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Conway stepping down at end of term

Council member Tom Conway has served on the Park Rapids City Council since 2017.

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Tom Conway
Park Rapids Enterprise file photo
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City council member Tom Conway announced at Park Rapids City Council's June 28 meeting that he will not run for re-election this year.

Conway was appointed to the city council Oct. 24, 2017 to fill out the remainder of Paul Utke’s term. He was elected to a four-year term in 2018.

Conway said he has taken on some additional responsibility with his employer, Lamb Weston, that may require significant travel.

“I want to make sure that I give people time to file if they want to run,” he said, “but I will not be seeking another term this fall.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of serving on the council. I do intend to finish out my term, and I have the utmost respect for all the city staff that we work with and the council members. I think all of them have the best for the city at heart, and I really appreciate all of them.”

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Conway said he is sad to depart, and left open the possibility of running for a seat again in four to six years.

City Administrator Angel Weasner said the filing period for city elections will be from July 29 to Aug. 16.

Public comment

In a segment of the meeting inviting comment from citizens, Sue Tomte thanked city personnel for their cooperation and assistance with 2nd Street Stage and Fourth of July activities.

Later, Tomte asked about the work underway at Pioneer Park. Weasner reported an irrigation system was installed and sod will be placed.

“Hopefully, it will improve the aesthetics and the greenery of that park,” said Weasner.

Gail Leverson with the Park Rapids Area Library board reported 280 people are enrolled in library’s summer reading program, and 35 to 51 children have attended the last few Friday storytimes.

Leverson also reported the library distributed 120 craft kits during June. She said branch manager Jodi Schultz told her the library’s six borrowable passes to Itasca State Park, available through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, are out all the time.

Repair work on the library’s HVAC system is underway, Leverson added.

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Kelly Trumpold with Three Bears food truck requested a transient merchant license to park his food truck in front of Wine Not? during 2nd Street Stage events this summer.

Trumpold said he had wanted to apply for the permit this week but was advised by city staff that it was too late to get it on the council’s agenda.

Weasner suggested that the council either pre-approve a permit with Trumpold’s application to follow, or approve his application retroactively at their next meeting.

The council also discussed whether it’s necessary to have a permit for a food truck on private property – answer: yes – as well as the need for a food truck ordinance and concerns about precedent and proper procedure.

Randall made a motion to pre-approve Trumpold’s permit application, and the motion passed unopposed.

Under department head comments, Fire Chief Joe Carlson reported that a five-year high of almost 400 people attended the Fire Department’s open house on June 18.

MORE RELATED COVERAGE:
Elizabeth Wefel, an attorney with Flaherty & Hood, P.A., updated the Park Rapids City Council on Sept. 27 about the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities' lobbying efforts in 2022.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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