By Jenna Esala


A public hearing regarding a new plumbing business in Ottertail opened up the regularly scheduled October meeting. 

The hearing discussed modifying an existing TIF district to allow for Hume Plumbing to apply for assistance. 

Tracy Ryan, Economic Development Consultant, was present to explain the situation, noting that this resolution is not approving assistance, but approving a tool that allows for assistance. A motion was made and carried to approve the modification of the TIF district to allow for Hume Plumbing to be included. 

Also discussed at the October meeting was the dollar lots for sale by the city. Ryan was also present to discuss this topic and shared that there has been interest from people who want to buy one of the lots, but not use it as their primary residence. She noted that the city currently has approximately $10,000 invested in each lot. 

Ryan recommended that the city open these lots up to those who would be building a secondary residence. She also recommended that the city list each lot for $5,000 to $10,000, noting that assessment costs would also need to be paid by the buyer, which is approximately $20,000 per lot. The council added this topic to the agenda of their next work session.

Fire Chief Joe Ahlfs shared the quotes that have been collected for new equipment, including Mustang Ice Commander suits, grain auger and ATI and a larger hose to replace the current one. He noted that the department is also wishing to purchase an inflatable rescue boat with a motor. 

Ahlfs reminded the council that approximately $40,000 came in from the Ottertail Lions earlier this year for dry suits so there are funds available for that along with the purchase of the boat and motor. The council strongly expressed the need for an inflatable rescue boat for this  area in particular. A motion was made and approved to purchase the hoses, dry suits, auger and boat with Yamaha motor.

The final presentation of the meeting was provided by Bob Schlieman of Apex Engineering. 

Schlieman presented a draft of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Included in the CIP is maintenance to the trail along Trunk Highway 78 and 108, maintenance for Donalds Road, Lynn Road, Shores Road and Three Lakes Road, grade raise and reconstruction of Donalds Road and Three Lakes Road, paving of Lueders Road, reconstruction of Maple Avenue South and 1st Street South and the alley of Block 3 between 1st Street South and Trunk Highway 108.

Schlieman noted that included in the CIP was Lueders Road improvements, totaling $500,600 in estimated costs and according to city ordinance, 70 percent of that cost is assessable. This particular project was noted by the council as being of the lowest priority of those listed.

On the opposite end of things, the council noted a top priority was to reconstruct the alley of Block 3 between 1st Street South and Trunk Highway 108. The council also discussed separating Maple Ave from 1st Street South in regards to reconstructing improvements. A motion was made and carried to proceed with the alley and Maple Ave for the moment as they were identified as those in most need of improvement. Further discussion will be held on the remaining areas of improvement at the next work session.

In other news

• The regular Ottertail Council meeting for November moved to Thursday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

• The basketball court relocation was discussed, noting that prep work has begun with the hope to pour concrete within a week of the October council meeting. The size of the court is 36’x36’.

• In regards to the Tyler Wohlers Trail, a motion was made and carried to allow for Schlieman to work on submitting the permit to MnDOT again. This does not mean that they have to move forward with the trail, but allows for that option to be available when funds and plans are fully ready. Schlieman noted that this process could take up to nine months.

• A work session for the council was scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 4:30 p.m.

• A resolution for the new water rate schedule was reviewed and passed.

• The updated lease agreement for the city storage shed was reviewed and approved.

• A meeting to canvas the election results was scheduled for November 14 at 10 a.m.