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Rhoades resigns as manager of Nevis muni

The liquor store manager set Friday, Oct. 14 as her last day of employment.

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The Nevis municipal liquor store. Enterprise file photo.
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The Nevis City Council on Oct. 11, 2022 accepted the resignation of municipal liquor store manager Erin Rhoades.

According to the resignation letter, which Rhoades authorized city staff to share with the media, her last day of work would be Oct. 14.

Rhoades was hired as manager of the muni in October 2020, according to City Administrator Dawn Veit. She had previously worked there as a bartender for two years.

Mayor Jeanne Thompson made the motion to approve Rhoades’s resignation, and it passed unanimously, absent council member Teresa Leshovsky.

Thompson said the liquor store commission will discuss plans for the muni going forward.

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OHV trail concerns

Robert McGrath presented to the council his concerns about the maintenance of the Round River Drive ATV trail.

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Robert McGrath presented this photo to the Nevis City Council on Oct. 11, 2022, showing the condition of a stretch of right-of-way on State Hwy. 64, just south of the Stompin' Grounds Bar & Grill, reportedly after an OHV trail maintenance worker requested reimbursement for six hours of work clearing the culvert in that area.
Contributed / City of Nevis

McGrath referred to a reimbursement request submitted through the trail’s sponsor, the city of Akeley, to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in which an operator named Noah claimed to have spent six hours on Aug. 18 clearing culverts on State Hwy. 64.

McGrath then showed the council photos of the right-of-ways on both sides of Hwy. 64, a little way south of Stompin’ Grounds Bar & Grill. He noted that the culvert on one side of the highway appeared to have been cleared, but the other side still showed substantial damage from ATV traffic. He challenged the claim that six hours was spent on that task.

“This is why I’m frustrated with the trail, personally,” said McGrath. “These things aren’t safe. There’s no speed limits, really. We’re told there’s no real maintenance requirements, or they’re not enforced. We’re told all these things by the DNR and by the county, that we’re supposed to maintain our easements according to Minnesota law.”

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Robert McGrath asks the Nevis City Council on Oct. 11, 2022 to consider participating in a meeting, yet to be scheduled, about ATV/OHV trail maintenance along highway right-of-ways.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

But the property owners can’t maintain the easements, he argued. “If someone wipes out on these trails on someone’s property and gets hurt, because Hubbard County has kind of pushed it back to everyone else, we are the ones that can be sued. The homeowners, the cities. And that’s not fair. We can’t maintain it. We can’t stop it. But we are responsible for it?”

McGrath invited Nevis officials and citizens to come to a meeting with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the DNR and the City of Akeley, which he is trying to schedule, to ask “what’s going on, who’s responsible, what’s the minimum requirements – get answers that we’ve been essentially denied since this trail was put in.”In other business, the city council:

  • Approved lease language for the city-owned agricultural parcel east of the city, and authorized staff to put the agricultural lease out to bid, with bids to be opened at the council’s Nov. 14 meeting.
  • Heard Deputy Josh Oswald report that during the past month, local law enforcement has handled several issues at the school, and that a driving complaint and a suspicious person report resulted in arrests on serious charges. Also, Oswald said people leaving for the winter have been asking him to check on their homes.
  • Received Oswald’s written report of police activity from Sept. 8 to Oct. 5, including 1 animal call, 2 arrests, 13 attempts to locate, 1 burglary/theft, 3 citations, 2 civil processes, 5 disturbance/disorderly calls, 2 medical calls, 9 “other,” 3 public assists, 8 traffic stops and 16 business/facility checks.
  • Heard resident John Halberg ask how to contact city staff about his dog that was picked up by law enforcement, and comment about the poor management of the muni’s drink ticket program.
  • Approved the city’s financial reports for September, featuring general fund revenues of $248 and disbursements totaling $27,931, and liquor store revenues of $87,727 and disbursements totaling $63,900.
  • Entered a closed session for discussion of personnel data.

The next Nevis City Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 at city hall.

MORE RELATED COVERAGE:
In his first city council meeting after being appointed, Fire Chief Josh Winter presented a budget, obtained approval for LED lighting and pushed to increase firefighters' retirement benefit.

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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