Akeley clean-up days were a mess – Park Rapids Enterprise

Problems with Akeley’s spring cleanup days were discussed at the June 9 council meeting, with council members Billy Krotzer and Nate George absent.

City Maintenance Supervisor Reid Watson said they had to get extra dumpsters because people unloaded so much garbage.

Council member Bobbie Wosika said some people even dumped garbage between the dumpsters when the cleanup site was closed and should have been charged with littering.

The discussion included that one person came to cleanup days with seven loads and a trailer full of stuff from a rental property and others appeared to have been stockpiling their garbage for a long time and bringing it.

Mayor Brian Hitchcock said this is the first year he’s heard of these problems with cleanup days and suggested looking at other options, such as curbside clean up with pickup by a contracted company.

Watson suggested Police Chief Jimmy Hansen ticket people who still haven’t cleaned up their yards in accordance with the city ordinance.

Council member Dan Riggs said residents should take advantage of the transfer station in Park Rapids, where they can bring their garbage and recycling on a regular basis, instead of saving it for cleanup days.

Crosswalk safetyWosika said she is concerned about crosswalks that need to be painted within city limits and are the city’s responsibility. She said often people don’t stop when someone walking their dogs is trying to cross State Hwy. 34, and it is also dangerous for kids trying to cross on their bikes. Discussion included the possibility of a sign rather than painting since the road will be dug up next year during the Hwy. 34 road project.

Members of the senior center brought the suggestion to hire a company to do a deep cleaning of city hall. They cost of a deep cleaning of the facility was quoted at $271, with the senior center suggesting the city contribute $100. Senior center members reported receiving some complaints about issues, such as moldy food in the refrigerator and the need to clean the microwave and bathrooms.

City staff do regular cleaning in the building, which is used for both monthly council meetings and senior center activities. It was suggested that the senior center members notify the city of any issues that need to be addressed as they arise. Watson will clean the ceiling fans.

In other business, the council:

  • Renewed a two-year contract with the Hubbard County attorney’s office. 
  • Renewed a five-year lease for a billboard contract for advertising for $2,500 per year paid for by the municipal liquor store and the city campground.
  • Approved a request from Hansen, who was not at the meeting, for a $500 donation to the Hubbard County Posse to work with him during Paul Bunyan Days.
  • Approved a request of up to $1,200 for portable potties and dumpsters, not to exceed $750 for Paul Bunyan Days. The Paul Bunyan Days committee is also looking into spraying for mosquitoes. 
  • Heard from Peg Davies that dogs are not allowed at Paul Bunyan Days activities unless the dog is a service dog. 
  • Discussed the option of replacing the city’s 2011 riding mower with a newer model at a cost of $9,500. The 2011 mower has 1,000 hours and some mechanical issues.
  • Heard the Akeley Chamber of Commerce will be helping with requesting funds for the Akeley Community Project by sending out a mailing.
  • Heard employee evaluations will be July 13.
  • Heard a request from Neil Elavsky during the public forum that the council put on the next meeting agenda a discussion about replacing the municipal liquor store manager and a bartender as well as forming a committee to address issues at the liquor store. 

The next council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 13.


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