Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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The Park Rapids Park Board is looking for members. Sue Cutler, chair of the Park Rapids Park Board, presented a 2010 annual report to the city council last week. She said there are several new people on the board but there is room for two more people. The board can have up to seven people. Anyone interested in joining the parks board can contact Cutler at 652-4833. There is no residency requirement.
The 2010 Hubbard County Relay for Life teams raised $52,511.21 as of Monday. Additional money will filter in and the total number could be higher. Although Friday's forecast called for thunderstorms, they didn't show up. Instead, there was warm, sunny weather for the lighting ceremony. Torchbearers Lou Eischens and Lorna Boyd led the survivor lap this year. They invited family to walk the track with them.
The Department of Natural Resources Fisheries shoreland near Rice Park will begin to see improvements in the next few weeks. The Hubbard County Master Gardeners received funding from a $5,000 ConAgra grant from Lamb Weston/RDO to help them get the project rolling. Brian Flynn, energy and environmental manager at Lamb Weston/RDO, said the plant won an award for energy efficiency and climate change.
Bids came in lower than estimates for the 2010 Main Avenue utility and street reconstruction project in Park Rapids. "Very good news," said city engineer Jon Olson at Tuesday's Park Rapids City Council meeting. "Eight bids were received last Thursday and definitely came in very favorably. We were expecting good bids as we saw the bidding climate was very favorable for the southwest project." The design estimate for the base bid was just under $4.4 million. That included Main Avenue south to 8th Street, side streets and streetscaping.
The city of Park Rapids has maintained a healthy fund balance despite a tough recession. The 2009 auditor's report was presented Tuesday at the City Council meeting. Beth Bertram, an associate with Kern, DeWenter, Viere, Ltd., said the audit turned out well, with revenues above projections and expenditures under projections. The financial analysis compared 2009 general fund revenues and expenditures compared to the previous four years.
The local Women, Infants and Children nutrition program is making strides toward healthier eating. Mari Willie, dietitian for St. Joseph's Community Health and the WIC program said the program provides nutrition advice and education. "We work with women who qualify with how to shop for healthy foods and provide recipe ideas," she said. The program, made available through federal dollars, began offering new healthy food choices last summer.
This year's Fourth of July fireworks show will be bigger and better than ever, according to organizers. With a bigger and better show, however, comes the need for more funding. The fireworks show is held at Red Bridge Park overlooking Fish Hook River. "We're a little bit less than halfway on fundraising," said Rotary fireworks chairman Alan Zemek. "The broader base of donors we have, that means everyone has to contribute less. The farther we reach and the more people we reach, it makes it that much more of a community event." The fireworks show is costly and no tax dollars are spent.
The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Challenger Tour Bull Ride will return to Park Rapids July 1-3 celebrating 32 years of professional rodeo. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the action starting at 6:30 p.m.
AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) members are assisting the North Country Trail Association, Laurentian Lakes Chapter, through the construction and clearing of a new segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail in Becker County. A team of 12 AmeriCorps NCCC members are constructing approximately 10 miles of new trail near Ponsford for six weeks. The group began working June 7 and will work until July 16. "We really hope to get 10 miles completed," said Allison Hoensheid, AmeriCorps NCCC member.
Park Rapids and Carsonville firefighters battled a grass fire Friday afternoon off of Highway 34 and County Road 125 between Park Rapids and Osage. The call was made at about 2:45 p.m. Smoke from the fire was blowing northeast across Highway 34 due to high winds, necessitating law enforcement to direct traffic.