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Design approved for Ottertail veterans memorial

A memorial honoring veterans will soon be built in Ottertail. The only question that remains is where the memorial should be placed so that it is clearly visible to people driving through town.

John McGraham first brought up the suggestion of a memorial at an Ottertail City Council meeting in late February. He returned to the council's Sept. 1 meeting to update the city on his progress with the memorial.

McGraham reported that the memorial would include an Ottertail Veterans Park sign, surrounded by six stone pillars. The plan is to arrange the pillars in a curved fashion facing two benches. The memorial area will be relatively small, situated on an estimated 50 x 50 foot area of land.

One of the main locations being considered for the memorial is the land where the city's otter statue currently sits. In the future, the city has plans to move the statue to its permanent site.

Another possibility would be to erect the veterans memorial on city property.

After spending some time discussing the best location for the memorial, the council decided to run the options past the city's planning committee to solicit further suggestions. Even though the location of the memorial is still unknown, now that the design has been agreed on, fundraising for the memorial will begin shortly.

City beautification

At the Sept. 1 meeting, the city council agreed to split the cost of the installation of a watering system for trees in the city park. Several trees were put in last year and are in need of consistent watering.

Installing a soaker hose irrigation system will help save time and ensure the trees get the right amount of water over the next three to four years. After that, the trees should be old enough to no longer require watering.

The total cost for the irrigation system is estimated at $1,000. The city will pay $500 and the Ottertail Auction Committee has agreed to donate the same amount to the project.

The plan is to install the system right away so it can be used to water the trees this fall. When the time comes where the trees no longer require watering, the components of the irrigation system can be used to help water the grass or for other irrigation needs.

The council and the auction committee also agreed to split the cost of new landscaping around the Ottertail Community Center. The shrubbery around the building has become overgrown to the point where it needs to be removed. New concrete edgers will be put in, along with new rock, fabric and plants.

To save on the cost of landscaping, council member Terry Wagenman asked if some of the members of the city's various nonprofit groups could donate labor to help with the project. A representative from the auction committee will be approaching the nonprofit groups to solicit assistance with the beautification project.