Photo by Tom Hintgen
Housing was again addressed Oct. 10 during a meeting of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners at the county Government Services Center in northwest Fergus Falls.

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Otter Tail County has an initiative in place called The Big Build to encourage new housing investment. Included in the initiative is a program to spur the construction of single and two-family homes. 

The goal of the program is to increase the tax base through a rebate of property taxes on newly constructed homes and inspire people to replace dilapidated housing structures within the county.

“The need to expand housing opportunities is critical in addressing our county’s workforce needs,” says Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids, chairperson of the five-member Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners. “It is critical to the success of the local economy to bring new residents to Otter Tail County to fill workforce shortages, and to do so there must be a greater supply of available housing.”

The Big Build is the county’s housing growth initiative to build, preserve or rehabilitate 5,000 housing units by 2025.

Otter Tail County’s goal for the tax rebate program is to open up existing home stock to new home buyers. 

The program has been successful in communities such as Battle Lake, Fergus Falls, Henning, New York Mills, Ottertail, Parkers Prairie, Pelican Rapids, Perham and Vergas. Also benefitting from this program are many townships and rural areas throughout Otter Tail County.

For more information and how to apply, do an online search of Otter Tail County, The Big Build. Other housing resources are also available, including down payment assistance for those looking to purchase a home.

More information can also be obtained by contacting Community Development Director Amy Baldwin at (218) 998-8050. Her email is