$1,000 grant boosts Akeley's National Night Out

The funding will be used to provide area youth who attend the August event with backpacks and school supplies.

National Night Out promotes police and community relationships. There is a free meal and fun activities for youth who attend.
Enterprise file photo

Akeley’s National Night Out event in August, which builds connections between police and the community, received a boost recently.

A grant proposal submitted by Akeley Police Chief Jimmy Hansen and City Clerk Kristi Kath was awarded $1,000 in funding from the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

The grant will be used to purchase backpacks to give to youth, along with a bag of school supplies.

“This event is designed for our youth to approach the police in a fun position, so that when they need to approach them in a rough time they have that connection,” Kath told the city council at their March 8 meeting.

Dan Riggs chaired the meeting as Mayor Brian Hitchcock was absent. Council member Dale Nelson was also absent.


In other business, the council:

  • Approved a resolution accepting donations for the Akeley Egg Hunt. 
  • Approved Juneteenth as an additional paid holiday for full-time city employees.
  • Signed the certificate required for putting the two tax-forfeited lots next to the city hall up for auction. 
  • Heard that the Board of Appeal and Equalization will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25 at city hall. 
  • Heard from Hansen that issues with the squad car’s siren are in the process of being fixed and that he is doing some training online.
  • Heard that water/sewer maintenance staff Mike Hubner and Reid Watson were attending the Rural Minnesota Water Convention.  
  • Heard the East Hubbard County Fire District meetings will be moved to the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m., beginning in April.
  • Approved the revised site plan for the Akeley Community Projects Committee. The revised plan leaves the alley access in that area open. 
  • Introduced new city attorney Zachary Johnson, who has over 20 years of experience.
  • Approved giving a letter of support to Crystal Mathisrud from the Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District, who will be asking for $60,000 in federal funds to use towards implementing forest gardens. They hope to establish up to four demonstration forest gardens in public spaces in Hubbard County. Kits to help landowners start forest gardens are also part of the grant. 
  • Heard from Steve Keranen, who is running for the open county commissioner seat, during the public forum. 

The next council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 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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