Akeley is preparing for Paul Bunyan Days

Work on the Paul Bunyan statue and fixing picnic tables at Paul's patio are on the list of projects to be completed before the town festival.

Akeley celebrates its famous logger every June.
Enterprise file photo

The Akeley City Council addressed several items that need to be taken care of before the town’s Paul Bunyan Days festivities June 23-25.

The council first discussed repairs that need to be made to the Paul Bunyan statue.

Council member Billy Krotzer, whose family created the statue, said that he is working on the repairs, as weather permits.

The council approved having Police Chief Jimmy Hansen request the Hubbard County Mounted Posse help with patrols during Paul Bunyan Days. The city will donate $500.

The council also talked about the need to fix picnic tables at Paul’s Patio that have warped and broken boards. City Clerk Kristi Kath will talk to city maintenance staff about making the repairs.


The garden bed down near Paul’s Patio also needs to be weeded. Council member Bobbie Wosika suggested posting online that help is needed to weed them.

The council accepted the $1,330 bid from Potty Shacks for porta potties at Paul Bunyan Days. This will include eight regulars, two handicapped and two hand-washing stations. Half of the funds will come from the park enterprise account and the other half will come from the Akeley Municipal Liquor Store account.

In other business, the council:

  • Learned that the Minnesota Department of Transportation was able to lessen the city’s  cost for this summer’s Hwy. 34 project by $25,337 by removing the stain and special  stamped concrete in the cooperative agreement with the city. The council approved changing task order No. 1 to reflect this savings. 
  • Heard from Mayor Brian Hitchcock that he met with Dave Shotzko from the Department of Natural Resources about the helipad in the DNR parking lot. Hansen went  down with Hitchcock to look at the area that was marked off and said everything looked good. It is understood  that the upkeep will be the city’s responsibility. The cost of constructing the helipad will be the DNR’s  responsibility. The council approved having the DNR move ahead on the helipad in its marked location.
  • Heard from Todd Hagen from Ehlers about the city’s needs for the continuing disclosure agreement and the master arbitrage services contract in order to be in compliance. The council approved the Ehlers continuing both, as presented.  
  • Reviewed the monthly operations report from Advanced Utility Solutions. Council member Bobbie Wosika suggested that a warning not to flush flushable wipes should be put on the water bills.  
  • Approved paying the $24,989 invoice from Moore Engineering for design services and grant administration.
  • Voided two checks that were lost. 
  • Heard from guest Steve Keranen who is running for the District 4 county commissioner position. He said he plans to attend council meetings when he can.
  • Heard a reminder from Hitchcock that the council is following the new policy for public comment and a copy of the policy was at each table.
  • Heard that employee evaluations for department heads will happen at the June 14 regular council meeting. 
  • Heard that Hubbard County has scheduled a repair project from June 26 until August at the end of Graceson Ave. 
  • Heard Hansen has been working on addressing blight issues in the city. 
  • Reported total disbursements of $88,123.84 and total receipts of $69,640.32. 

The next Akeley council meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 14 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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