Council to not award bid for Tyler Wohlers Trail until funding becomes available

The Ottertail City Council heard about a plan to change the demo derby site in town.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on April 21, the Ottertail City Council heard from Dave Walden, president of the Ottertail Rod and Gun, about the plan. 

The plans are to make the current site larger, make it more rectangular and use the sand/clay mixture from the old tractor pull area.  Also new block will be added making the track larger. 

Full Arena Promotions help the Rod and Gun each year to put on the activity.  John Jorgenson and Josh Stock of Full Arena Promotions said that a lot of the drivers are staying away from the Ottertail site because of the track. 

Plans are underway to have an “End of the Year Fall Brawl” on Oct. 15 as a fundraiser. 

Bob Schlieman, of Apex Engineering, attended the meeting to find out whether the city would award the bid for the Tyler Wohler’s Memorial trail.  

The city council reviewed costs to date and an email from Bernie Steeves, organizer of the project, showing where they were with fundraising. 

According to their report the group was short approximately $50,000 to reach the $180,347 low bid. The estimated cost of the trail is $255,000, which included $15,000 in contingency.  

The city has paid approximately $34,000 in engineering costs to date. 

City Clerk/Administrator Elaine Hanson also reported that Steeves suggested the city start an account to hold the funds but since the city already has an investment savings fund, those dollars can be placed in that account and money already donated could be deposited along with any other donations. 

After discussion, councilwoman Jan Hill felt it was unfair for the contractor to wait another month to see where the fund-raising would go, this was also voiced by Jessica Grimes.  A motion was made by Hill to not award the bid and to wait to see when funds would come available.

Traci Ryan, Ryan Consulting, economic consultant for the city discussed amending the TIF Home Ownership Assistance Program rules for single family housing to be more in line for the cost of a new home. She also presented information and resolution to create a new development TIF for Auto Fix and NEVO, two new business start-ups in Ottertail.

The city will allow a builder/developer to purchase a Building Big $1 lot once the agreement has been finalized.

In other business, the city adopted its Financial Management Plan, approved a lease for the Drive-Through Coffee Shop, approved a variance for Olson Tire and tabled a conditional use for Kristen Anglum and accepted a quote for a City Shop/maintenance building from Slammer Construction