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Ottertail looking to establish TIF district

For the past few years, the city of Ottertail has been exploring different ways to encourage developers to create more housing for the city. At the May 19 Ottertail City Council meeting, members of the council voted to accept a proposal from Trac...

For the past few years, the city of Ottertail has been exploring different ways to encourage developers to create more housing for the city.

At the May 19 Ottertail City Council meeting, members of the council voted to accept a proposal from Traci Ryan, with Ryan Development Consulting. After learning that a developer is interested in some lots along Highway 108 near Thumper Pond, the city discussed the possibility of acquiring the property and creating a Housing Tax Increment Financing District. Ryan's proposal detailed her plans to assist the city with this process.

According to Ryan, she will charge the city her standard hourly rate, not to exceed $3,500. It was mentioned that some of these costs could later be recouped by the city once a TIF district is established. Council member Darold Woessner was selected to serve as the city council delegate on the Ottertail housing project.

Speeding concerns

The city of Ottertail recently received some complaints about people driving too fast on city streets. In response to these concerns, council members discussed the possibility of purchasing some removable speed bumps and signage to encourage drivers to proceed more cautiously throughout the city. Ottertail Maintenance Coordinator Loren Hawes mentioned that one of the most troublesome areas in town is Maple Avenue--which is right next to the city park where children are frequently playing.

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After discussing the issue, the decision was made to purchase six "Children at Play" signs to remind drivers to slow down in areas where there are often children playing. The hope is that the new signs will cause drivers to be more vigilant and slow down when driving in town. Approval was also given to purchase a removable speed bump.

Bathroom at Pelican Bay Pier

A handicap accessible bathroom will soon be installed at the Pelican Bay Pier just south of Ottertail.

"The cost is $125 a month and we would only have to do it for about four months," Council member Ron Grobeck reported. "You just don't want someone to have to go across busy traffic to find a bathroom. We are getting a lot of use over at the pier by older people and kids as well."

The council approved a motion to pay for the costs associated with installing a handicapped accessible porta-potty at the Pelican Bay Pier for four months.

Public hearing scheduled

A public hearing regarding city water rates has been scheduled for Thursday, June 16 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The hearing will be held in conjunction with the next regular meeting of the Ottertail City Council.

"Before we make any adjustments we would like to get some input from the community," Ottertail Mayor Myron Lueders said.

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Other business

-A decision was made to proceed with a preliminary engineering report regarding road work that needs to be completed on Elm Avenue. "Elm Avenue is in pretty tough shape in several areas," Ottertail City Clerk/Treasurer Elaine Hanson reported to the council. The preliminary engineering report will include soil borings only if needed.

-The council agreed to pay 50 percent of the cost for bringing water to the cul-de-sac on Wallenberg Drive. The point was made that this should have been done when the street was constructed.

-The city council approved a special event permit for a Friday, July 29, concert night at The Otter. Doors will open at 8 p.m. and the event will go until midnight. A similar event was held last year, and the consensus from council members was that the event went very smoothly.

-Jerry and Linda Martin have accepted the custodian duties for the city. A motion was approved to pay them $10.35 an hour for tree watering and custodial duties.

-Chris Schuelke thanked the city of Ottertail for last year's donation to the Otter Tail County Historical Society and asked that the city consider donating again. Schuelke talked briefly about the museum and the various outreach programs it coordinates. A motion was approved to continue to support the Otter Tail County Historical Society with a $500 donation.

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