Park Rapids accepts $30,000 federal airport grant

In other business, the city council approves the replacement of the message board sign at the Rapids Spirits liquor store.

The house at 301 5th St. E. in Park Rapids is slated for demolition along with other structures on the property. Adjacent to Depot Park and the skate park, the property was donated to the city in 2019 by Marion and David Town for incorporation into the parks, and was rezoned in March from R-2 (residential) to P (public). (Robin Fish/Enterprise)

The Park Rapids City Council on Tuesday accepted a $30,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant for the Park Rapids Airport.

According to City Administrator Ryan Mathisrud, the funds can be used for any lawful purpose in accord with FAA rules, and is funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Mathisrud said the grant is intended to fund airport maintenance and operations, and requires the city to enter into a grant agreement with the FAA.

“These are an additional $30,000 that we weren’t expecting,” he said, recommending that they approve the contract. Council member Bob Wills moved to do so, and the motion passed without dissent.

Liquor store sign

The council also approved a bid from Ross Lewis Sign Co. to replace the Rapids Spirits municipal liquor store sign’s electronic message board for $29,334.


Mayor Ryan Leckner reminded the council that they referred a proposal to have Indigo Sign Works repair the sign back to staff on May 12.

At that time, he said, Liquor store manager Scott Olson had recommended repairing the sign for now because replacement wouldn’t be on the budget until 2021. Considering this would cost the city more in the long run, council members then urged him to work with the finance committee to fund the replacement this year.

Olson came back with quotes from Indigo and Ross Lewis, both for a text-only sign near the size of the current message board (approximately two feet high by eight feet wide) and for a sign in the next size up (approximately three by eight feet) that can display graphics.

The quotes ranged from $23,695 to $31,495. Olson said sign replacement rebates are available from Watchfire, ranging from $1,600 to $2,400 depending on the size of the new sign.

Olson said the finance committee recommended purchasing the three-by-eight, graphics-capable sign quoted by Ross Lewis for $29,334 and applying for the $2,400 rebate, resulting in a final cost of $26,934. Olson said the liquor fund has funds available for this.

Council member Erika Randall moved to approve the purchase as proposed. The motion passed without dissent.

In consent items and general business, the council:

  • Recognized planning clerk Carmen Lockhart for 20 years of employment with the city.

  • Appointed Scott Hocking to the Park Rapids Planning Commission.

  • Approved an outdoor public fireworks display on July 4 at Heartland Park.

  • Authorized staff to void all the Park Rapids Business Association’s permits for 2020 2nd Street Stage events and refund their fees, totaling $885.

  • Approved approximately $4,048 in expenses, including fees, permits and demolition, to have Sandquist Construction demolish structures at 301 5th St. E. at $360 per hour.

  • Approved purchase of sewer and water operating supplies for the public works department from Ferguson Waterworks for $27,139.

  • Appointed election judges for the August state primary and the November general election.

  • Approved payables totaling $11,834 and prepaids totaling $707,798.

The city council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 23 at city hall. The public is encouraged to participate via teleconference by dialing 218-547-0500 and entering code 130529 when prompted.

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