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Outgoing PR city council bids farewell

From left, council member Paul Utke, Downtown Busness Association president Cynthia Jones, outgoing mayor Nancy Carroll, Chamber of Commerce president Katie Magozzi, council member Dave W. Konshok, outgoing council member Sue Tomte and incoming mayor Pat Mikesh. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Outgoing Park Rapids Mayor Nancy Carroll and Councilmember Sue Tomte were recognized for their service Tuesday night.

Downtown Business Association president Cynthia Jones cited the changes over the last several years.

In 2005, Main street was in need of a face lift, Walmart was coming to town.

"Look at us now in 2012," she said. "Who could ever imagine Highway 34 not having four lanes? ... Our downtown with a new facelift and infrastructure, the comments we get on behalf of our visitors are just fantastic, you can't imagine it.

"We would like to thank Nancy and Sue for all the work they've done for us and with us. I think there's been a great deal of trust that's been restored between the council and downtown businesses."

She said the DBA looks forward to working with Pat Mikesh and a new council and "to continue moving the city forward."

Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber executive director gave Compass awards to Carroll and Tomte "For service above and beyond, for the giving of time, talent and self to help guide the community and for leadership toward the betterment of the community."

The city of Park Rapids also awarded Carroll and Tomte with certificates of appreciation for their years of public service.

"You both have been exemplars, the epitomy of community service. Always there, always willing to volunteer your time," said councilmember Dave W. Konshok.

"It's been a wonderful adventure the last four years being able to sit on this side and watch all the faces of people who attend these meetings and be part of the process," Tomte said.

"It's been an honor and a privilege," Carroll said. "It really has been a very, very interesting challenge and I've met a lot of really cool people."

She added that if anyone is thinking about volunteering on a committee or running for office, to do it.

"It is a great experience. Just jump in there and offer your time and talents and we would really appreciate it," Carroll said.

In other business, the council:

n Approved a Conditional Use Permit for Ben Ott, of North Country Structures, to build and display log structures on property along Highway 34 on the east side of Park Rapids.

The property, located near the old Star City, was annexed into the city of Park Rapids in 2009 as part of the orderly annexation agreement with Henrietta Township.

The request was made in order to construct and display log building shells on site until they are sold and moved to an off-site location for finishing. The goal is to sell the log shells as fast as they can make them but the applicant wanted the option of having up to four model shells for display on site. North Country Structures already has three completed shells in display at the site.

Employees will be building on site from about 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. during summer and fall and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter and depending on the available daylight. There will not be a staffed sales office on site and customers will be by appointment only.

The CUP was approved with the following conditions:

No more construction material may be stockpiled on site than what is necessary for the building of one shell at a time.

All of the materials and finished products must be stored at or beyond the building setback and all unused log byproducts will be hauled away and the site will be kept clean as possible.

All parking, landscaping and additional site requirements would need to be met if the applicant wishes to construct a permanent sales building on site in the future.

If the applicant would like additional signage on the site, they would need to obtain a sign permit from the planning department.

n Approved several changes to the city's Tax Increment Finance Districts.

Traci Ryan, with David Drown Associates has been reviewing the city's TIF Districts and recommended a few interfund loans and decertifications before the end of 2012 to make paperwork easier.

The council approved the utilization of interfund loan for TIF Districts 1-10 and 2-7 and the decertification of TIF Districts 1-5 and 1-6.

The council will look at a full review of the TIF Districts at a future meeting.

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