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Recycled glass to form Otter Tail County road bases

Otter Tail County to cease hauling glass weekly to the Twin Cities for recycling

The Otter Tail County courthouse.
The Otter Tail County courthouse.

Those glass bottles you chuck into the recycling bins? In the not-too-distant future, you may be driving over them.

But don’t worry about puncturing your tires. The glass will be used well below the road surface in an aggregate that forms the road base, and will be covered by asphalt.

Until now, Otter Tail County had been hauling a load of glass a week — about 700 tons a year — to the Twin Cities to be recycled into new glass products, but keeping the glass locally will save staff time and transportation costs, said Zach Fjestad, assistant solid waste director.

At their Aug. 24 meeting, Otter Tail County Commissioners agreed to buy a $330,000 hoop-style storage building to house the glass at Fergus Falls Transfer Station.

“The goal is to build it this year,” Fjestad told commissioners.

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He said it would take about two years to accumulate all the glass needed for road construction.

Planned development on Long Lake one lot smaller

The commission approved a final plat for a smaller Long Bay Retreat on Long Lake north of Ottertail.

Originally slated for five lots, four with shoreline and one without, the project eliminated one problematic lakeshore lot at the request of the county planning commission.

“There were a lot of wetlands on the lot and there were also some pretty steep bluffs,” said Land & Resource Director Chris LeClair. “The planning commission thought constructability would be an issue.”

Zero-interest loans for Otter Tail Water Management District

Residents who live inside the Otter Tail Water Management District will soon be able to get a zero-interest county loan for their septic systems -- over commissioners’ concerns.

The water district wants its administrator to accompany county inspectors during permitting inspections for new septic systems funded by the loans. However, county staff and commissioners said they feared that if the administrator wasn’t available for inspections when necessary, that it would create delays for contractors.

The county has received $500,000 in state funding specifically for loans in the district, which includes Otter Tail Lake, Blanche Lake, Deer Lake, Round Lake, Walker Lake and the south half of Long Lake and portions of the Otter Tail River North.

“We have a number of passive residents that are waiting for this contract to be signed so they can apply for this loan money,” LeClair told commissioners.

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“I think it’s problematic to say that individual must be there because it’s unrealistic,” said Commissioner Wayne Johnson.

Commissioners approved the contract with the caveat that they might have to renegotiate the contract later.

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