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Assistant Hubbard County Attorney Randall gets appointed to PR city council seat two-year term

Erika Randall will join the Park Rapids City Council to fill a two-year term.

Randall has been a Hubbard County Assistant County Attorney since 2003. In her letter of interest for the council position, she noted that her strengths include excellent communication and interpersonal skills, her ability to multi-task and her eagerness to take on new challenges.

She is filling a two-year term that became open when Pat Mikesh, a former councilman defeated Nancy Carroll to become mayor in November's election.

Two other individuals expressed interest in filling the two-year council term.

Gene Kinkel, who has served on the council in many capacities over the years, and Jim Stengrim, an independent insurance salesman.

The council thanked the other applicants and encouraged them to consider volunteering for other city committees that are often looking for members.

Council members quickly got down to business Tuesday night as they received recommendations on several Tax Increment Financing Districts in the city from Traci Ryan, with David Drown Associates Inc.

Ryan completed an extensive review of the city's TIF Districts and presented her findings to the council.

She had three recommendations:

n All transcripts were complete with district creation documentation. The only exception was that the executed County Auditor's Certification for a number of the districts was not available. She is requesting those from the county.

n She recommends that either copies of paid invoices or a year-end revenue expense summary report be included in each transcript. Reconstructing the history of districts can be time consuming when it's not done.

n Very little administrative costs have been charged to the TIF districts. The city is allowed up to 10 percent of the revenues for documented eligible administration expenses and she recommends this be done in the future.

The council took action on a few TIF items Tuesday.

A certificate of completion was given for the Armory Square project. Ryan said that the obligations have been met.

The council also approved transferring the fund balance created from an overpayment from the county to the city's general fund and then creating a loan for the TIF districts. This action will make the paper trail easier for auditors to follow.

Ryan is also recommending modifying TIF District 9, which was created for the J&B Foods project. The TIF District includes 92 parcels in downtown. She would like most of the parcels to be removed from the TIF district. This will be discussed at a future meeting.

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