander, who objected to Mitchell imposing a three-minute limit on comments from citizens.

"How does the public get involved in issues?" Sabinske asked.

"This is a city of 200," Elander said, which drew the correction of 432 residents residing in city limits. "Five people are deciding," he said of the council and "24 people are paying the majority of the taxes. I believe the public should have more of a voice."

City clerk-treasurer Denise Rittgers reminded him four council positions will be open this fall for election, with filings soon to begin.

n Approved election judges, with Bonnie Lanning and Cina Pidde as head judges, Rittgers the administrative head judge.

The list includes Phyllis Carlson, Marie Crosby, Bobbie Emery, Helen Fletcher, Elaine Kelsey, Deloris Lamb and Anne Semmler.

n Reported no bids were received to thin conifers running parallel to Highway 34 for a few blocks in the city.

The council did not discuss the matter further.

n Agreed to hire Kelly Venden Eykel as a part-time maintenance person at $11 an hour.