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Ottertail approves fire department rate changes

The City of Ottertail has changed its rate schedule for fire department equipment and personnel under the Otter Tail County Area Fire Services Mutual Aid Agreement.

City councilors accepted a resolution approving the rate changes at a March 13 meeting.

Updated costs are as follows: ladder truck, $375 per hour; engine, $275 per hour; rescue/air, $200 per hour; tanker, $200 per hour; grass, $150 per hour; ATV, $25 per hour; UTV, $75 per hour; and extra firefighter without truck, $15 per hour. There is a rate increase after four hours on the scene.

Also at the meeting, a new heating system was approved for the Ottertail Fire Hall.

Haugan Heating and Air Conditioning, which came in at the lowest of four bids, was awarded the job. A 200,000 BTU Modine furnace will be installed to make sure the trucks and equipment remain warm enough throughout the winter months.

The council also approved the contribution of the requested amount to Henning Fire and Rescue for the replacement of two defibrillators. The city’s share of the $12,500 total cost comes to $1,212.41.

In other business:

-The council reviewed a proposal from the Ottertail Lions Club regarding the city’s annual clean-up days initiative. The council decided that the city will provide the site for the clean-up and will give $500 to the Lions Club to help with clean-up costs. The city will address the financial need again next year after following up on the costs associated with this year’s clean-up.

This year’s clean-up days are scheduled for June 6 and 7, running each day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Ottertail Lions Club will be responsible for getting the sanitation company, the volunteers, and paying any bills associated with the annual event.

-Councilors reviewed plans for the replacement of longtime city Maintenance Supervisor Lee Sherman, who will soon be retiring. In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, an Exit Planning Committee has been established. The committee has already settled on a basic job description for the position. A general consensus was also achieved regarding desirable requirements and what type of candidates the city hopes to attract.

The Exit Planning Committee will be meeting together again soon to develop a list of interview questions for job candidates.