County approves lake area projects

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

The former Fergus Falls newspaper building on the east side of Fergus Falls near Minnesota Motor Company on Pebble Lake Road continues to be occupied, temporarily, by county employees who work for the Motor Vehicle and Land and Resource departments.

This is the temporary location while remodeling the Motor Vehicle and Land and Resource areas continue at the Government Services Center (GSC) on the northwest side of Fergus Falls near the former Regional Treatment Center (RTC).

The improvements at GSC will enhance the county’s ability to serve the residents of Otter Tail County. Work completion is estimated as late February 2023.

County board approves

lake area projects

The County Board of Commissioners, on Jan. 10, approved two preliminary plats and amending one conditional use permit. 

The board followed the recommendations of the County Planning Commission which met previously. The planning commission considers projects located in shoreland and non-shoreland areas for conditional use permits.

Reviewing the work projects to the county board was County Land and Resource Management Director Chris LeClair. He said that two of the three recommendations for approval came with conditions that septic areas are protected/fenced off.

The locations of the three projects are at Pelican Lake, northeast of Pelican Rapids; lots near the Pelican River in Dunn Township northeast of Pelican Rapids and Bass Harbor Road, east of Pelican Rapids.

Solid waste projects

The county Solid Waste Department has been working with a consultant on the conceptual design of a new transfer station building at the Henning location. The proposal is based on commencing detailed design in January and bidding the work in the spring of 2023.

Another project involves plans for the ash landfill and demolition landfill at the Northeast Facility near the town of Ottertail. A proposed alternative cover system is part of the process.

Bridge replacements

County Engineer Charles Grotte addressed the county board on Jan. 10 and outlined plans for bridge replacements in the New York Mills/Bluffton area of eastern Otter Tail County.

The locations are Leaf River/Mill Creek in Bluffton Township and other bridge projects along Highway 19 and Highway 56. Final work should be completed in 2024.

State skills training

County Community Development Director Amy Baldwin, along with Project Manager Sarah Schake, provided the county board with information on the leadership training opportunity through M-State Workforce Development Solutions.

Campus locations are in Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes and Wadena. 

The leadership development sessions are designed for individuals with any level of experience who are looking to build their leadership skills and are geared toward those who provide direct leadership to others in either a project, functional or supervisory capacity. 

Baldwin noted that these sessions are one way for Otter Tail County to support the workforce to ensure that organizations can build strong leadership. For more information contact Baldwin at 218-998-8050.