Otter Tail County offers business assistance in wake of COVID-19

Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners met Sept. 22.

Amy Baldwin 2020
Amy Baldwin, community development director for Otter Tail County. (Submitted photo)

Community Development Director Amy Baldwin briefed the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Sept. 22, regarding the business community.

She shared the August unemployment data and noted that Otter Tail County’s unemployment rate stood at 4.6%, down from July’s rate of 4.8%.

Baldwin said that businesses and individuals in Otter Tail County affected by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for funds that are available through the Navigating the Road Ahead program.

Financial assistance is available for housing, those who have lost their jobs, education, child care and for small towns under 200 people.


For more information contact Baldwin at 218-998-8050. Her email is

PPE assistance available

Personal protective equipment availability for businesses in Otter Tail County is a combined effort of the Otter Tail County and the Otter Tail Lakes Country Association.

The county will be eligible for reimbursement for 75% of the allocations through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Hand sanitizer, face masks, gloves and contact-less thermometers are currently available for purchase. The county is on a break-even basis for sales.

Partnership4Health looks at dental needs

Partnership4Health, which includes Otter Tail County and three adjoining counties, has as part of its mission statement to help area residents who have dental needs.

Addressing the county board on this subject on Sept. 22 was Partnership4Health (P4H) Dental Services Coordinator Jane Neubauer.

“P4H plans to develop a process to identify and maintain a current list of dental care services available to Minnesota Health Care Program (MHCP) patients in the region, as well as identify gaps in services and strategies to address the gaps,” Neubauer told county commissioners.

She provided a brief update to the county board regarding the Dental Innovations program work occurring in the P4H region. Neubauer also reviewed the current work plan, action steps and objectives, and outlined resources needed.


County mental health needs addressed

Adult Mental Health Local Advisory Council members Beth Nelson and Fonda Knudsen provided a brief update to the county board regarding adult mental health and reviewed areas of concern.

Children’s Mental Health Local Advisory Council member Troy Haugen briefly discussed areas of focus and expressed the importance of aiding and supporting students during these challenging times.

Ditch projects approved

County commissioners approved the replacement of approximately 900 feet of the mainline tile on County Ditch 70, southeast of Dalton, with non-perforated tile as requested by property owner Brian Fronning.

Fronning plans to pay for the replacement as well as the work performed. The County Drainage Systems Department will work with Fronning.

The county board also authorized Ditch Inspector Kevin Fellbaum to proceed with the removal of the beaver dams located on County Ditch 24, southwest of Dent.

Watersheds addressed

In 2017 Otter Tail County and area counties adopted the philosophy of “One Watershed, One Plan.”

This plan is intended to utilize the existing structures of county government, soil and water conservation districts and watershed districts while increasing collaboration across county lines.

County commissioners on Sept. 22, approved the final draft of the Buffalo-Red River Watershed and recommended that the plan be submitted to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for their approval.


The full plan can be found on the Buffalo-Red River Watershed website at

The county board also approved a memorandum of agreement between the counties of Otter Tail, Douglas, Morrison, and Todd, along with water conservation districts.

This agreement implements protection and restoration efforts for the Long Prairie River Watershed.

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