Maria Pretzer, president of the Park Rapids Library Board, presented a fact sheet about the library’s usage during 2021 and urged the city council on Jan. 25 not to forget about the library.
Pretzer thanked the council for approving a request for funding from the Kitchigami Regional Library System to address issues with the library’s HVAC system, and asked how soon the library can expect to see relief.
Council member Tom Conway, who sits on the Kitchigami board, said he will bring it up at the board’s next meeting, but noted that when he last asked about it, Kitchigami still needed a copy of the council’s Nov. 23 resolution requesting the funds. City Administrator Angel Weasner said she had already sent them the resolution.
According to Pretzer’s fact sheet, the library checked out 49,823 non-electronic items in 2021, a 38% increase on the prior year. It also had 24,341 customer visits; 107,689 CloudLibrary checkouts of e-books and e-audiobooks; 15,127 checkouts on the streaming service Hoopla; 14,222 views on the YouTube channel Literary Mary; and 3,682 views of virtual storytimes on Facebook Live.
In consent items and general business, the council:
- Approved a conditional use permit requested by Fred and Debbie Dally to develop a mini-golf course on approximately two acres of a 13.65-acre parcel they own at the northwest corner of State Hwy. 34 and County Road 4. The permit is conditioned on city approval of the owners’ plans regarding drainage, highway access and signage and installation of a private well and septic system.
- Approved a resolution supporting the city’s authority to impose a 20-year, 0.5% local sales tax to fund certain street improvements. Weasner said documentation of the regional significance of these projects, to be submitted with the resolution to the state legislature by Jan. 31, was still undergoing legal review.
- Authorized city officials to execute fire contracts with the Hubbard County townships of Arago, Clay, Clover, Henrietta, Hubbard, Lake Emma, Straight River and Todd, and the Becker County townships of Savannah and Two Inlets.
- Ratified the appointment of fire department officers, including Joe Carlson as fire chief, Ben Cumber as first assistant chief, Bob Meier as second assistant chief, Logan Hanisch as president, Zach Deshayes as vice president, Travis Little as secretary, Kyle Little as treasurer and safety officer, Justin Dennis as assistant secretary-treasurer and Matt Rousu as training officer. Weasner said Carlson will be sworn in at the council’s next meeting.
- Reappointed Bruce Johnson to the parks and beautification board (a three-year term) and the city’s planning commission (a four-year term).
- Appointed Klein Insurance as the city’s insurance agent for the next three years. The city’s previous agent was Dick Bradow with Avenson Insurance, who retired and sold the agency to Klein in July. The staff memo in the council’s packet says two agencies responded to the city’s request for proposals and staff recommended selecting Klein.
- Paid Hawkins Inc. $2,898 for the purchase of water treatment chemicals.
- Paid Iron Oakes Fence LLC $2,202 for part of the cost of installing a fence at the softball fields in December 2021. According to the staff memo, previous city staff agreed to spend $5,000 in 2021 for agri-lime and fencing upgrades at the softball fields and the amount paid reflects the balance after a $2,798 expenditure for agri-lime. The memo says the remaining $298 of the fencing invoice will be the responsibility of the Headwaters Softball Association and the city has budgeted no money for them in 2022.
- Acknowledged donations to the city totaling $405 received Jan. 12-13.
- Approved payables totaling $48,450 and prepaids totaling $91,477.
- Held a closed session about a personnel matter.
The city council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8 at city hall.