County news: Otter Tail gets fraud prevention grant money

FERGUS FALLS -- Otter Tail County Human Services Director Deb Sjostrom and County Collections Officer Crystal Herman briefed the county board of commissioners on Feb. 11 about a fraud prevention investigation grant for Otter Tail County.

The county will receive $50,000 for the remainder of fiscal year 2020 and $100,000 for state fiscal year 2021.

“This state grant allows our county to maintain and improve the fraud investigation program,” Sjostrom said. “At the same time we can keep administrative costs low and taxpayer return on investment high.”

The fraud prevention and investigation program works to prevent individuals from misrepresenting their circumstances in an effort to obtain public benefits that they would not otherwise be entitled to.

Otter Tail County will sign a contract with the State of Minnesota. Participating parties include the State Department of Human Services, Minnesota Office of Inspector General, State Financial Fraud and Abuse Investigations Division and Otter Tail County Human Services Department.


Hazardous waste program reviewed

County Household Hazardous Waste Manager Nick Heeter provided an overview of his operations to the county board of commissioners.

“Our program provides a convenient way for households to dispose of hazardous products safely and responsibly, free of charge for Otter Tail County residents,” Heeter said.

Many household hazardous waste products are recycled through special programs.

Usable products are offered back to the community at no cost at the reuse area located at the hazardous waste facility in Fergus Falls.

Chemicals and other items such as batteries, fluorescent lightbulbs and paint should never be disposed of in garbage. These items can be harmful to county residents, wildlife and the environment in general if they are mishandled.

The county recycles many of the items and offers good items such as paint back to the public free of charge. Those items are available at the product exchange area at the Household Hazardous Waste facility.

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