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Akeley suffers frozen water lines

By Sarah Smith

Add Akeley to the growing list of towns with frozen water pipes.

The Akeley City Council heard Wednesday night that galvanized pipes have been freezing up all winter, causing street superintendent Kelly VandenEykel fits.

“We’ve had six or seven this winter,” he said. In a town of a few hundred that’s a lot.

“It’s not the water main freezing,” he told the council. “It’s the curb stop to the main. I can’t find the ground wire. There’s nothing to do unless we start digging up the streets.”

The council agreed that would not be advisable.

Homeowners will just have to be patient a few more weeks until thawing conditions persist.

And VandenEykel advised homeowners that “just because it’s warming up don’t shut your water off until the temperature gets to 38 degrees.”

But it is causing water use to skyrocket, leaving faucets on, VandenEykel acknowledged.

In other business, the council authorized the purchase of a 55-inch TV set for the municipal liquor store and bar.

“You made money this month?” Mayor Jerry Tatro quizzed liquor store manager Lacey Hitchcock.

When she nodded affirmatively, he said, “You should have thrown that in first.”

Laughter ensued.

The council also voted to purchase a postage meter for the office staff, which will save manpower hours spent manually stamping 200 water and power bills each month.

The town also heard that ice racing on Tenth Crow Wing Lake will end today, Saturday.

And councilmember Trygve Karl praised a new computerized reservation system for the parks department.

“We’ve made $40,000 in credit card reservations so far and it’s only been operating since mid-February,” Karl said in amazement.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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