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Akeley one step closer to Paul Bunyan Trailhead

The Akeley City Council approved a master service agreement contract with Moore Engineering for the Akeley Paul Bunyan Trailhead project at its Dec. 11 meeting.

The proposed project has four primary aspects: restrooms and commons area, trail connection, park amenity improvements and a helicopter pad.

The new year-round restroom and information center will be constructed to Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Renovations and improvements to the historical museum, shelter and food service area are planned, along with park landscaping.

A trail will connect the park to the Heartland State Trail. Bike parking and benches will be added. The park will be enhanced with off-street parking, sidewalks, a playground and an interpretive kiosk. The estimated cost of the total project is around $578,000.

The start date on the Akeley Paul Bunyan Trailhead project depends on when the State Hwy. 34 project is scheduled. Grant funding will be sought to help with the cost of bathrooms, sidewalk work and other associated expenses.

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In other action, the council:

  • Approved the 2019 tax levy of $206,571, payable in 2020.

  • Thanked Police Chief Jimmy Hansen for helping with plowing while city maintenance supervisor Kelly VandenEykel has been on crutches.

  • Heard the city is continuing its search for a good used truck to replace one that is worn out. VandenEykl suggested a small dump truck that could be used for hauling and plowing.

  • Discussed a water bill with resident Michael Smith who said there was a bill for over $1,000 due to a large leak in Dec. 2017. City Clerk Kristi Kath said she looked over meter readings and usage reports and found no charges over $1,000 in January 2018 when December is billed. She said there were higher water bills in April 2018 and May 2018, but those two months together totaled just over $700. The council made a motion for no action on this bill.

  • Heard Frank Lamb was elected as vice president of the Akeley Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

  • Heard that if a resident of theCcity of Akeley does not pay the $1,000 cost for a fire call then it goes on the property taxes for the following year unless the fire board makes other arrangements on a case by case basis.

  • Approved a resolution to support application for a Minnesota Department of Transportation alternatives program grant.

  • Heard the city audit is scheduled for March 23.

  • Approved the police ride-along policy, as presented.

  • Set an end of the year financial meeting for Monday, Dec. 30 at 6 p.m.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8 at city hall.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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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