Deer Lake public access issues aired by county board

Tubers, boaters and parking violations at Deer Lake, west of Otter Tail Lake and near the Highway 83 access, were addressed by county board members on July 30.

County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons explained that the Sheriff’s Office has received many complaints over the years from boaters not able to use the access.

As a result, the DNR has put up signs to designate specific parking for vehicles with boat trailers. The DNR is responsible for the Deer Lake access and has plans to expand the parking,

However, space is limited and may not eliminate the parking issue during high traffic times.

County commissioners expressed concerns about safety for tubers parking on the road and suggested adding caution or congestion signs to the area for approaching vehicles.


Fitzgibbons said that the sheriff’s office is trying to have a presence to educate people who use the public access.

Tax abatement approved for Pelican Rapids project

County commissioners, following a public hearing on July 30, approved tax abatement for an apartment project in Pelican Rapids.

The plan is to break ground Sept. 2, with a few minor improvements from the original plan, including an increased number of apartment units from 32 to 36.

A tax abatement is a reduction of taxes granted by government to encourage economic development. This option is used as an incentive for businesses to come into a city to provided for projects that will benefit the community as a whole.

The proposed term of the abatement in Pelican Rapids is for up to 15 years, not to exceed $195,000.

County HRA, CDA hearing set for Aug. 13

County commissioners, on July 30, scheduled a public hearing for 10 a.m. Aug. 13 to discuss division of powers of the County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) and County Community Development Agency (CDA).

The hearing will be at the County Government Services Center in northwest Fergus Falls, near the former RTC campus.

The HRA assists low income families with safe and affordable housing opportunities.


The CDA, established by the County Board of Commissioners in 2018, has a purpose to strengthen the communities of Otter Tail County by expanding affordable housing opportunities, promoting economic development, and fostering coordination of public and private resources.

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