Otter Tail County Board honors Rod Boyer; bids approved for $4.6 million in county highway projects

Rod Boyer, retiring member of the Otter Tail County Planning Commission, received a standing ovation on Feb. 14 as members of the County Board presented him with a plaque for his years of service.

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Rod Boyer receives an award for 25 years of faithful service as a member of the Otter Tail County Planning Commission from members of the Otter Tail County Board and county staff on Feb. 14, 2023.
Contributed / Otter Tail County

FERGUS FALLS — A longtime member of the Otter Tail County Planning Commission was honored during the county board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Rod Boyer, a retiring member of the Otter Tail County Planning Commission, received a commemorative plaque from county commissioners for his 25 years of dedicated service to the residents and businesses of Otter Tail County.

"He started on the planning commission on November 12th, 1997," said Chris LeClair, director for Otter Tail County's Land and Resource Management department. "Yesterday, I went through this feudal effort to try and count how many applications he would have heard, and after I got to 57 in 2006, I said, 'I'm just gonna say he served for 25 years.'"

He said Boyer always sat in the same spot during the planning commission meetings and, usually, said very little. However, he added, Boyer would sometimes throw out a deep and thoughtful point of concern to the rest of the group at the very end of the discussion, which meant they were going to keep discussing for another 30 minutes.

"He wanted to drill down on some detail that escaped the rest of us," said LeClair. "The knowledge and information that he brought to the planning commission was invaluable."


Following the presentation, Boyer said: "I have visited every single site that somebody has applied (for) in their application. Never missed a site."

Then, Boyer told a story about a professor he had when he attended the University of Minnesota, who said, "you owe something back to your profession and your community."

"And I feel by doing this for 25 years that's something for both," said Boyer. "I want to thank the commissioners for my repeated appointments."

Otter Tail County Board approves bids for $4.6 million in bridge and highway projects

Members of the Otter Tail County Board approved two bids totaling $4.6 million worth of county bridge and highway improvement projects during their meeting on Feb. 14.

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Chuck Grotte, county engineer for Otter Tail County, delivers an update on county highway projects to members of the Otter Tail County Board on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023.
Screenshot / Otter Tail County Board / YouTube

The first project, a reconstruction of about a 3-mile stretch of County Road 35, north of Underwood to County Road 18, was awarded to Mark Sand and Gravel Co., of Fergus Falls, for $4.47 million. Six different bids were received for the County Road 35 improvements, which ranged from Mark Sand and Gravel's low bid to a high bid of $5.58 million from Duininck Inc., of Prinsburg, Minn.

"Bids came in very well," said Chuck Grotte, county engineer for Otter Tail County.

During the discussion, Dan Bucholz, commissioner for District 1, said, "One positive thing here, we've got six different bidders for a change and that's encouraging for once."

The second project, bridge and culvert maintenance work on County Road 1 over the Otter Tail River and at two sites near Ottertail over the Dead River at Walker Lake, was awarded to Redstone Construction LLC., of Mora, Minn., for $110,947. Three bids were received for the project, which ranged from Redstone Construction's low bid to the high bid of $237,187 from PCiRoads Contruction LLC., of St. Michael, Minn.


Grotte also said, in addition to the reconstruction projects, the highway department is finalizing its federal funding sources for upcoming projects through 2028 and they will be making a presentation to the board in coming months.

Lead Multimedia Reporter for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus.
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