Brief personal background, education, career, bio: 

Curt Markgraf

Past Pelican Rapids Police Officer, Local Business owner, and current city council member.

Can you list a couple of the key issues you are considering in your decision to run?

Pelican Rapids is on the cusp of several large projects. The HWY #59 and HWY #108 Road projects, as well as the removal of our city dam. I have decided to again run for city council largely because I would like to see these projects through to completion. We, as the city council, have spent many hours working with several entities involved in the direct planning of these massive undertakings.

There is still much work to be done. I am hopeful that my past performance as a city representative will be rewarded with the ability to continue to serve the residents of Pelican Rapids as a council member.

Are you in favor of a full-time Pelican Rapids Economic Development director? Why or why not?

I am certainly not opposed to creating an economic development director position. That said, I feel that now may not be the best time for the city council to take this action. My reasoning for this is largely because this position comes at a very expensive price tag. I do, however, agree that Pelican Rapids is absolutely in need of this role to be held. Therefore, the City is working on utilizing the services of a firm that will perform the duties of economic development at a fraction of the cost of creating a new position. I feel that it is the most fiscally responsible decision given the cost of the aforementioned projects. Going forward, I do see this position being created in a full-time capacity.

A major highway reconstruction of highways 108 and 59 in 2024 will disrupt business and travel through Pelican Rapids. Can you offer your thoughts on how to assist businesses during the difficult construction period?

It is the goal of this council member to continue to work closely with project coordinators throughout the project to help minimize negative effects on not only the business community but the entire community. In this aspect, I feel that everyone plays a role in this by closely following the construction update meetings. Also, taking part in the public information meetings where everyone has the opportunity to take part in the conversation relating to the project and moving it along as smoothly as possible.

What is more important for our city right now: Building new homes and commercial space, or rehabbing-expanding-better utilizing existing homes and storefronts?

I feel that a mix of both is equally important. One thing I feel strongly about is the need for more single-family housing within the city. I also feel it is very important to look to the comprehensive plan. Many of our fellow city residents work very hard, giving selflessly to create a framework providing the launching pad for Pelican Rapids to set off on a trajectory for success. 

If you received a $1 million grant for Pelican Rapids city to spend any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

At the risk of sounding like I’m deflecting this question, I truly believe that no one knows what the residents of the city need better than the residents themselves. So, I would simply turn to the city comprehensive plan along with a volunteer committee and have them present the findings and express the committee’s wishes to the city council.