By Jenna Baker


The City of Ottertail officially has a new daycare facility. At the regularly scheduled February meeting, the council approved an Interim Use Permit (IUP) for Little Otters Daycare, owned and operated by Hannah Augustus at 201 Lake Avenue South.

The IUP was required in order to run a commercial business in a residentially-zoned location. Per the passed resolution and staff recommendation, various conditions are in place with the permit. 

These conditions include: follow-up within two years for potential impact to the residential area prior to renewal of the IUP, limiting signage to six square feet and that the IUP would be terminated should the property change ownership. 

Upon reviewing the conditions, the council unanimously approved the IUP and welcomed Augustus and Little Otters Daycare to Ottertail. 

Also at the February meeting, the council approved the final re-platting of Happy Acres, which created nine lots and also now allows for the city to continue to move forward with developing the area. Bob Schlieman of Apex Engineering was in attendance to present a Preliminary Engineering Report to add a paved street, watermain and water services to the development. 

Schlieman explained that the cost of the project would be divided and assessed 100 percent to the property owners.Total estimated cost for the project is $207,100, but Schlieman did note that it is expected for the cost of materials to rise. 

After some discussion, the council passed an amended resolution to also create “Parcel C,” an additional lot that would be included in the project. Adding the lot would then lower the cost assessed to each property should the report be approved after a public hearing. 

Additionally, the preliminary report states that “Parcel B,” which is where the United Methodist Church is, would not be assessed for watermain and water services, just for the cost of the paved street. 

Councilmember Judah Burlingame expressed interest in redistributing the assessed cost to not include the church, an idea that will be discussed at the public hearing. 

A public hearing will be held regarding these proposed improvements on March 18 at 5:30 p.m., just prior to the regularly scheduled March meeting. 

In other news

• Fire Chief Stuart Fleischauer informed the council that the department’s new ranger with tracks has been received. Later in the meeting, the council approved a motion to place the old ranger for sale and to advertise for sealed bids. The starting bid for the 2007 Polaris is $4,000. Bids can be sent to the city up to one hour prior to the council meeting on March 18.

• The council passed a resolution to approve the Household Hazardous Waste Collection to be held this year on Friday, June 11.

• Painting the water tower in Ottertail was also discussed. Schlieman informed the council that he has reached out to a contractor to ensure the project is scheduled and completed per the timeline the city has for the project. He estimated that the cost of the project would be $250,000 to $300,000, noting that the more detailed the design, the higher the cost. Schlieman also explained that with the improvements made in sealing coats, the artwork for the painted tower would last for approximately 25-30 years. The council and city staff will be brainstorming ways to come up with a design.