The Park Rapids City Council on Tuesday approved Steve Larson’s requests for a conditional use permit (CUP) and a variance regarding an apartment building at 205 Pleasant Ave. S.

On May 25, the city council “denied the denial” of the CUP and variance requests recommended by the Park Rapids Planning Commission.

Larson had sought the CUP to convert a vacant dental office into additional apartments in the building, bringing the total number of units to 15 while city code only allows up to 12. The variance was to allow the renovation without meeting the required 1.5 parking spaces per unit.

City Administrator Angel Weasner told the council that their action on Tuesday was a formality because their May 25 action already approved Larson’s requests, but Tuesday’s approval allowed the documents to be recorded with the county.

Council member Bob Wills moved to approve the CUP, and council member Liz Stone moved to approve the variance. Both motions passed 3-0, absent council members Erika Randall and Tom Conway.

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Administrative reports

City Administrator Angel Weasner reported that meetings regarding the Career Path street and utility improvements are coming soon, and the police department has been busy lending mutual aid to patrol ongoing activities north of the city.

Fire Chief Terry Long said May was a busy month for the city’s fire department. “We did more calls for service in the last month than we did from January through April,” he said. “I think everybody at the department would say, we’re OK with it being a little slower than this.”

Rapids Spirits Liquor Store manager Scott Olson reported that sales this year through May were only 0.9 percent behind the figures for the same period last year. He voiced hope that there will be increases during the summer months, as events that were canceled last year go forward.

“We are running a little bit tight for space,” Olson said, adding that his Budweiser distributor will begin double-stacking pallets of beer, which the store has never done before.

In consent items and general business, the council:

  • Approved a temporary on-sale liquor license to the Shell Prairie Agriculture Association for the Hubbard County Fair on July 14 and 16-18.

  • Approved a public facilities use permit for the Park Rapids Area Library to have a library story time on June 25, July 23 and Aug. 27 in Pioneer Park.

  • Approved public facilities use permits for the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce to hold a parade on July 4, to hold water wars on Aug. 12 as part of Legends and Logging Days, and to hold a tree lighting and Yuletide sampler on Nov. 26.

  • Paid Josh’s Collision Center $1,881 for repairs to a police squad car, which was damaged in a Dec. 15, 2020 incident.

  • Paid Hildi, Inc. $1,050 for the Firefighters’ Relief Association’s actuarial roll-forward report.

  • Paid BerganKDV $6,000 for auditing the city’s 2020 financial statements.

  • Paid Bryan Rock Products $2,798 for agrilime for the city’s softball fields.

  • Paid Hawkins, Inc. $1,847 for water treatment chemicals and roller assemblies.

  • Paid Apex Engineering $4,382 for work on the water treatment facility construction project, the U.S. Hwy. 71 frontage road project and the right-of-way assistance for the Career Path street project.

  • Authorized city staff to submit a risk and resiliency assessment report to the Environmental Protection Agency to comply with the 2018 America’s Water Infrastructure Act.

  • Authorized city staff to prepare and record the release of an irrevocable letter of credit with Double Doors, LLC. The agreement dates from June 2020 and concerned the construction and engineering costs for Deere Road, a frontage road off State Hwy. 34, which is now complete. An escrow account remains to ensure other conditions are met, including landscaping and fencing.

  • Authorized city staff to award bids and coordinate construction of a new 50-by-100-foot heated public works storage building.

  • Approved the second reading of an ordinance amending the fees for airport hangar rentals.

  • Approved payables totaling $$38,395 and prepaids totaling $153,416.

The city council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 22 at city hall.