Capital improvement plan to not exceed $11.7 million

Photo by Tom Hintgen
Among those addressing county board members on Nov. 14 were Steve Branby, front left, and Chris McConn of the Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department. In back, from left, are Commissioners Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls, Dan Bucholz of Perham, Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids, Kurt Mortenson of rural Underwood and Bob Lahman of Parkers Prairie.

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

The county board of commissioners, on Nov. 14, held a public meeting concerning a proposal to issue general obligation transportation sales tax revenue bonds to finance projects. There was no opposition in person or from county resident emails.

Several sections of county highways are in need of resurfacing or reconstruction. The planned improvements will address identified critical issues and provide for reliable and improved transportation for many years to come.

Proposals for the sale of the bonds will be received at the offices of Ehlers & Associates, Inc., Roseville, Minn. The county board will meet at the Government Services Center, Fergus Falls, at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 28, 2023, for the purpose of considering the proposals and awarding the sale of the bonds.

The total principal amount of expenditures anticipated under this capital improvement plan is not to exceed $11.7 million. This amount represents the maximum principal amount of bonds that may be issued to finance the county’s transportation improvements as well as estimated financing costs.

The overall costs of the transportation improvement projects are anticipated to be $32 million, with $20.5 million coming from existing highway funding sources. Construction will begin in 2024 and the projects are estimated to be substantially complete in 2025.

Other County board business on Nov. 14 

• Chris McConn, county solid waste director, said that a new solid waste transfer station near Henning will require fire suppression standards. The closest municipal water supply is approximately 2 miles away. County staff members prefer utilizing a buried tank and a high-capacity production well. County board members approved a test well analysis. Sold Waste employee Steve Branby reported a grant application for refuse collections in Battle Lake and Henning.

• County Sheriff Chief Deputy Reed Reinbold informed the county board that surplus Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) will be donated to various communities throughout Otter Tail County. AEDs are used to revive people from sudden cardiac arrest.

• Deb Sjostrom, county Human Services director, and staff member Lisa Baumgart updated the county board of Commissioners about the need for an updated emergency general assistance policy. Examples of emergency assistance include issues such as help for the homeless and those facing lodging evictions. Funding is provided by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.