Akeley council rescinds emergency declaration

Plans are to take the Paul Bunyan cutout at Pauls Patio in Akeley down for now. If it can be repaired, it will be replaced at a later date. Enterprise file photo.

The Akeley City Council rescinded the resolution declaring a local emergency for COVID-19 that has been in effect since March 19 at its June 8 council meeting.

It was the first face-to-face council meeting in almost four months. “We’re moving back to normal,” council member Dan Riggs said.

Police Chief Jimmy Hansen said he is looking into a sample ordinance from Frazee for the city council to consider adopting that would deal with rental properties that have issues where the police are called repeatedly for disturbances.

“This council has worked hard to make this a family-oriented town and I’d like to see it stay that way,” Hansen said.

Kristin Fake said the Housing and Redevelopment Authority has a similar document she will share with Hansen. The council will discuss developing such an ordinance at next month’s council meeting.


Council member Billy Krotzer will fix up a black spray paint mark on the back of the Paul Bunyan statue owned by the city.

The council also discussed having the Chamber of Commerce take down the board where people put their faces for photos at Paul’s Patio, as it is in disrepair. If they want to fix it, it can be put back up once the repairs are made.

Chuck Andress gave a report on the Akeley Community Projects Committee. Suggestions from the most recent meeting was to allow Moore Engineering to take the lead with the project. They will be meeting with Moore Engineering July 27. An architect will share examples of what the new restroom building will look like, and the committee will share those plans with the council.

Andress said work on the project will most likely begin next spring. He also asked the council to help with some ideas for moving the ATV trail that is going through property owned by the Department of Natural Resources. It was suggested that the local ATV club work with the DNR on that issue.

“ATV tourism up here is huge,” Mayor Brian Hitchcock said. He suggested they contact state officials.

In other action, the council:

  • Heard Akeley’s Night Out at Paul’s Patio Tuesday, Aug. 4 will include a car show from 3 to 7 p.m., games at 4 p.m., free food catered by Zappy’s Cafe from 5 to 7 p.m. and free music by Nate’s Fish from 5 to 7 p.m.

  • Discussed a policy that’s in the works for non-sufficient funds checks at the liquor store.

  • Heard cameras have arrived and will be installed around the city shop.

  • Heard the Akeley Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring an essay and photo contest for youth in conjunction with Akeley’s Night Out. Go to their Facebook page for more information.

  • Tabled department head evaluations until the next meeting.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12 at city hall.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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