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  • The Pilot Independent

    Walker Library receives another $50K donation; city council discusses July 4 parade route

    By by Dean Morrill Editor,


    The Dale and Harriet Jones Walker Library has received another sizeable donation.

    A $50,000 donation from Dave Cochran was recognized during the June 3 Walker City Council meeting. The council also discussed the Fourth of July parade route and the BassMaster Fishing Event set for Aug. 20-24.

    The parade will be held on Michigan Avenue as it was last year, but the start time is still dependent on what the Walker Lions Club, which sponsors the parade, decides.

    During her presentation, Kristin Holly of Walker Bay Live asked the council if the July 4 celebration could be enhanced with live music. Holly said this would be sponsored by Walker Bay Live and thinks this is good for everybody.

    Holly will work with city staff on live music details.

    The main discussion on the BassMaster Tournament was closing Fifth Street from Railroad Avenue down to City Dock, and allowing food trucks to park on public streets.

    “If they have a good time, they’re going to want to come back,” said Cindy Wannarka, the executive director for the Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce. She added that since this event is bigger than Ethnic Fest, the restaurants can’t handle the 2,000 to 5,000 people expected to attend.

    The council said food trucks could not be allowed because a city ordinance prevents them from selling food on city streets. Wannarka said the committee with check with Leer Title and The Chase to see if the food trucks could park on their property.

    City Administrator Hope Fairchild announced there is an open seat on the Park Advisory Board for a Shingobee Township resident. Those interested can contact her at City Hall.

    In other city business, the council:

    Approved quote of 23,050 from Swanson Painting, LLC, to repair and paint the exterior and interior of City Hall, and the exterior of Walker Bay Spirits. Swanson Painting was the lowest of three bids submitted.

    Approved Caribbean Fusion, LLC, a food truck, to operate once a month between June and August at Green Scene at 617 Michigan Avenue West with certain conditions.

    Discussed request from the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce regarding, a data provider. The cost to have this service is $10,000 annually, which would be split among the Chamber, Leech Lake Tourism Bureau and City of Walker possibly starting in 2025. This service would be helpful for marketing purposes.

    Discussed donation request from Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce of $1,000 for Ethnic Fest with no motion made in support. Since the request was not a budgeted item, the council said they weren’t going to support it this year but would in 2025, if it was added to the budget.

    Approved the solicitor/peddler license application from Hatch Burrito Co.,a food truck to operate at Walker Marina at 200 Lakeside Drive with the condition that include it can’t operate more than 21 days annually in one location.

    Approved resolution for an interim use permit for the renewal of a short-term private vacation home rental at 206 Prospect Place East with the stated findings of fact and conditions.

    Approved lot split at 205 Tianna Drive to create a north and a south tract to place a home on the south tract in the future.

    Approved the audio/visual proposed of $41,386.74 from Jim’s Electric for the Walker Library conference room and council chambers audio/visual equipment and installation.

    Approved park permit application for Edward Jones Summer Olympics June 29 from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

    Approved street closure of Second Street from Railroad Avenue to Cleveland Boulevard for second Leech Lake Area Block Party starting at 3 p.m. Aug. 2 until 5 p.m. Aug. 3.

    Approved street closures for Ethnic Fest on Sept. 14.

    Approved curb replacement at Fifth Street South and City Park picnic table and memorial bench pads for $8,900 from Hawk Construction.

    Approved proposal from Downare Roofing and Construction for $9,050 for clinic roof repair and associated building permit costs.

    Consent agenda items that came before the council were:

    Approved regular meeting minutes of May 6.

    Approved regular meeting minutes of May 16.

    Reviewed Planning Commission Board of Adjustments meeting minutes of May 20.

    Reviewed April Zoning Administrator report.

    Approved Public Works Committee regular meeting minutes of May 21.

    Reviewed Park Advisory Board regular meeting minutes of May 28.

    Reviewed Library Advisory Board regular meeting minutes of May 14.

    Reviewed Walker Police Department Monthly Report.

    Approved Cash Balance Report dated April 30.

    Approved Library Advisory Board regular meeting minutes of April 9.

    Approved Park Advisory Board regular meeting minutes of April 23.

    Approved Planning Commission Board of Adjustments meeting minutes of April 29.

    Approved payment of $311,756.95 to Hy-Tec Construction for professional services and materials within the Walker Public Library construction project through April 30.

    Approved payment of $2,512 to Dakota Business Solutions for annual maintenance agreement for the paper folding machine and postage machine.

    Approved payment of $10,100 to Miller McDonald for final payment for audit services for the year-ended Dec. 31.

    Approved payment of $4,623.75 to American Engineering Testing for Northwest Area Project materials testing.

    Approved application for payment No. 8 in the amount of $354,184.61 to R.L. Larson Excavating, Inc. for Northwest Area Project Construction professional services and materials through May 24.

    Approved payment of $5,950 for Walker City Park new pickleball/tennis court materials and grading to Tyler’s Backhoe Service.

    Reviewed Minnesota Power Rate Increase Notice to Counties and Municipalities.

    Approved letter of resignation from contracted City Attorney John Valen.

    Approved RFP for contracted city attorney services.

    Approved resignation of Public Works Employee Jay Carroll, effective immediately.

    Approved advertising for the open position of full-time Public Works employee with a starting wage of $23.50 an hour.

    Approved letter of resignation from School Resource Officer Chase Reed as of May 31.

    Approved advertising for the open position of full-time School Resource Officer/Patrol Officer at a wage of $30 an hour, depending on experience and training.

    Approved Resolution to appoint election judges for the Aug. 6 Primary Election and the Nov. 5 General Election.

    Accepted donations that include $2,500 from Walker Legion Club pull tabs for Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce and $2,500 from Mark Anderson for in-kind labor and equipment for tennis and pickleball courts resurfacing in City Park.

    Approved donating the American Legion Pull Tab funds of $2,500 to the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

    Approved Park Bench Donation Application in memory of Jeff Woodruff near the boat launch.

    Mayor Jerecho Worth announced that city offices and DMV will be closed June 19 in observance of Juneteenth holiday.

    The next council meeting July 1 at 6 p.m.

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