By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

County board members, on July 12, held a public hearing regarding Riverside Development Group, LLC tax abatement, for the construction of a 60-unit, multi-family, market rate housing in the city of New York Mills.

Otter Tail County Community Development Director Amy Baldwin provided a brief overview of the proposal and noted the project has been well received. 

Due to costs involved, the request is for a 15-year tax abatement from the City of New York Mills, Otter Tail County and School District. If approved, the abatement will start in 2024 and be completed in 2038.

Road, bridge funding plans approved

A motion by County Commissioner Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls and seconded by Commissioner Kurt Mortenson of rural Underwood was unanimously carried to approve a financial transfer for county roads and bridgeas.

This was in the amount of $100,061 from the Capital Improvement Fund to the Road and Bridge Fund. Funding is for previously approved Highway Department capital expenditures.

American Rescue Plan resolution approved

Otter Tail County was allocated $11.4 million of funding through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), previously approved by the U.S. Congress.

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners previously approved the county’s allocation of ARP Act funding to be allocated to the following:

• Housing Investment

• Workforce and Business

• Broadband and Other Infrastructure

• Community Resilience

• Other County Resource and Asset Investment

Lake Koronis tour

County Commissioners Dan Bucholz of rural Perham, Kurt Mortenson of rural Underwood and Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls along with County Administrator Nicole Hansen and the Otter Tail County Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force participated in a bus tour to Lake Koronis near Paynesville, Minnesota.

They viewed the Starry Stonewort invasive species infestation. 

Starry Stonewort is an invasive alga that forms dense mats on the lakebed, sometimes reaching the surface, choking out native plants, disrupting fish habitat and interfering with navigation and recreation. 

The group learned about the ecological and economic impacts of Starry Stonewort and witnessed firsthand the effects of this aquatic invasive species.

Commissioners saw this as a good reminder to be vigilant on aquatic invasive species in Otter Tail County.