The Regional Report: Celebration to cut the ribbon on Deerwood splash pad

The city of Deerwood will celebrate its splash pad Friday, July 19. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch file photo


After a decade with no facilities to show horses at the Aitkin County Fair, the year’s rendition will feature a new bright red barn for that purpose, the Aitkin Independent Age reported Wednesday, July 10. The building was erected in September and since then, volunteers have finished electrical work, installed woodwork and retractable stalls.


K-9 Ragnar and his partner Crosby Officer Mike Davis graduated from their initial K-9 training, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported July 3. This marks the first time in more than a decade the Crosby Police Department has operated a K-9 unit, and it’s paid for by fund seizures through investigations, the arrest and prosecution of narcotics dealers and traffickers, grants and community donations.


The Crosslake City Council agreed to issue $3.815 million in capital improvement bonds to construct a new city hall and make renovations to the old one for fire department use, the Echo Journal reported Thursday, July 11. The new city hall is expected to cost $3.4 million and will be located at the corner of County Highway 66 and Daggett Bay Road. The renovation project is projected to cost $1.3 million. Costs beyond what the bonds cover will be paid for from city reserves.

Crow Wing County will no longer administer planning and zoning services for the city of Crosslake, the Echo Journal reported Thursday, July 11. In a letter, County Administrator Tim Houle wrote there wasn’t acrimony or malice in the cancellation, but the county needed all hands on deck. He added the county would rotate field staff two days a week in Crosslake to complete site visits and issue permits through Oct. 31.



A ribbon-cutting will take place for the city of Deerwood’s new splash pad 10 a.m. Friday, July 19.

Years in the making, the splash pad opened to the public for the Fourth of July weekend. Mayor Mike Aulie said next week’s celebration will recognize a decade of fundraising efforts amounting to $250,000 to install the playground, park pavilion and now splash pad at the park behind the Deerwood Auditorium. Of those funds, about $150,000 went toward the splash pad. No taxpayer dollars were used for the amenities.

The splash pad will run 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during warmer weather, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported July 3, and will run on four-minute cycles. Drinking water is also available at the park.


Thirty new ballot counters will be headed to Morrison County as part of an upgrade to its voting equipment, the Morrison County Record reported June 30. Officials will use a state grant awarded in 2017 toward the purchase, which is expected to cost $173,833. The machines will replace those that are 12 years old.


The lights may be mostly out at Motley City Hall beginning next month, the Morrison County Record reported June 30. With City Clerk Lacey Smieja scheduled to take 12 weeks of leave in August and the other administrative staff member Darci McGillivray giving a notice of resignation to work for another city, there’s no one left to staff the front desk during city hall’s typical hours. Smieja told Motley City Council members McGillivray agreed to work up to 10 hours a week on evenings and weekends, with a firm time of 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays so city hall can be open to the public those days. Otherwise, city officials said they did not have enough time to hire someone and train them in while Smieja is on leave. After discussion, they agreed to hire a temporary worker provided with a “cheat sheet” for up to 21 hours, three days a week.

-- Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at

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