Otter Tail County commissioners have responded to opposition to proposed wind and solar projects in Scambler and Dunn townships, north of Pelican Rapids.

Commissioners expressed disappointment in seeing opposition to the projects from townships, lake property owners and lake associations.

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The concerns of county board members will be addressed by the County Public Works Committee.

County board members want county government to support economic development and energy saving projects such as wind and solar energy, while at the same time preserving water quality in area lakes.

Juhl Energy was proposing to construct wind turbine and solar panels north of Pelican Rapids. The company is located in Chanhassen near the Twin Cities.

County to hire up to 30 watercraft inspectors for 2018

County board members approved hiring up to 30 watercraft inspectors for the 2018 boating season, subject to the hiring candidate pool and resources to manage the inspectors. Some workers may be hired for part-time duties.

This directive follows the recommendation of the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Task Force.

AIS Task Force Chairman Bernie Steeves is reviewing how other counties are operating the boat decontamination process.

Discussion took place regarding the recommendation of the AIS Task Force to accept a $5,000 donation to support the operation of I-LIDS at the Dead Lake public accesses.

The I-LID system utilizes advanced sensors that activate when a boater has entered the launch area. Video monitoring then begins.

County board discusses funding for Battle Lake Civil War Museum

County Auditor-Treasurer Wayne Stein reviewed with county board members a request for 2018 funding for the Prospect House and Civil War Museum located in Battle Lake.

Lengthy discussion took place.

County Attorney David Hauser stated that the county is authorized under state statute to provide resources to the Otter Tail County Historical Society but cannot provide resources to private institutions.

He also referenced the State Auditor's Public Expenditures Statement.

Commissioners requested that County Administrator John Dinsmore facilitate discussions between the County Historical Society and interested parties of the Prospect House and Civil War Museum.