Brad Mergens and Darren Newville, Soil and Water Conservation District Managers, updated the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners July 16 in Fergus Falls on the 1,100 parcels that in 2015 were determined to be out of compliance with the new buffer law.

Today, only 27 parcels are still listed as out of compliance in Otter Tail County.

Multiple notifications to landowners of noncompliance were sent by mail. SWCD staff has visited with various landowners to assist them with buffer law compliance.

County Attorney Michelle Eldien and County Land and Resource Director Chris LeClair will coordinate future follow up.

LeClair plans to send corrective action notices by Aug. 1 to the landowners of the remaining 27 parcels, giving them until July 1, 2020, to come into compliance.

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Economic, community development update

Also at the meeting, Rebecca Lynn Petersen and staff briefed county board members with updates of West Central Initiative, based in Fergus Falls.

They submitted a packet of economic development statistics for the WCI region. WCI representatives also discussed different learning techniques that other cities and communities are using.

“We found that communication with others to learn what is working well and what is not is a great resource,” Petersen said.

They submitted WCI’s strategic plan for 2020 through 2022, including 17 sustainable development goals.

WCI works to strengthen Otter Tail County and eight adjoining counties in west central Minnesota.

“Grants are one of the resources we can bring to the table to help communities and businesses in our region thrive,” Petersen said.