OT County awards organic grant

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

The mission of the Office of the State Auditor is to oversee local government finances for Minnesota taxpayers by helping to ensure financial integrity and accountability in local governmental financial activities. 

To that end, finances of Otter Tail County and the other 86 counties in Minnesota are audited on an annual basis.

Through financial, compliance and special audits, the State Auditor oversees and ensures that local government funds are used for the purposes intended by law and that local governments hold themselves to the highest standards of financial accountability.

The State Auditor performs approximately 100 financial and compliance audits per year and has oversight responsibilities for over 3,300 local units of government throughout the state. The office currently maintains five divisions.

Organics grant funding awarded

Otter Tail County Solid Waste Public Information and Education Officer Cedar Walters provided an update on the Organics Grant Funds that were received from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) from 2021 to 2023.

The funds are used to implement the Organics Recycling Program and Backyard Composting Programs. With the completion of those grant dollars, the Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department has been awarded $19,600 in Resilient Communities funds.

The new grants come through Fergus Falls-based West Central Initiative (WCI) to support the continuation of the Organics Recycling Program.

County approves independent contractor

County commissioners, on Aug. 22, were expected to approve an independent contractor to provide expertise and assessment relating to the delivery of probation services in Otter Tail County.

This agreement will likely run from Sept. 1, 2023, through Sept. 1, 2024.

Anticipated areas of work include an initial meeting with a steering committee of key stakeholders to identify certain probation needs in Otter Tail County. In this meeting the scope, processes and rough timelines will be outlined. 

A development and distribution survey will be created in an effort to glean from internal and external members of the criminal justice about what programs are working well and what areas could be improved.

This process will include representatives from law enforcement, the courts, prosecution, defense, detention, human services, victim advocacy and current probation staff.