Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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After attorneys raised red flags on parts of an Armory Square developer's agreement, a second public hearing will need to be held in March. The Armory Square redevelopment project has been in the works for about two and a half years already. Alan Zemek, who is heading up the potential redevelopment, wants the agreement to be finalized soon so he can get to work. Zemek has plans to open Armory Square by June 2011 if all the pieces come together. A Tax Increment Finance district was established last July after a first public hearing.
Downtown Park Rapids will once again have snow removal and no u-turn signage. The Park Rapids City Council approved having limited signage downtown after a request from city staff.
Based on weekly reports from the Minnesota Department of Health, the state could be seeing peak flu season in a few weeks. It's still not too late to get a flu shot, said Myra Haldorson, RN, infection preventionist/employee health coordinator at St. Joseph's Area Health Services. Haldorson has been monitoring flu activity in the area and the state and so far there hasn't been widespread activity. "We're seeing a typical season in that normally we don't see influenza until mid-to-late February," she said.
Project valuations in Park Rapids were up in 2010 compared to 2009 City planner Dan Walker has completed a 2010 year-end report for the Park Rapids Planning Department. "The economy played a significant role in the number of requests we received in 2010," Walker said in the report.
Tanya Larson has discovered a new way to think about choosing and eating foods through the Weston A. Price Foundation. The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. Larson is the volunteer leader of the Park Rapids chapter of Weston A. Price.
The Park Rapids City Council agreed to purchase a vacant lot at Beach Street and Washington Avenue near Red Bridge Park. The city has offered to purchase the property from Darby Diedrich for $52,000 plus closing costs, which are estimated to be approximately $3,000. Funding will come from the Parks funds ($15,000), Real Estate Acquisition Fund ($26,000) and liquor store reserves ($14,000). City planner Dan Walker said the property is an integral part of three planning documents for the city.
Park Rapids street and utility improvements are on the back burner in 2011 after citizens said "enough" to increased taxes. The Park Rapids City Council has been feeling pressure to replace aging infrastructure throughout town while taxpayers want lower taxes because of an ailing economy. The next project scheduled on the city's Capital Improvement Plan was put on hold Tuesday after a resolution to order the improvement and preparation of plans for the Riverside area of town failed to receive four out of five council votes.