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The Regional Report: Emily city beach project in doubt

The threat of additional flooding or water receding raised doubts during the mid-April city council meeting over whether investing in a public city beach at that location was wise.

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A future city beach project in Emily is now under question as the Emily City Council grapples with the impact of a recent flooding event, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported May 12.

The planned beach, which if the project moves forward would be placed on formerly tax-forfeited property along Little Emily Lake, is under consideration for grant funding through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Outdoor Recreation Grant program. But when a beaver dam broke loose in the fall of 2019, it caused a washout on a nearby road and a significant amount of water transferred from nearby Papoose Lake into Little Emily.

The threat of additional flooding or water receding raised doubts during the mid-April city council meeting over whether investing in a public city beach at that location was wise. The council agreed to withdraw a motion to hire a surveying company to prepare materials for a conditional use permit for the beach in favor of further consideration of the project. A joint meeting with the Park Commission to discuss the feasibility was planned.

Aitkin

Community feedback on proposed changes to Aitkin City Park prompted the Aitkin City Council to pull back from plans to raze a decade-old skate park in favor of three pickleball courts and an “architect-designed community space,” the Aitkin Independent Age reported May 5.

The city instead will poll the public about what amenities the city park will have through a survey, which will be posted at aitkincommunitypark.org once available.

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Council member Amanda Lowe told the Age eliminating the skate park wasn’t actually part of the plan and appeared to be part of a misunderstanding. Instead, the skate park would’ve been relocated under the initial plan.

The community space would include a warming house with concessions and would be reflective of similar spaces on the Iron Range funded by the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation. Recent grants awarded to the city focus on providing activities for older adults, and the older demographics of the city of Aitkin mean it could utilize other grant opportunities as well.

Pequot Lakes

More than 12 miles of fiber to improve broadband availability in the city of Pequot Lakes are planned for this year, the Echo Journal reported May 12.

The broadband internet to be installed by TDS Telecom would become available to another 1,080 service addresses in the city. TDS expects to install about 60 miles of fiber between Cass and Crow Wing counties by the end of the summer, including 100-megabyte service in Breezy Point, Jenkins, Pine River, Backus and Hackensack.

Some COVID-19 relief funds received by the Pequot Lakes School District will go toward employee stipends, the Echo Journal reported Wednesday, May 19.

The Pequot Lakes School Board agreed to provide $750 stipends to all active staff members of the district for their efforts during the pandemic as essential employees. This includes most school employees with the exception of substitute employees who worked fewer than 300 hours during the school year and a subset of other employees designated as “Schedule C.”

“This is a gesture of appreciation for the essential employee work that they’ve been doing for the last 15 months,” Superintendent Chris Lindholm said during the Monday meeting.

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Pine River

The Pine River Chamber of Commerce is asking the public to help design a logo, the Echo Journal reported May 12.

The logo design contest will run until June 1 and is open to anyone interested, including professionals, hobbyists and design students. Winners will receive a $100 chamber gift certificate usable at chamber businesses. The logo will be used for chamber merchandise.

Entries can be sent to pinerivercofc@yahoo.com .

— Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com . Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at facebook.com/dispatchchelsey .
Chelsey Perkins is the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch. A lakes area native, Perkins joined the Dispatch staff in 2014. She is the Crow Wing County government beat reporter and the producer and primary host of the "Brainerd Dispatch Minute" podcast.
Reach her at chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com or at 218-855-5874 and find @DispatchChelsey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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