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City council authorizes new squad room kitchen for Park Rapids Police Department

Park Rapids police officers will soon have a place to prepare meals as the city council at its Jan. 12 meeting approved funds for a kitchen.  Chief Terry Eilers has been working on finding appliances and cabinets for the kitchen and told the council the estimate to complete the project is about $5,000. The council approved $3,500 in the 2016 budget and Eilers said he will use other funds from previous donations to cover the remaining $1,500.  The police department previously has not had a kitchen. When the building was recently remodeled it gave the department an opportunity to move lockers upstairs and use an 8-foot by 12-foot room for the kitchen.  Eilers said with the department providing 24 hour coverage there are limited opportunities for officers to eat in the city during evening and overnight shifts.  After some discussion regarding what was necessary for the kitchen the council approved the project.

Local Government Aid  The council approved a resolution in support of increasing Local Government Aid (LGA) in the 2016 legislative session.  Councilman Rod Nordberg commented in favor of the resolution, saying LGA is one of the few ways the city can relieve local tax pressure and pass some of those costs on to the state.  According to the resolution, an increase in LGA helps fund services such as street maintenance and repairs, park improvements, technology upgrades, municipal building repairs, update street lights for energy savings, and lower property taxes.  By passing the resolution the city council supports an increase in the base appropriation for LGA of $45.5 million statewide in 2017.

Apartment building  The council approved a conditional use permit request to construct a 29-unit apartment building with 24 garages on property approved for platting to be known as McGrane 4th Addition located at 1104 Pleasant Avenue.  The developer, Kuepers Inc., requested the permit to allow the development for a density that exceeds 12 units permitted in the medium density residential district. The developer completed a similar project directly to the south in 2013.  The city council approved Tax Increment Financing for this project on Oct. 27, 2015 and platting of the lot on Nov. 10, 2015. The latest request represents the final city approval on the project prior to staff level review of the building permit application.  The project includes 29 residential units to be constructed in 2016; 24 garage units in three 8-unit buildings; bicycle racks; dumpster screening; upgraded patios and decks; elevator; landscaping provided with 30 trees and 72 shrubs; on site stormwater retention; colors and architecture similar to previous development.  The developer investment in the project is approximately $2.7 million.

Consent agenda

- Approved Minnesota Lawful Gambling application to conduct off-site gambling for the Park Rapids Hockey Association n Authorized city officials to execute the service agreement to provide public transportation by and between Hubbard County and the city

- Approved pay request in the amount of $1,500 to Revize LLC for the 2016 annual subscription and updates for the city’s website hosting

- Approved pay request in the amount of $67,238 to the League of Minnesota Cities for 2016 Worker’s Compensation Insurance n Approved pay request in the amount of $115,490 to C&L Excavating for construction work on the Riverside Area-Phase One Project.