The Pelican Rapids City Hall meeting chambers have been revised to be more “citizen friendly,” moving the audience chairs to a north-south configuration. Work remains to adapt and improve the audio-visual technology in the new meeting set-up.
Among the first to address the city council with the new meeting room configuration, July 13, was State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, pictured here at the podium—giving the council an update on the 2021 state legislative session.

Transportation funding was one of the “success stories” of the 2021 Minnesota State Legislative session. 

That was the report from Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, who paid a visit at the Pelican Rapids City Council meeting July 13. 

“There’s a lot of funding for local roads and bridges,” said the Alexandria Republican State Senator. “Things are going well with infrastructure.”

The other good news is a surplus of some $1.5 billion, despite the pandemic, said Ingebrigtsen. Republicans resisted tax increases, in light of the surplus, he noted. 

The COVID pandemic also sparked a debate over Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s use of emergency powers. 

As Ingebrigtsen explained it, the Republicans are aiming at legislation that will limit emergency powers to only 30 days. Beyond that, it will require majority votes in both the state House and Senate, said Ingebrigtsen. 

For the 2022 session, Ingebrigtsen predicts a “robust” bonding bill. Pelican Rapids continues to lobby for bonding money for the city swimming pool project. Ingebrigtsen said he was optimistic that there may be dollars for Pelican next year. 

As a retired cop and sheriff, Ingebrigtsen has taken a special interest in public safety—and the rise in crime, especially in the Twin Cities metro area. 

In the aftermath of the George Floyd death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, Ingebrigtsen said he in no way condones “the horrible incident”—but he is also concerned about legislation that “takes away the tools” needed for law enforcement to do its job. 

“I know generally what cops are up against,” said Ingebrigtsen.  He said there are “means to take care of bad cops.” 

Clean water legislation will provide funding for rural septic system upgrading, which Ingebrigtsen said was important to his lake area Senate district.