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The Park Rapids City Council on Tuesday appointed Ryan Mathisrud as their next city administrator. Previously the city planner, Mathisrud resigned last October to accept another position. He was among eight candidates interviewed June 21-22, out of a total of 54 applicants, to succeed City Administrator John McKinney. Mathisrud's employment with the city begins Aug. 19, council member Tom Conway explained on behalf of the city's personnel committee. Mathisrud will not officially take over as city administrator until McKinney's resignation takes effect on Aug. 30.
The prospect of July 4 fireworks on Thursday and a threat of rain on Friday did little to deter a crowd from seeing the 41st annual Headwaters PRCA Xtreme Bulls competition this weekend at Jokela Prowest, east of Park Rapids. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) sanctioned both the Xtreme Bulls and Saturday's rodeo. Top winners in each event earn points toward qualifying in the National Finals Rodeo in December. A drizzle of rain let up just in time to accommodate the crowd on Friday.
Sunshine favored the 41st annual Headwaters PRCA Rodeo, held Saturday evening at the Jokela ProWest rodeo grounds. It was a PRCA-sanctioned event, counting toward the competitors' season standings. Ty Manke has ridden at the Park Rapids rodeo since he started competing. "I always liked coming out to these rodeos out east. These rodeos, the crowd's great," he said. "There's always good competitors and good prize money."
With light that blazed through eyelids and sound that traveled through the earth and straight into people's bodies, Park Rapids defended its self-proclaimed title as "Minnesota's July Fourth Fireworks Capital" Thursday night. On the Heartland Park side of the Fish Hook River, the crowd carpeted the grassy hills of the county park, outside a police tape barrier set up for safety around the launch site.
The Park Rapids City Council took steps Tuesday to issue General Obligation Improvement Bonds Series 2019A, totaling approximately $1,150,000. Jessica Green with Northland Securities, Inc. (NSI) provided a summary of the bond issue, which is intended to finance this year's U.S. Hwy. 71 frontage road and 11th St. improvement project.
Approximately 20 residents Hubbard and Wadena counties gathered Thursday at the Menahga VFW to hear three Republican lawmakers review the 2019 state legislative session Reporting their party's success this year in stopping tax increases and spending proposals advanced by DFL legislators and Gov. Tim Walz were Dist. 2B Rep. Steve Green (R-Fosston), Dist. 9A Rep. John Poston (R-Lake Shore) and Dist. 2 Sen. Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids).
The Park Rapids Area School Board on Monday approved a nearly $25 million budget for fiscal year 2019-20. Based on average daily enrollment of 1,647 students and a state funding formula of $6,438 per student, the preliminary budget for the fiscal year starting June 30 projects general fund revenues of $20,215,643 and general fund expenses of $20,239,002. Total budgeted revenues are $24,826,167 and expenses are $24,791,426. Business manager Kent Fritze said that allowing for unforeseeable events, he is "cautiously optimistic that we should have a break-even year."
The public had an opportunity to meet Minnesota-based authors, hear book readings and get copies of their works signed Saturday at the American Legion in Park Rapids.
The Park Rapids City Council on June 11 approved the installation of Ojibwe and English signs welcoming visitors to Depot, Pioneer, Linquist and Red Bridge parks, at the expense of the volunteer Ojibwe Language Project (OLP) committee. A sample of the approved design included the text "Miigwech gii-pi-izhaayeg gakina!" and its translation, "Thank you all for coming!"
The Park Rapids City Council heard a report Tuesday about the search for a city administrator to succeed John McKinney. In March, McKinney resigned effective Aug. 30 after serving as city administrator since September 2012. Council member Tom Conway read a written statement on behalf of the city's personnel committee, noting that the public sector hiring process involves "more regulations in regard to candidate privacy, etc." than in private-sector human resources.