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County board discusses dock ordinance changes

County Board Chairman Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids called a public hearing to order on June 5 to obtain comments regarding the proposed amendment to the current Dock and Riparian Use Ordinance. The public meeting was held at the county Governm...

County Board Chairman Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids called a public hearing to order on June 5 to obtain comments regarding the proposed amendment to the current Dock and Riparian Use Ordinance. The public meeting was held at the county Government Services Center in Fergus Falls.

Members of the County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Task Force were asked to regulate the movement of docks, lifts, rafts and associated equipment from lake to lake to avoid infestation of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

The AIS Task Force will develop a registry for property owners to call in or register on-line when moving water equipment to ensure that it stays out of the water for 21 days.

"We understand that the proposed amendment may have limitations," said Spencer McGrew, County AIS Specialist. "However, this is a start to regulating the movement of this type of equipment and will bring awareness of the state law."

Bernie Steeves, AIS Task Force chairman, reported that $5,000 is a line item in the county AIS budget for dock and lift movement awareness and education for county property owners.

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A lake service provider pointed out that a pontoon or boat lift that is attached to the watercraft (e.g. sea legs) is regulated under the clean, drain and dry provision of Minnesota Statute Chapter 84D.

One of the AIS Task Force members spoke in favor of the amendment as written to coincide with state law and as the first step to enforcement and awareness related to transferring AIS.

County Public Works Director Rick West stated that, as defined by the State of Minnesota, pontoon and boat lift systems are deemed part of the watercraft.

Bridge replacement planned northeast of West Lost Lake

A motion by County Commissioner Doug Huebsch of Perham and seconded by Commissioner Roger Froemming of Parkers Prairie was unanimously carried to authorize an agreement between Otter Tail County and consultant Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson, Inc., for design and plans for a bridge replacement near West Lost Lake, north of Underwood.

The location is along Highway 35 over the Otter Tail River on the northeast side of the lake.

This structure currently is a timber bridge dating back to 1965, said County Engineer Chuck Grotte to county board members on June 5. He said the bridge has gradually been rotting and replacement is necessary. The dollar amount has yet to be determined. Construction in 2020 is highly possible.

County land records database software purchase approved

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A request by County Recorder Carol Schmaltz was approved June 5 by county commissioners. County board members authorized the purchase of PINtegrity, a land records software database, through Fidlar Technologies.

The cost is $20,000 with a $2,000 annual maintenance fee.

Schmaltz indicated that the database will first combine parcel number, legal address and property address. Additional land records will be added as the project progresses.

County board members approve absentee ballot board appointments

A motion by County Commissioner Roger Froemming and seconded by Commissioner John Lindquist of Dalton was unanimously carried to appoint 14 people to the Otter Tail County Absentee Ballot Board.

They will process absentee ballots issued and received under state law for the Aug. 14, state primary and for the Nov. 6, state general election. Compensation for these services is $12 per hour with a reimbursement for travel at $0.545 per mile.

Related Topics: OTTER TAIL COUNTY
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