Tax forfeited lands, HRA policies reviewed County commissioners, on Dec. 19, met with representatives of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) to discuss tax forfeited land and the role of the HRA in acquiring properties to assist low-income families. In many counties in Minnesota, Otter Tail County included, tax-forfeited properties, acquired by the HRA, are converted into affordable housing.
Truck falls through ice at Marion Lake A truck fell through ice near the public access at Marion Lake, southwest of Perham, at 10:37 a.m. on Dec. 25. There were no injuries, since the driver and passenger were not in the vehicle when it crashed through the ice. The exact location was near Kleins Drive. Thieves linked to two county burglaries
Two drivers, one of who was injured, were involved in traffic accidents near Henning, one in the early morning and the other in the early evening on Dec. 11. A Deer Creek resident rolled a vehicle close to 6 a.m. at the intersection of Highways 67 and 140, northeast of Henning. The driver steered right while avoiding a north-bound vehicle that crossed the center line. "The roadways were snow covered and icy when the accident took place," said County Sheriff Administrative Lt. Keith Van Dyke. "It appeared that the driver escaped injury."
Man pulled from icy waters at Walker Lake A man was pulled from cold water at Walker Lake, just north of Otter Tail Lake, after his snowmobile crashed through thin ice on Dec. 16 close to noon. Ottertail city rescue crews pulled the man, Hubert Hovland, out of the water and transported him to the hospital in Perham. "The victim had been in the water for about a half hour and suffered severe hypothermia," said County Sheriff Administrative Lt. Keith Van Dyke.
Otter Tail County taxpayers will be seeing a smaller increase in their taxes in 2018 than they did in 2017. During the county board's annual levy and budget hearing, held Dec. 12, board members and County Auditor-Treasurer Wayne Stein said the percent of levy increase from 2017 to 2018 will likely drop, from 4.86 percent to 3.48 percent. At press time, a final decision was slated be made during the regular meeting of the county board on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 9:30 a.m.
An EcoCenter for outdoor learning, research and creative activities—from biology to creative writing—will likely be built in Eagle Lake Township, south of Battle Lake. The center would be a cooperative effort with the University of Minnesota in Morris.
It was an honor for family members sharing a Thanksgiving dinner this year at Broen Home in Fergus Falls with Star Lake native Marcella Lange, 103. Also at the table was her sister-in-law Delores Voigt, 94, who also grew up near Star Lake. Both Marcella and Delores were raised on farms west of Dent and east of Pelican Rapids. Joining them at the Thanksgiving table were Delores' daughter and husband, Sharon and Tom Hintgen, and their son Mark. Marcella is still three years removed from matching her mother who lived to be 106.
Eddie Bee Forrest, 49, of Perham, was sentenced to 144 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility, St. Cloud, after a felony conviction of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He pled not guilty on June 19 but was convicted on Nov. 3. The judge gave the sentence on Nov. 9 The offense dates back to April 1, 2017. Court Administration records were lengthy with legal discussions pertaining to both first-degree and second-degree charges. Fees total $410, the responsibility of Forrest. Firearm sentence for Perham man
A public hearing for the redetermination of benefits for Ditch 48, in Otto Township west of New York Mills, will be held Jan. 22, 2018, at 7 p.m. at the County Law Enforcement Center in Ottertail City. The meeting will be held for property owners within the Ditch 48 catchment basin and will provide information of what can be done moving forward regarding the ditch system. On Nov. 28 the county board of commissioners continued the public hearing for Ditch 48.
There was good news for county taxpayers during the annual levy and budget hearing held Tuesday evening, Dec. 12, at the Otter Tail County Government Services Center in Fergus Falls. County Auditor-Treasurer Wayne Stein and county commissioners told members of the general public that the percent of levy increase from 2017 to 2018 will likely drop from 4.86 percent to 3.48 percent.