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County board briefs: Big McDonald, Marion lakes start LID process

Big McDonald Lake is joining Marion Lake in a quest to establish a Lake Improvement District (LID).

The purpose is to enable lake residents to become more fully engaged in management of water quality, have more say in water level control and become involved with issues such as aquatic vegetation.

Beaver dams have become a problem in recent months at Big McDonald Lake, west of Perham. Marion Lake is located southeast of Dent.

A public hearing for the proposed Marion Lake LID will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, at the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department Operations Center in Ottertail.

The establishment of a proposed LID requires review by the commissioner of natural resources and approval by the Otter Tail County Board. Concerned citizens may submit evidence at the public hearing, or send written comments to the county auditor prior to the hearing.

Concerned citizens may also submit evidence and opinions to the State Commissioner of Natural Resources.


It comes as no surprise that winter snow removal costs for Otter Tail County in 2011-12, released Aug. 7 to the county board of commissioners, were the lowest in seven seasons dating back to 2005-06. This past winter was one when very little snow removal was needed.

The total countywide dollar amount for snow removal for the year was $658,828 - significantly less than the seasonal average.

"We're pleased for the dollar savings," said County Engineer Rick West, "especially when you consider that the average seasonal amount is just over a million dollars for one winter season."

The county spent $1.4 million for snow removal in 2010-11. The year before that they spent $854,129, and the year before that, $1.2 million.


 A section of County Highway 35, which runs from Underwood to Dalton and then to Interstate 94, will have increased usage in future months due to construction of a new grain storage facility in Underwood.

Three 100,000-bushel bins are being constructed by New Horizons Agricultural Services.

"This will change the dynamics of the road usage," said County Commissioner John Lindquist. "We (county board members) will need to keep a close watch on Highway 35 durability."

In previous years, farmers in the Underwood area had to haul their grain to Fergus Falls. Increased truck travel along Highway 35 will be among the ongoing roadway usage analysis, said Lindquist.