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Hilltop Lumber set to expand in Ottertail

A public hearing regarding a conditional use permit for Hilltop Lumber was held at the beginning of the Sept. 15 regular meeting of the Ottertail City Council. There were no comments from members of the public, so the hearing was closed and the m...

A public hearing regarding a conditional use permit for Hilltop Lumber was held at the beginning of the Sept. 15 regular meeting of the Ottertail City Council. There were no comments from members of the public, so the hearing was closed and the meeting commenced.

An updated site plan of the building was shown to members of the council. The plan illustrated the proposed location for the new 9,860 square foot building that Hilltop Lumber plans to construct to the west of the existing business. The proposed building location is currently staked out, but no elevation height has been determined yet.

"The biggest thing I am concerned about from an engineering standpoint is drainage," said Bob Schlieman, Apex Engineering. "If we can get it to flow away by surface that's the best plan."

In addition to discussing drainage plans for the property, members of the council also took into consideration a request for the city to pave a section of Maple Avenue from the intersection with Main Street (Highway 108) to the north. Also discussed was the monument stone that is currently near the entrance to the proposed building site. The stone will need to be relocated to a different site.

The council passed a motion to approve the conditional use permit for Hilltop Lumper, contingent on the finalizing of the land sale. A lot split for the Hilltop addition was also approved.

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Council members are working to prioritize the road improvements needed throughout the city. After some discussion, it was agreed upon that the first roads in need of improvement include: Elm Avenue from Main Street (Highway 108) to Lake Boulevard, Second Street South from Elm Avenue to Oak Avenue, and Maple Avenue from Main Street (Highway 108) to a point 268 feet north of Main Street.

After reviewing possible areas for improvement with Bob Schlieman, Apex Engineering, council members decided to order a preliminary engineering report for the additional options of paving the alley north of Main Street (Highway 108) from Maple Avenue to Lake Avenue, paving Hilltop Road from Buchanan Road to Lamplight Drive, improving Lake Avenue from Main Street (Highway 108) to Lake Boulevard, and improving the remaining portion of Second Street South.

In other business, the council approved an amendment to Section 112.20 of its Business Regulations regarding liquor licenses which may be issued in the city. Brandon and Tyler Currie had previously appeared before the city council inquiring about the possibility of the city allowing an exclusive liquor store. The location being considered for the new liquor store is in the southernmost part of the Periwinkle building. The next step will be for the owners to apply for a liquor license with the city of Ottertail.

The preliminary levy for 2017 was set at 10 percent, or $414,381. The Truth-In-Taxation date has been scheduled for Dec.15 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Two resolutions were passed acknowledging donations from the Ottertail Lions and the Ottertail Auction Committee. The Ottertail Lions donated $3,000 for OtterFest fireworks, $3,000 for OtterDazzle fireworks, and $25,000 for equipment for the Ottertail Fire Department. The Ottertail Auction Committee donated $325 to add to a previous donation for a park bench.

The city is considering repainting the walls and replacing the carpet at the Ottertail Community Center. Ottertail Clerk/Treasurer Elaine Hanson said she will obtain some cost estimates and will report on these numbers at a future meeting.

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