Cole Nelson, project engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said the revised layout incorporated doable changes recommended by the city and requested by several community members.

American Relief Plan funds

Hubbard County Commissioner Ted Van Kempen asked the council for needs in the city that may be eligible for the $4.2 million funding in rescue plan dollars, some of which is targeted to be spent on infrastructure.

New liners in wastewater ponds and new lift stations are possible uses since most of the city equipment dates back to 1994 and has passed its expected life.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Allocations for the money are due by December 2024, with funds to be used by 2026. Van Kempen asked the council to provide some cost estimates for these projects for consideration. He said Hubbard County and the City of Park Rapids are discussing using ARP funds to build infrastructure for an affordable housing development. “I want to fight for the smaller cities in Hubbard County,” he said. “We need this to be fair and equitable.”

In other business, the council:

  • Certified the preliminary 2022 levy of $209,958, less than a one percent increase over last year’s levy.

  • Raised the city clerk’s credit card limit from $2,500 to $3,000. Any expenditures over $500 require council approval.

  • Approved the Lakes Area Cooperative contract for purchasing 4,500 gallons of propane at the pre-buy price of $1.59 per gallon. Last year the price was $1.10 per gallon.

  • Approved a welding quote from Maguire Iron Inc. for $3,798 to repair a small water tower leak.

  • Heard MPCA Inspections for the water treatment plant showed recalibration was needed and a monitoring log is missing records of activity prior to Feb. 2021. The MPCA also requested the city track the record keeping in addition to the wastewater operations being done.

  • Approved a new contract with Advanced Utilities Solutions under the same terms as the current contract with AE Operations.

  • Requested that the Akeley Community Projects committee receive future bills from Moore Engineering so they can discuss them before they go to the council for approval for payment in the future. The council approved an invoice from Moore Engineering for $2,813 for work on the Akeley trailhead project.

  • Tabled a decision on purchasing four solar-powered speed signs for use on Hwys. 34 and 64 until the October meeting.

  • Heard that the Akeley emergency shelter has hired an executive director who will be involved in raising funds to assure they are able to sustain the project as well as a strategic planning process that involves a timeline of steps to take to open the shelter in phases.

  • Heard a request from Kristin Fake for the council to address her concerns about building codes from May. Fake said she will continue to put it on the agenda until it is resolved.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 at city hall.