Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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The underground utility work on Main Avenue is completed for this year and concrete work will continue in the next few weeks. "Now, we're basically working on concrete," said project manager Jon Olson. Rain this week put some of the concrete pouring on hold but the project as a whole is still trending on schedule, he said. Concrete driving lanes have been paved between Highway 34 and 2nd Street and curb has been poured around the nodes at the 2nd Street intersection.
The Menahga School Board continues to grapple with handicapped accessibility requirements. Superintendent Mary Klamm proposed some options Monday at the monthly meeting that would bring the school into Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. The school is out of compliance with locker rooms and the weight room in the basement. Klamm proposed using two levy funding options for an addition and remodel of the school. The first funding option is to use $300,000 through a Disabled Access Revenue Levy. The second option is to maximize the school's Lease Levy.
A founding member of the Park Rapids Housing and Redevelopment Authority has retired. Larry Fick had been a volunteer commissioner of the HRA for 44 years. He was instrumental in overseeing the construction and renovation of River Heights Apartments. "We did a lot over the years," he said. "It's a very good cause." River Heights Apartments, overseen by the HRA, was the first low rental unit in Park Rapids.
Rollie Bishop, a well-known Park Rapids fixture, received an honorary membership to the Park Rapids Rotary Club for his 31 years of service. He will no longer be active in the club and will be spending more time in California during his retirement. A special presentation was held Wednesday honoring his service with the club. Bishop joined Rotary in 1979. He is the oldest member in the club at 88 years old. His father was a founding member of the Park Rapids Rotary Club, he said. The Bishop family owned a clothing shop in downtown Park Rapids.
The Park Rapids City Council accepted a low bid for a new squad car from Walker Ford, even though it was just $100 less than the local Park Rapids Ford bid. City officials say the city's hands are tied because of the city's ordinance. "The last squad car was purchased in 2007 and they're all well beyond 100,000 miles," said police chief Terry Eilers. He requested bids for a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria squad car. The Park Rapids Ford bid came in at $23,830.64 and the Walker Ford bid came in at $23,725.64.
Rain this week delayed some concrete work but "things are progressing," said project manager Jon Olson. Water mains and sanitary sewer mains have been completely installed on Main Avenue, Olson said.
Menahga's newly hired city clerk/treasurer/administrator started Monday, in time to attend September's monthly council meeting. Walter Salo was offered the position after two rounds of interviews. The council offered him a starting salary of $55,000 and a week's vacation after one year.
The Park Rapids City Council was scheduled to set the 2011 levy at Tuesday's meeting, with more money allotted to economic development. The Enterprise went to press before the meeting. At a budget meeting last week, city administrator Bill Smith said he had good news and bad news. "The good news is it looks a lot like last year's budget.