NEW YORK MILLS -- On Aug. 27 county commissioners met at the county offices complex in New York Mills for one of their three main gatherings for August.

This was part of the board’s mission for 2019 to hold periodic gatherings outside of Fergus Falls, where they usually meet at the county government services center in the northwest side of town. The board most often has three Tuesday morning gatherings each month.

Three of the five commissioners, Board Chairman Doug Huebsch of Perham, Betty Murphy of Maine Township and Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls, reported on their attendance Aug. 20 at the White House with commissioners and mayors from Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Topics with federal officials in Washington, D.C., included economic development opportunity zones, USDA financing, housing, education, efforts to curtail opioid addiction and other issues.

All three commissioners planned to share this information with Otter Tail County’s Community Development Agency.

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The purpose of the agency, governed by a nine-member board, is to strengthen the communities of Otter Tail County by expanding housing opportunities, promoting business development and fostering the coordination of public and private resources.

During the Aug. 27 gathering in New York Mills, county board members heard presentations from County Land and Resource Director Chris LeClair, County Administrator John Dinsmore, Public Health Director Jody Lien, County Assessor Doug Walvatne, Communications Director Nick Leonard, County Highway Engineer Chuck Grotte, Solid Waste Director Chris McConn, Human Resources Director Nicole Hanson and County Auditor-Treasurer Wayne Stein.

Commission reviews long-range planning

FERGUS FALLS -- Otter Tail County Public Works Director Rick West, on Aug. 13, updated the county board of commissioners regarding the county's long-range strategic planning.

A series of public open houses were previously held in various parts of the county to present the work of four focus groups. This was done to gain input from the general public.

An online survey was distributed to gain comments on the six element goals listed in the "OTC Long Range Strategic Plan" document West presented. Those six elements include:

  1. Resilience
  2. Economy
  3. Land Use
  4. Public Infrastructure
  5. Natural Resources
  6. and Parks and Trails.

“The drafted goal statements under each element represent a summary from the comments provided by the general public,” West said, “and suggestions received throughout the focus groups, public meetings and the online survey.”

A Plan Review Committee meeting took place Aug. 22 in the Otter Tail LakeRoom at the county Government Services Center in northwest Fergus Falls.

Board approves solid waste contract with Todd County

FERGUS FALLS -- Solid Waste Director McConn and West reviewed a solid waste management agreement between Otter Tail and Todd County (which includes Long Prairie).

County commissioners, on Aug. 13, offered suggestions regarding the proposed rates.

A motion by commissioner Rogness of Fergus Falls and seconded by commissioner John Lindquist of Dalton was unanimously carried to approve a solid waste management contract with Todd County, with revised rates and language as recommended by commissioners.

A final draft of the agreement was scheduled to be presented at the Aug. 27 county board meeting.

More about county Board of Commissioners

Otter Tail County is divided into five districts with one commissioner from each district. Each commissioner is elected by the people of his/her district and serves four-year terms.

  • County Board Vision: Strive to help make Otter Tail County a place where people want to live, work and enjoy a county that is home to more than 1,000 lakes.
  • County Board Mission: Enrich lives, provide for innovative services and enhance county resources.
  • County Board Values: Serve county residents with integrity, fiscal responsibility, respect and innovation for enduring success.