City Glean: Detroit Lakes City Council May Meeting

City Glean: Detroit Lakes City Council May Meeting Click to Enlarge

DETROIT LAKES, MN—Retiring director of the Becker County Food Pantry, Jack Berenz was recognized by the City of Detroit Lakes for his 20 years of service volunteering and managing the local food shelf. Mayor Matt Brenk read a proclamation at Tuesday night’s meeting. Berenz introduced the new director Brad Carlson who will take over the position after the school year ends. He teaches at the Detroit Lakes Alternative Learning Center.

DL Alum Offered PD Position

A Detroit Lakes native has been offered the new police officer position with Detroit Lakes Police Department. Last night, the City Council accepted the recommendation from the Public Safety Committee to appoint Jason Schnathorst to the new position. Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd says Schnathorst comes to Detroit Lakes with nearly 20 years experience on the East Grand Forks Police Department. He and his wife have three kids, two in college and a 14 year old son. Schnathorst will begin with the DLPD at the end of May and be sworn in at the June council meeting. The City Council approved the hiring of an additional officer for the DLPD at the end of last year with the approval of the budget and tax levy. The new position increases the roster of full time officers to 15.

DMRA Update

It was somewhat of a bittersweet winter with “difficult conditions” for the third season of operation at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area. Executive Director Jeff Staley updated the Detroit Lakes City Council Tuesday with figures on the third ski season at DMRA. Staley said they lost some crucial days not being able to open on Thanksgiving weekend due to the weather. He said they were open 65 days opposed to 70 last year. Staley says they missed their projected goal by not opening on time. He said the ski area, namely the season pass purchases, took a hit and down from last year by 1250 passes. Staley said the day ticket purchases fared better with sales only down 235 passes. Tubing was an entirely different story. Staley indicated the tubing business boomed with an increase of nearly 7700 more visits than last year for a total of 12,724 tubing visits. Staley says by season end, because of the increased tubing visits, the overall number of visits increased by 6,197 from last year ending with 40,162 visits for the winter season. Some other season highlights Staley presented included a record broken for single day visits on December 31st with 2,120 visits. That broke last year's record of just over 1800 visits on January 2nd of 2016. Staley also pointed out some of the challenges DMRA faces in the coming year. Factors other than Mother Nature. He said they are looking at about a 6% increase in payroll and a 25% increase in their electric utility rates. The mountain is serviced by Wild Rice Electric. The "off season" of the recreation area has begun. Staley says the cross country trails are now open and they expect an uptick in visits during the 128-day spring, summer and fall mountain bike season that runs through October and includes 88 days of bike rental, 54 days of lift operation. Lifts will be open on the gravity course on the major summer holidays: Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day.

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