Phelps Mill construction change order approved

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Otter Tail County Human Services Director Deb Sjostrom, Child Foster Care Licensing Specialist Jody Dahlen and Child Foster Care Licensing Supervisor Stephanie Olson shared plans with the county board of commissioners for Child Foster Care recruitment. 

Otter Tail County has new promotional materials for recruitment events and also filmed and produced six new recruitment videos focusing on Child Foster Care. 

Two videos were shown to county board members on Sept. 13, one from the perspective of an adult who was in foster care and the other a perspective as a foster parent. The videos offered a glimpse of the impact foster care can have on children into adulthood as well as the families who stand in the gap

Additional foster homes are always needed, and these videos offer an added perspective for those considering becoming a licensed foster care home. 

The videos are available on the Otter Tail County website through the county’s YouTube channel.

Phelps Mill change order

A motion by County Commissioner Kurt Mortenson of rural Underwood and seconded by Commissioner Dan Bucholz of rural Perham was unanimously carried on Sept. 13 to approve Change Order Number 6 updates to the Phelps Mill Restoration Project.

This action was for window modifications for a total amount of $9,172 as recommended by county Parks and Trails Director Kevin Fellbaum. Phelps Mill repairs, including foundation work, have taken place for several months.

The historic mill was built in 1889, so the Phelps Mill structure is now 133 years old. Located in Maine Township of central Otter Tail County, the mill was designed to produce 60 to 75 barrels of flour per day.

In 1965 Otter Tail County purchased the mill and surrounding land as a recreational site.

County board members, in 2019, approved the purchase of 71.8 acres of land just north of the current Phelps Mill Park. This more than doubles the park from the original 51.2 acres.