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Akeley water tower is in need of upgrades

Two issues need to be addressed with the Akeley water tower that was built in 1994.

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Grants will be explored to help pay for upgrades to Akeley's water tower.
Enterprise file photo.

Mike Hubner with Advanced Utility Solutions, a subcontractor with the city, told the council about these issues at their March 9 meeting.

Center standpipe bracketsHubner said a leak in the water tower caused the insulation on the center standpipe to become wet and freeze solid.

Hubner explained after the meeting that the interior of the water tower is not heated but insulated around the center standpipe to keep it from freezing. The frozen insulation had to be chiseled off.

“This repair has nothing to do with the structure of the water tower,” he said. “The structure tube that holds the water tower up was not affected. The water tower is not going to fall down.”

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Hubner said support brackets that hold the standpoint in the center need to be replaced to prevent future leaks.

Recoating the wet interior Hubner said the wet interior of the water tower also needs to be recoated.

“In 2015, it was spot painted and is showing wear and rust spots,” he said. “MidCo Diving noticed when they did their inspection last summer that the coating is starting to fail. When they did the project in 2015 they didn’t completely recoat the inside of the bowl. You have a wet interior and a dry interior and the exterior. The dry interior and the exterior were done. Now the wet interior needs to be done. The newer coatings are also harder and last longer.”

The city is working with engineering services to figure out what to do with the standpipe issue and get pricing on redoing the wet interior of the water tower. Hubner said grants may be available to help with financing for the project.

$500 for Akeley’s library

The council approved donating $500 set aside in the budget for the Akeley Community Library at the Akeley Regional Community Center.

A letter presented to the council stated that the library has been operating for 17 years and requested financial assistance to update furniture and purchase new reading materials.

The library has computers, printers and videos available for checkout and is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The facility also offers free Wifi, a summer reading program called “Reading with Grandma Ruth” and a cookbook club.

Community Easter Egg Hunt

A community Easter egg hunt will be held at Paul’s Patio in Akeley from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, rain or shine. Hunts will be divided into age groups (0-4, 5-8 and 9-12). There will also be prizes. Donuts, coffee, juice and hot cocoa will be served.

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The council accepted a donation of $2,000 from the Eastern Hubbard County Fire District for the community Easter egg hunt and approved depositing and using future donations that come in with those donations to be formally accepted at the council’s April 13 meeting.

Community parks project

Chuck Andress told the council that the community parks committee has no recommendation at this time for the bathroom design. The council approved paying $2,587 for the three renderings of possible bathroom designs that were submitted to the committee.

The $1,647 bill from Moore Engineering for applying for $311,000 in grants for the trailhead connection on the project was also approved. The project deadline has been extended to June of 2023 to coincide with the Hwy. 34 project. Future extensions on the deadline will be available if needed.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved a Moore Engineering invoice for $877 for work on an insurance matter and tabled an invoice for $682 for applying for ARP funds through Hubbard County. 
  • Approved the low bid of $3,576 from Akeley Auto for a lift gate presented by the water/sewer department.
  • Heard from city public works supervisor Reid Watson that pumps for two lift stations have been installed with work on the lift station at the campground to be completed this spring. 
  • Approved the low bid from John Parks to replace the city’s backhoe axle housing at an estimated cost of $2,000 for parts and $3,000 for labor. 
  • Heard the Eastern Hubbard County Fire Department is resuming in-person meetings rather than on Zoom.
  • Heard from Police Chief Jimmy Hansen that gas drive-offs have increased recently.
  • Heard that the ARCC emergency shelter is open at a limited capacity while the shelter is in the process of hiring more staff. Work on staining the floor and preparing office spaces is underway.

The next council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 at city hall.

MORE RELATED COVERAGE:
Akeley City Clerk Kristi Kath said the HRA needs to present the city with a resolution that they are transferring all funds, estimated to be approximately $13,700, at the February council meeting.

Related Topics: AKELEY CITY COUNCIL
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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