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Park Rapids' water towers due for repairs

The Huntsinger Avenue water tower, near the Park Rapids Area High School, has interior wet corrosion and sediment issues.1 / 2
The Hatch Avenue water tower, behind the municipal liquor store in Park Rapids, has interior wet and exterior corrosion issues as well as sediment buildup. (Photos by Robin Fish/Enterprise)2 / 2

The Park Rapids City Council's agenda packet on Tuesday included a report from Jonathan Olson with Apex Engineering Group about this year's inspections of the city's two water towers by Suez Water Technologies.

According to Olson's report, the 500,000-gallon Huntsinger Avenue tower showed heavy corrosion on the interior wet sidewalls and thick sediment at the base of the bowl. Suez recommended immediate tank cleaning and rehabilitating the coating systems, especially the interior wet area.

The 400,000-gallon Hatch Avenue tower had localized areas of corrosion on the exterior and interior wet areas, as well as heavy sediment. Suez recommended removing the tank from service, cleaning it and repairing the exterior coating failures.

Olson reported that a representative of Coating Resources, Inc. concurred with the Suez findings. Olson recommended that the city budget for cleaning and rehabilitation of both towers in 2019 as part of the same project.

There was no discussion or action regarding the report at Tuesday's meeting. However, the proposed capital improvement plan presented at the meeting does include a 2019 water tower recoating project.

CUP requests

The council approved two conditional use permit (CUP) requests on Nov. 13.

The action followed recommendations made by the city planning commission on Oct. 22.

One CUP, requested by Rick Johanneck, is to build and operate a self-storage facility at 16667 State Highway 34, a 9.87-acre site in the highway business zoning district on the east side of town.

The other CUP, requested by Josh Elsner, is to operate a well-drilling contractor business and manufactured storage shed sales lot at 18154 169th Ave., a 5.71-acre property owned by Dale Breitweser, two lots east of the Johanneck property.

According to a report included in the council's agenda packet, the city issued 15 building permits during October with a total value of $630,500. These included one single-family residence ($215,000), one public or quasi-public building ($2,100), four commercial remodels or additions ($54,800), six residential remodels or additions ($309,700) and three garages ($48,900). Year to date, the city has issued 152 building permits totaling more than $10.4 million.

Also in October, the city issued three residential plumbing permits — one for a new single-family dwelling and two for remodels or repairs — bringing in $108 in fees as well as $700 for two new meters.

Regarding utility billing, the city council denied credit for on/off fees for Edythe Tabor; approved credit for excess sewer charges totaling $564 for the third quarter for John Siebolds; approved $100 credit for 20,923 gallons of water that did not go through the irrigation meter but denied a credit for 2017 water usage for Baywoods Condominium Association.

In consent items and general business, the city council:

• Received annual comments from Moody's Investors Service relating to the city's bonded debt. Brumbaugh's cover memo noted that Moody's gave the city an A1 credit score and rated the key indicators as stable or improved. Among Moody's comments that Brumbaugh highlighted, the city's credit position is sound; its cash balance is strong; its economy and tax base are satisfactory; and its debt is somewhat inflated.

• Received a letter from Christopher Hood with Flaherty & Hood, P.A. regarding hourly rates for legal services to the city, including a change from $120 to $125 per hour for the first 25 hours for labor services.

• Paid Emergency Apparatus Maintenance $9,374 to repair the fire department's ladder truck.

• Paid Widseth, Smith and Nolting $1,200 for grant writing to purchase firefighter breathing gear.

• Paid the Kitchigami Regional Library System $28,416 for the second half of the 2018 levy.

• Paid BHH Partners $2,896 for professional services regarding the City Hall remodel.

• Paid the League of Minnesota Cities $4,295 for membership dues from Sept. 1, 2018 to Aug. 31, 2019.

• Approved payables totaling $38,194 and prepaids totaling $80,987.

• Authorized the execution of paperwork to transfer investments to RBC Wealth Management.

• Appointed Greg Parvi as a public works utility maintenance worker and approved a job description for a public works utility maintenance worker..

• Received a "thank you" note from the League of Women Voters Park Rapids Area for letting them use the council chambers for a candidate forum.

The city council's next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at City Hall. It will include a hearing about updating the city's Capital Improvement Plan.