By Chad Koenen


One of Ottertail’s last remaining gravel roads could soon be getting a big face-lift.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday night, the Ottertail City Council moved forward with a preliminary engineering report and a report on improvement on Wallenberg Drive. The move comes one month after hearing overwhelming support from several residents on Wallenberg Drive to move forward with laying down a bituminous surface on the otherwise gravel road. 

Bob Schliemann, of Apex Engineering, said the reports will look at Wallenberg Drive from South Maple Avenue to a point approximately 1,300 feet southwest of South Maple Drive. A portion of the project can be assessed to property owners. The estimated cost of laying bituminous down and making the road 22-feet wide was not known at the time of the meeting.

The reports are just the first steps to moving forward with the project and does not necessarily mean the project will move forward depending upon costs and overall scope. 

In other news

• Acknowledged a donation of 500 brochures from the Ottertail Convention and Tourism Board and 10 picnic tables from the Ottertail Business and Community Association. 

• Approved a rental agreement with Full Arena Promotions, LLC out of Battle Lake for October 14 for the demo derby site. 

• Heard an update from Schliemann concerning the Maple Ave. South and alley north of the Ottertail Community Center, as well as the water tower improvements. Schliemann said the Maple Ave. South and alley north of the community center is substantially completed and there was not much to update from the previous month concerning the improvements at the water tower. 

• Approved an ordinance regarding the use of cannabis in public spaces. The ordinance restricts the use of cannabis in public places and the product cannot be smoked in a place where it can be inhaled by a minor. A public place is defined as any place, property or premises dedicated to public use, owned by the city, occupied by the city as a lessee, or occupied by the city as a street by reason of an easement, including, but not limited to streets, parks or parking lots. 

• Approved installing between 3-4 no smoking signs in the community park. There is no smoking allowed in the city park, but city staff and council members said they have seen quite a few people smoking in the park this summer.