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Ottertail streets in need of upgrades

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The condition of Ottertail streets was discussed in depth at the August 2 meeting of the Ottertail City Council.

Over the past few years, the city has been looking into making some repairs on numerous roads.

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Ottertail Maintenance Coordinator Lee Sherman said he'd like to see the city move forward with some seal coating work yet this fall. Seal coating adds a liquid asphalt and crushed rock layer to extend the life of paved roads. The city is constantly working to patch holes as they develop in roads, he said, but some more extensive road repair work is now needed throughout the city.

"Maybe we're at that threshold now where we need to start planning to replace some roads," Sherman said, referencing some of the roads in the older part of Ottertail. Roads that are in better shape will only require some seal coating to protect the surface of the road. In the future, the city may also look at paving some of the gravel roads.

The city is currently planning to overlay Three Lakes Retreat. The road needs a 1-inch application over what is already there.

The council approved a motion to move forward with overlaying Three Lakes Retreat and getting estimates on seal coating work for other roads.

The council decided to talk to Chris McConn, Interstate Engineering, about developing an overall plan on how to best approach road upkeep and replacement. They will also look into the possibility of coordinating some roadwork with county projects to help cut costs.

CITY SUPPORTS WEST CENTRAL INITIATIVE

Tom McSparron, donor services officer with West Central Initiative, updated the city council on the financial impact the initiative has had on Otter Tail County and how those dollars impact people in local communities.

"Our 25th anniversary year has been very exciting," he reported.

McSparron talked about grant funds distributed in the region. The Competitive Workforce Grant Program and the Access to Capital for Small Business Financing Program are two new programs they've added to their existing community development initiatives.

He asked the city of Ottertail to consider continuing to support the initiative in 2013. As the city has in previous years, the council approved adding $500 to next year's budget for the initiative. This amount is matched with an additional $500 from the McKnight Foundation.

OTHER OTTERTAIL NEWS

-The city will be moving forward with e-911 signage. Having every resident display a uniform house number will help rescue crews find homes in the event of an emergency.

-The rip-rap project on Donald's Road has now been completed. Councilmember Terry Wagenman mentioned how nice it looks. He said he's received positive feedback about the project from several individuals, along with comments that the city should consider expanding the rip-rap to the south.

-Several donations were acknowledged, including: Two carbide blades and two saw chains ($100 value) from Carr's Tree Service for the Ottertail Fire Department; a Christmas tree, tree skirt and decorations ($180 value) from Peg Ranney for the city of Ottertail; and $327.50 from the Auction Committee for the Ottertail Fire Department.

-It was decided that Councilmember Mike Windey will talk to the League of Minnesota Cities and tell them Ottertail would like to be involved with the National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Windey volunteered to be available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at City Hall so citizens can stop in and register to vote.

-The council approved a motion to switch the Thursday, Sept. 20 regular meeting of the Ottertail City Council to Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. The meeting was moved to allow council members to attend the 2012 Regional Meeting at Mulligan's Pub and Eatery in Perham

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