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Otter Tail County communities seek state funding for projects

Representatives for projects in and near Pelican Rapids, Perham, Parkers Prairie and Henning addressed members of the Minnesota Senate Capital Bonding Committee on Sept. 29. The gathering was held on the campus of M State, Fergus Falls.

Representatives for projects in and near Pelican Rapids, Perham, Parkers Prairie and Henning addressed members of the Minnesota Senate Capital Bonding Committee on Sept. 29. The gathering was held on the campus of M State, Fergus Falls.

One of the committee members is State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen who represents Otter Tail County in the state legislature.

Speaking on behalf of the proposed recreational trail from Pelican Rapids to Perham, running through Maplewood State Park, was County Commissioner Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids. Trail proponents seek $3.5 million in state dollars in 2016 and another $3.5 million in 2018.

“The plan is to build the trail in four phases,” said Johnson. “The 10-foot-wide trail will be paved and used for walking, bicycling, in-line skating and snowmobiling during the winter months.”

Johnson told lawmakers and county residents at the Sept. 29 gathering that benefits from the trail relate to healthy lifestyles and a boost in economic development for Otter Tail County.

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 The estimated project cost is $14.2 million for the 27-mile-long trail.

“When built, this trail will serve thousands of area visitors,” said Johnson. “The benefits will be many for the 24 communities and 57,000 residents of Otter Tail County.”

The trail project is a collaboration among Otter Tail County, the cities of Pelican Rapids and Perham, West Central Initiative, PartnerSHIP 4 Health and Minnesota DNR.

 

Goal almost met for new

Parkers Prairie swimming pool

The current swimming pool in Parkers Prairie, built in 1977, has outlived its usefulness. In 2012 plans were in the works to replace the pool.

A total of $1.8 million is needed to replace the swimming pool. Today, the goal is close to being met, with $1.6 million already raised.

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The big boost in raising the money came from Parkers Prairie native and current Moorhead resident Lloyd Paulson, who donated $1 million.

“We’re asking the state of Minnesota to contribute $250,000,” said Parkers Prairie Swimming Pool Fund Chairman Jim Arvidson. He spoke to members of the Minnesota Senate Capital Bonding Committee on Sept. 29 in Fergus Falls.

“We see our new facility, to be ready in 2016, as a regional swimming pool,” said Arvidson.

Through the support of contributions big and small, the city was able to demolish the old pool this fall. As of this writing construction is ready to begin.

The theme is “Making a splash, the million dollar challenge.”

 

Henning area project in

need of state dollars

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The West Leaf Lake Dam, seven miles north of Henning, is in need of repairs. To that end, area residents are seeking $50,000 from the state of Minnesota.

“The repair of this dam should be a high priority for the state,” said Leaf Lakes Area Association spokesperson Loren Hoyhtya.

He cited two main reasons.

“If the dam breaks, many homes and cabins on East Leaf Lake will be flooded,” he said. “The water level would drop drastically at West Leaf Lakes, if the dam breaks. That would cause loss of lake use, because of shallow water.”

The concrete is in ruinous condition, according to Hoyhtya who shared his concerns with members of the Minnesota Senate Capital Bonding Committee on Sept. 29.

“The concrete shows signs of structural distress as evidenced by cracking on the abutments,” he said.

Hoyhtya left the meeting at M State, Fergus Falls, with confidence that state lawmakers will step in and assist the residents with the dam repairs north of Henning.

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