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Ottertail holds off on comprehensive plan

After originally deciding to go forward with a comprehensive plan for the city of Ottertail, council members are now questioning whether or not such a plan would be the best use of city resources at this time.

Discussion about the comprehensive plan was brought up at the May 15 meeting of the Ottertail City Council. Mayor Myron Lueders had recently met with representatives from David Drown Associates about the plan.

“They’re recommending moving forward with the business subsidy portion. This would include a work session in June,” Lueders reported.

He said the opinion was expressed by David Drown that a comprehensive plan might not be a benefit to the community at this time if the interest isn’t there.

Lueders said that, in general, it appears to him that people don’t seem to want to go forward with the comprehensive plan. Councilor Brad Carr echoed this sentiment, adding, “I was at the last meeting and it seemed like there was very little interest in this from the community.”

Brief discussion was held about how the city could better use the $19,000 allotted for the study to instead complete a detailed housing study for the city of Ottertail.

The city will go ahead with the business subsidy portion of the agreement with David Drown, but will hold off on the comprehensive plan at this time.

Committee formed for bike path negotiations

Chris McConn, Interstate Engineering, addressed the council about a draft of the final payment voucher he submitted to the city in relation to the bike path project. The draft was approved by the council at a previous meeting. McConn suggested that the council rescind the city’s approval of the letter.

Ottertail’s Attorney Terry Karkela suggested that the council appoint a committee to negotiate with Central Specialties to resolve outstanding issues related to the bike path prior to and without litigation. Karkela voiced his opinion that the city would be better off if the bike path issues could be resolved outside of the courtroom.

Members of the council agreed with Karkela’s suggestion and decided to create a committee to handle negotiations. Council members Brad Carr and Heather Rosenthal will represent the council on the committee. The committee will also include McConn and representatives from Central Specialties.

Other business

- All of the paperwork that was required for the proposed Thumper Pond RV Park has been submitted to the city of Ottertail. Construction on the park is likely to begin this summer. A representative with Thumper Pond reported that the RV park could possibly be open as early as this fall, but for sure by spring 2015.

- Council member Carr mentioned to the rest of the council that he recently met with the Ottertail Planning Committee, which is in need of a 3-foot auger for an upcoming tree planting project. Council member Darold Woessner volunteered the use of his auger. If for some reason Woessner’s auger is not compatible with the equipment already arranged for the tree planting, the council approved the rental of an auger at $85 a day for up to two days.

- The city discussed ongoing dog and rental housing complaints. Residents voiced complaints about barking dogs and dogs being allowed to roam. Ottertail does not presently hire the services of a dogcatcher, but does have a set administrative fee charged to dog owners whose pets violate the city’s ordinances.

- The council also approved a motion to send out non-compliance letters to six property owners regarding the sewer systems on their properties.