Remodeling project takes shape in OTC

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

County Physical Plant Manager Terry Hoff gave an update to county commissioners in early January on the progress of the remodel projects currently underway at the Otter Tail County Courthouse, south of downtown Fergus Falls, and the Government Services Center (GSC) near the RTC campus in northwest Fergus Falls.

Completion at both locations, in late February 2023, is dependent on the arrival of  supplies and materials. Tentative dates are set for moving and the public will be notified as that will impact some services. 

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 of the Motor Vehicle and Land and Resource areas continue at the Government Services Center (GSC) on the northwest side of Fergus Falls.

Henning transfer station

agreement finalized

Approved by county commissioners was $494,200 for a new transfer station building at the Henning location. This is an agreement between Otter Tail County Solid Waste and Foth Infrastructure & Environment based in DePere, Wisconsin.

Part of the estimated cost is to prepare Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) permit modifications for the new transfer station as well as prepare necessary drawings and documentation for a vertical expansion at the construction and demolition landfill.

Broadband agreement

The five-person county board of commissioners authorized payment to Park Region/Otter Tail Telcom for border-to-border broadband project expenses to allow for continued project advancement. 

A $2.0 million match was authorized in July of 2022 and this payment is part of that match. 

The county board previously passed a resolution authorizing the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds to leverage state grants supporting local broadband providers. This Park Region/Otter Tail Telcom project targets a geographical area of Otter Tail County that currently has limited broadband infrastructure. 

The balance of the $8.4 million project will be funded by Park Region and a state grant award.