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Ottertail swears in new council member

Heather Pollard, standing alongside Ottertail Mayor Raymond "Ole" Mounts and returning council member Don Patrick, recited her first pledge as a council member on the Ottertail City Council.

As the three "solemnly swore to support the Constitution of the United States and the State of Minnesota, and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Councilperson of the City of Ottertail... to the best of their judgment and ability," council member Arlette Carlson looked on.

Carlson is in the middle of her four-year term on the council, and the other council member, Terry Wagenman, was absent at the Jan. 8 meeting.

One of the council's first actions of the new year was to approve the 2009 annual appointments and designations. Meetings will be held on the same schedule as last year, the first and third Thursday of the month.

The first meeting of the month is held at 7 a.m. at Betty's Pantry or Thumper Pond (Betty's the first six morning meetings of the year, Thumper Pond the second six). The meeting held on the third Thursday of the month is held at the Community Center Building. This meeting is at 7:30 p.m., unless there is a public hearing--which starts at 7 p.m.

City designations set

The council voted to keep the annual designations the same, with Don Patrick again serving as acting mayor and the city's weed inspector. Planning committee members are Michael Ahlfs, Shannon Buising, Keith Fleischauer, Philip Sundberg, Pamela Williams, Donald Patrick (council member), and Lee Sherman (city coordinator).

Ottertail's official newspaper is the Citizen's Advocate, based out of Henning, Minnesota. The official city depository is 1st National Bank in Ottertail.

Legal advisor for the city is the firm of Svingen, Hagstrom, Karkela, Cline & Dirks--with Terry Karkela as the primary city attorney. Engineering services are with Interstate Engineering, Inc. out of Fergus Falls--with Chris McConn as primary engineer.

City needs help with clearing snow

At the Jan. 8 council meeting, city coordinator Lee Sherman mentioned how this year's plentiful snow is starting to be an issue for the city. He requested that community members could alleviate some of the strain on the city by helping to make sure city fire hydrants and water meters are shoveled out.

"I've heard that some cities are already out of money," Sherman mentioned, noting how the cost of clearing this year's seemingly constant snow has already consumed the snow removal budgets many municipalities have set.