While it's in the early stages, the Bongards Creameries plant is planning to expand. Perham's economic development director, Nick Murdock discussed this project's goals at the city's Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday, May 26.

The current plans for this project include a 60,000 square foot addition to the dairy processing plant. This space will specifically be used as refrigeration for Bongards products.

While this project has yet to start, the beginning planning stages are being discussed.

In addition to this expansion, the city is also working on a housing study that should be completed in mid-to-late summer. This study, which will be an update on the one completed about six years ago, will look at Perham's new housing demographics.

It will explore where the city is situated in terms of owner-occupied buildings, rentals and senior housing. The survey will also update the previous study's numbers and see what community needs are.

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A few new multi-family units have been built since the previous study. This update will help identify how much more of these units or smaller rentals are needed.

Several other updates from the meeting are as follows:

  • The Perham Area Community Center and Hub project is going well. While there was a short delay, the PACC / Hub project is now back on schedule.
  • Tracee Bruggeman with Brady Martz & Associates gave a presentation of the city's 2020 audit and financial statements. In the previous year, there was a deficiency in internal control. Now, that deficiency has been removed.
  • There was an update on the American Rescue Plan Act funding. While cities in the area are still being audited, it is estimated that Perham will be given $382,000 in the next year and a half. Whatever the payment, it will be given on two separate dates: the first half, some time in mid- to late June and the second half next year.
  • During Turtle Fest, there will also be a Beer Fest prior to the parade. There will be 14 vendors who'll each have four to five different beers. There will be no charges.
  • The location of the Farmers to Families food box giveaway on May 27 was moved to the EOT Fairgrounds in order to avoid another traffic jam.