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Communities in Otter Tail County sharing same goals

Fergus Falls Mayor Ben Schierer said that many of the challenges and opportunities facing his community also apply to other area towns. Tom Hintgen/Perham Focus 1 / 2
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz came to Otter Tail County on April 30 and addressed goals that are common to all communities in Otter Tail County. Tom Hintgen/Perham Focus2 / 2

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Fergus Falls Mayor Ben Schierer, speaking April 30 in Fergus Falls, praise new organizations such as the Otter Tail County Community Development Agency (CDA).

The CDA has a goal to strengthen the communities of Otter Tail County by expanding affordable housing opportunities, promoting economic development, and fostering coordination of public and private resources.

"Change is here and we need to push forward with not only challenges but also positive choices," Schierer said.

Gov. Walz says "what we do in St. Paul can and should reflect what Fergus Falls and other communities in Otter Tail County are doing."

Both Schierer and Walz said that community success will be derived from community partnerships with the private sector along with county, state and federal governments.

"All communities, as an example, can install LED street lights," Schierer said.

Chief among the advantages of LEDs is that they have extremely long lives. These lights also have reduced maintenance costs because of their long lives.

"Solutions come from people coming together," Schierer said.

Gov. Walz added that adequate state funding for public schools throughout Otter Tail County and across the state, in all 87 counties, is critical to giving young people a fair shake. He said young people should be able to, through a good education, be the best they can be.

"We can agree to disagree on certain matters, but in the end we need compromise to get things done at all levels of government," Walz added.