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City council approves new police officer

The Park Rapids City Council at its regular meeting Tuesday approved hiring a new full-time police officer, paid a street construction bill and listened to citizens’ comments regarding the 4th of July parade route change.  The council passed a revised resolution to hire Matthew Stein for a full-time police officer position.  Chief Terry Eilers reported to the board he interviewed six out of the 25 applicants and hired Stein based on his experience.  Stein previously worked part-time for the Park Rapids Police Department. He left to work for another department before returning to Park Rapids about six months ago.  “Matt worked for me in the past and did a very good job. He wished to come back and work again in the full-time position,” Eilers said.

Road construction    The council approved payment #2 to C&L Excavating in the amount of $685,967 for work completed on the Riverside Avenue/Mill Road reconstruction project.  Total contract price for the entire project is $2,464,341.

Parade route concerns  The council earlier this month issued a permit to the Park Rapids Chamber of Commerce for the July 4 parade. Breaking from tradition the chamber decided to change this year’s parade route to run south of Highway 34 and away from the popular North Main Avenue.  At Tuesday’s meeting a North Main resident expressed her disappointment to the council for approving the permit and effectively giving the go-ahead to the new route.  The resident stated how people would start lining up on both sides of the street starting at 10 a.m. to watch the parade.  Councilman Paul Utke explained he appreciated her concerns but the council doesn’t set the route. The chamber runs the parade and the council issues the permit.  The parade lineup will take place at the fairgrounds, move east on Second Street, south on Main Avenue to 8th Street and west to Fair Avenue where the parade will finish.