Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
- Member for
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Park Rapids is bustling with building activity this week. After a slow 2009 for construction, 2010 has started out strong. "We're seeing a lot of activity," said city planner Dan Walker. Building permits increased significantly in March, according to his planning department report. The early spring with nice weather brought earlier than usual building activity in the city, Walker said in his report. He is working on three new housing permits, which is more than all of 2009. In 2009, remodeling was higher than new building. "The economy played a significant role in the number of r
Homelessness does exist in Hubbard County even if it's not visible to most people. Homeless can mean doubling up with others or couch hopping. "Our definition of homelessness is different than someone living on the street," said Melody Boettcher.
Park Rapids resident Wally Vokes is looking at a 13-year payback on energy improvements he made to his home. "I first heard about the energy audits" through Green Park Rapids," he said. Vokes' home was located in the pilot neighborhood near downtown.
Community gardens are sprouting up throughout Hubbard County thanks to funding from a Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grant. Gardens are planned at River Heights Apartments and Cornerstone Apartments in Park Rapids, along with Nevis, Akeley and Laporte. Diane Brophy, St. Joseph's public health nurse, is working to implement the SHIP grant. The idea for the community gardens is to have a place for anyone in the community to have access to fresh vegetables and flowers. Sharon Voyda, with the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Park Rapids, manages River Heights Apartments.
The Department of Natural Resources Fisheries land near Rice Park could get some sprucing up if funding comes in. The Hubbard County Master Gardeners would like to landscape the DNR Fisheries land in Park Rapids.
Local churches are hosting the second annual Rush of Fools event for youth in grades seven through 12 Wednesday, April 28. This year, the event is at Calvary Lutheran Church.
Menahga City Administrator Teri Osterman announced Tuesday she is resigning to take another job. Osterman took a job with the Minnesota Rural Water Association out of Elbow Lake. She will be the management finance circuit rider for northern Minnesota. She will provide support to utilities in northern Minnesota, working on management and finance concerns, loan applications and utility rate studies. "I'm excited," Osterman said. "I'll be helping other cities and will work for a great group of people." Osterman has been with the city for eight years.
The Park Rapids City Council will approve bids for the southwest road construction project Tuesday. The utility and road work will begin later this spring or early this summer.
The Henrietta Township board has repealed the resolution it passed in January requiring all temporary liquor licenses be for 3:2 beer. The board met Wednesday with its lawyer, Troy Gilchrist, to discuss concerns brought up at its regular meeting earlier this month.
The Park Rapids city website has undergone major changes thanks to Century School eighth graders. "It's a lot easier to get into and for people to get the information they need," said city planner Dan Walker, who worked with the students. For his department, having permit applications available online makes it much easier to help people. He can direct people to the city's website at ci.parkrapids.mn.us. The city was approached by eighth grade teacher Ardis Johnson about updating the website and having her geography students work on those updates.