Frequent rains are washing out Akeley City Campground's roads

Akeley Mayor Brian Hitchcock suggested asphalt as one option, along with a culvert system.

Frequent rains this summer have left the road leading to the Akeley city campground on 11th Crow Wing Lake in frequent need of repair.
Enterprise file photo
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This summer’s frequent rains are impacting the Akeley City Campground.

Marv Vredenburg, who spends summers at the campground, told the Akeley City Council on July 13 that campground roads are terrible again, due to all of the rain that runs downhill into the campground area, even after being maintained time after time after time.

“All of that silt and sand runs right down into the entrance and goes right down into the lake, which is not a good thing,” he said. “It really needs some engineering down there, so the water runs the correct way and doesn’t all run down that road so it washes out and keeps the road having to be repaired.”

Mayor Brian Hitchcock suggested asphalt as one option, along with a culvert system.

The council discussed how water that pools at Paul’s Patio area is likely a contributing factor and that the washout continues to the pavilion. It was suggested that discussion of these issues start with Hubbard County.


National Night Out

Akeley will once again host the annual National Night Out event. The purpose of the event, which will be held beginning at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, is to encourage positive relationships between residents in the community and their police officers.

The city council acknowledged a $2,000 donation from the Eastern Hubbard Fire District for the National Night Out Event at the July 13 meeting. The council also approved accepting and depositing future donations to the National Night Out fund that are received before the August council meeting.

In other business, the council:

  • Acknowledged donations to the Akeley Community Projects fund, totaling $6,745 so far. That includes $3,500 from Arvig Communications, which has pledged a total of $17,500 towards the project spread out over five years. 
  • Discussed repairs needed to the Paul Bunyan statue, including fixing missing pieces on his hands and painting worn areas where people slide. Council member Billy Krotzer said he and his family will take a look. Discussion included working with the Akeley Chamber of Commerce, as they have funds to cover the cost of paint and repairs.
  • Approved a Moore Engineering utilities task order, not to exceed $4,500, for work on the upcoming project for MnDOT’s State Hwy. 34 project, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2023. 
  • Heard the new mileage reimbursement rate is 62.5 cents per mile, effective July 1.
  • Asked Police Chief Jimmy Hansen to talk to residents who have not mowed their yard so far this year.
  • Tabled action on working on a patio area at the liquor store. Municipal Liquor Store Manager Lacey Hitchcock said she would like a power pole that is only used for putting up the Christmas sign in the area removed, but it would cost $1,000 or more. City Clerk Kristi Kath said the pole will likely be removed during the Hwy. 34 project and suggested waiting to see what happens. Hitchcock suggested moving the pole closer to the road. The city needs two parallel poles for their Christmas banner. Hitchcock also suggested when any incidents happen, resulting in a concern form being filled out at the liquor store, she will bring them to city hall so the council is aware of them. 
  • Discussed how snow removal will work with the boulevard on Hwy. 34 once that project is complete. No action was taken.
  • Heard cameras have been installed at the park, and a tree that was full of carpenter ants and was a hazard to a camping space at the city campground has been removed. 
  • Approved repairing the older city riding mower at a cost not to exceed $1,650. Council member Dan Riggs suggested that this mower be kept to mow lots with overgrown grass and that the council look at putting a new mower in the budget for next year. 
  • Heard lightning struck a power pole in the city during a thunderstorm, resulting in one lift station being down for a time. 
  • Heard from Neil Elavsky during the public forum on the importance of maintaining a pleasant atmosphere at the municipal liquor. He asked council members for their thoughts on hiring a new municipal liquor store manager. “I think a lot of people like the place,” Riggs said. Elavsky asked about financial statements at the liquor store and was told by Hitchcock that he can look at the financial statements any time city hall is open. 
  • Closed the meeting for employee evaluations for Reid Watson, Hitchcock, Hansen and Kath.

The next Akeley council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 10 at city hall.

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.

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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