Drainage options to be explored for Thalmann’s Road

By Chad Koenen


Cash and investment balances in Ottertail’s general fund grew by approximately $280,000 last year, according to the City of Ottertail’s 2021 year-end audit. In fact, the city’s fire, loan pool, general obligation bond and water accounts all grew last year. 

The audit was presented by auditor Brian Kane during last week’s regularly scheduled city council meet. 

The audit also found that Ottertail’s capital projects fund decreased last year after the city completed work at the Happy Acres housing development. In all, the city’s cash and investment balances were up by nearly $100,000.

The city’s revenue also increased slightly last year by about $6,000 to a total of $884,458. The audit also found that expenditures decreased dramatically in 2020 by about $121,000 to just $772,701. The biggest decrease in expenditures came in general government and public safety. 

In other news

• Heard a concern from Aaron Menze about ongoing curb stop fees that have been assessed to his property and others in the community. Menze said when curb stops were put in the community in 2002, property owners could pay $2,000 for the curb stop or pay a monthly fee which has been raised to approximately $30 per month. Over the past 20 years he said he has paid well over the $2,000 initial fee. The city council said it has asked Ehlers to complete a water study and will hold a special meeting to address the concerns that have been addressed. 

• Approved looking into installing a culvert to help with water flow near Thalmann’s Road and Hilltop Road. High water has reportedly washed out part of the road this spring and city engineer Bob Schlieman suggested the city complete a study to look into potential solutions to improve drainage in the area. 

• Officially swore in Amanda Thorson as city clerk/treasurer and Nessa Burlingame as deputy clerk. 

• Denied a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Christine Angulum to convert her commercial property into residential. There were concerns raised by the city’s insurance company regarding the CUP. 

• Discussed a solar ordinance after hearing a request by Tom Lavelle to potentially install a small solar energy system at his property in Ottertail. 

• Discussed closing the office on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s at 3 p.m. to help training for the new office staff. The office will remain open until 4:30 p.m. on Monday’s and Thursday’s as regularly scheduled.