Park Rapids Council approves CARES Act fund plan

The city council agrees to pool some of its COVID-19 relief money into a countywide business relief fund.

The Park Rapids City Council and attendees practiced social distancing at their meeting on Tuesday. (Robin Fish/Enterprise)

The Park Rapids City Council approved a plan Tuesday for disbursement of CARES Act funds allocated to the city.

Mary Thompson, executive director of the Heartland Lakes Development Commission, reported that the city received approximately $311,000 out of federal dollars assigned to Minnesota by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Other amounts were allocated to Hubbard County and other cities and townships in the county on a per capita basis.

Thompson proposed that the city put $120,177 of its share into the Hubbard County COVID-19 Business Assistance Program, a pool from which grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to qualifying businesses that can show that they were in good standing when the COVID-19 crisis began and that their revenue this year has decreased compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, she said, the city would retain the remaining $191,429 to reimburse its COVID-19 related costs. Once the extent of these costs is better understood, staff could recommend how much additional money to put into the pool for a possible second round of business grants.

Council member Erika Randall moved to approve the plan, and the motion passed unanimously.


In consent items, reports and general business, the council:

  • Heard Cynthia Jones, for the Park Rapids Rotary, report that the July 4 fireworks show was a success with social distancing and rockets “shot high” to be seen from outside the park. However, she hinted that the fireworks show may have outgrown their longtime location at Red Bridge and Heartland Park.

  • Heard Sue Tomte report about a group of residents, including Rotarians, who recently repainted the old Red Bridge. City Planner Andrew Mack acknowledged L&M Fleet for donating the paint and painting supplies.

  • Heard Mayor Ryan Leckner acknowledged Mary and Ted Thielen for making a donation to pay the street assessment for the Senior Activity Center.

  • Heard Mack report that approximately 90 building permits have been issues this year, and construction bids were to be opened this week on Simonson development between Park Ave. and Main Ave. on State Hwy. 34.

  • Heard council member Liz Stone report that the parks board is discussing the policy for naming or renaming parks – including two officially unnamed parks – and possible grant opportunities to build a splash pad.

  • Approved a lawful gambling permit for the Tall Pine Toms Chapter, National Wild Turkey Federation, to have a charitable raffle on Aug. 25 at the Hubbard County First Response & Rescue office.

  • Paid Apex Engineering Group $16,227 for professional services regarding the water plant and new well project.

  • Approved a wage scale increase for part-time accounts payable clerk to $15 to $118.26 per hour for 2020, $15.60 to $18.93 for 2021, and $16.28 to $19.72 for 2022, and authorized staff to advertise and interview candidates for the open position.

  • Approved a city ordinance amendment regarding firewood storage on residential property, with language addressing nuisance and environmental issues.

  • Approved a conditional use permit for Lisa Cottrell to add a home occupation beauty salon to her residence at 805 Kaywood Drive.

  • Accepted a $64,692 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for terminal area taxilane design.

  • Authorized the sale of surplus city property via an online auction company. The three 2016 Ford Explorers and one 2007 Chevy Tahoe are no longer needed by the Park Rapids Police Department.

  • Approved payables totaling $85,464 and prepaids (since June 10) totaling $515,986.

The city council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 28 via teleconference. To participate, dial 218-547-0500 and enter the 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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