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Ottertail bike path dedication set: Summer Concert Series cancelled

As the weather continues to warm up, more and more people are taking their first walk, run, or bicycle ride down Ottertail’s new bike path.

The path, which was completed last fall, serves as a connection between the “old town” portion of Ottertail City and the newer area along Highway 78.

At the May 16 regular meeting of the Ottertail City Council, councilors approved a motion to fund a ribbon-cutting event for the city’s new walking/bike path. The budget for the event was estimated at $300.

“We will meet at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 29,” reported Ottertail City Clerk/Treasurer Elaine Hanson.

People are encouraged to park in the First National Bank parking lot. The actual ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication of the path will take place at the otter statue on that corner.

Ottertail Mayor Myron Lueders will give a brief speech, along with a few other people who’ve been instrumental in the bike path process. Everyone in attendance will then be handed a water bottle and a granola bar and sent down the path for the dedication event.

Historical Society requests donation

Director of the Otter Tail County Historical Society Chris Schuelke was present at the May 16 council meeting to request a contribution from the city.

“The Otter Tail County Historical Society’s funding comes from a variety of sources, with 20-25 percent of our annual funding coming from local government sources,” Schuelke explained.

“We would appreciate whatever support the city can provide us with.”

He talked about how the mission of the Otter Tail County Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history and heritage of Otter Tail County. The society is focused on going out into the county to places such as schools, nursing homes, and organizations, in addition to their exhibit gallery and genealogy researchlibrary available in Fergus Falls.

Schuelke also updated the council on the St. Paul House, which is located in Ottertail on Highway 78. He said the house is not eligible to be included on the National Register of Historic Places due to various updates made to the structure over the years. He advised that the house would need to be restored to its original state in order to even be considered for eligibility.

The council approved a donation of $500 to the Otter Tail County Historical Society.

Other business

-It was reported that the Ottertail Summer Concert Series has been cancelled. No details were given as to why or whether it will be up for consideration again next year.

-Concerns were brought up about dogs running loose, brush piles sitting for years, and garbage piling up on properties in the Park Circle area. Letters were recently sent out to the landlords and renters reminding them of Ottertail’s upcoming Clean-up Days and the city’s ordinances regarding dogs running lose.

-The city of Ottertail acknowledged donations of $4,500 from Amor Township for Ottertail Clean-up Days; $2,500 from the Ottertail Firemen’s Relief Association for a six-wheeler for the Ottertail Fire Department; and $5,231 from the Ottertail Lions Club for pavers at the otter statue.

-A public hearing was held at the beginning of the meeting to discuss a variance request made by Mike and LaVonne Middendorf.

“They’re asking for a reduction in the setback on Donald Lake from 100 to 75 feet,” Hanson reported. The request for a variance was denied.

-A motion was approved to accept the membership of Eric Lilly to the Ottertail Fire Department.

Heidi Kratzke, Guest Contributor