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A new report from LendingTree, an online lending marketplace that connects users to deals on insurance, found that Minnesota is the sixth worst driving state. They based the ranking on factors including driver quality, distracted driving scores, car insurance increases, and road infrastructure.

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The city of Fergus Falls has benefited the North County National Scenic Trail by assisting the nonprofit North Country Trail Association (NCTA) and four of its local, volunteer-led Minnesota chapters to obtain grant funds to procure trail maintenance tools and equipment.  The city was awarde…

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In 2019, Fergus Falls and the surrounding community saw several positive and a few obstacles put in its way. As we enter 2020, The Daily Journal looks back at some of the most talked about, read and viewed stories from the past year.

Fergus Falls Port Authority members voted to draft a non-binding letter of intent to purchase the building at 112 E. Washington Avenue Monday following a closed meeting at City Hall.

Three public hearings dominated Monday’s meeting of the Fergus Falls Planning Commission at City Hall. The commission first offered a public hearing to consider a request by John Miersch at 1727 South Court Street for a variance. Miersch is interested in locating a detached shed within the side yard of a home located in an […]

The Fergus Falls City Council looked at five proposed sales tax projects Monday afternoon during work session at City Hall. “It was just an update, nothing was narrowed down,” city finance director Bill Sonmor said. Work on sales-tax priorities has been underway for some time. The five general areas include a fire station renewal project, […]

The Fergus Falls City Council held a public hearing Monday for opinions on lowering the speed zone on West Alcott Avenue from Martin Street to the roundabout at Tower Road. With no members of the general public offering comments on the proposed switch from a 45 mph speed limit to a 30, Councilman Anthony Hicks […]

No matter how many homes there are in Otter Tail County at the present time, the board of commissioners would like to see thousands more made available. The increased availability of affordable housing is seen as a growth priority because of an ever-tightening labor market. “We’re expecting to see a 4.6% reduction in our workers,” […]

The Fergus Falls Planning Commission approved the preliminary and final plat for the Westridge Theatre addition during Monday’s meeting at City Hall. Prompted by an application from Interstate Engineering on behalf of the property owner, Westridge Mall Limited Partnership, the planning commission gave the green light to plat a 4.12 acre parcel of land located […]

Resurfacing work on busy West Lincoln Avenue has run into a “snow bump” furnished by Mother Nature according to city engineer, Brian Yavarow. “At the current time the contractor has completed as much as they can,” Yavarow said Thursday as a thin, cold rain fell in Fergus Falls. Rain is expected to turn into snow […]

The Fergus Falls Downtown Riverfront Council (“FFDRC”) is pleased to announce that planning is underway for the third annual Over the River Holiday Festival set for Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. The FFDRC, along with several individuals and organizations, including the city of Fergus Falls, Kaddatz Galleries, Springboard for the Arts, A Center for the Arts […]

The Fergus Falls City Council held a work session Monday afternoon before their regular meeting to examine the problems touching on the rehabilitation of the historic Union Avenue bridge near downtown Fergus Falls. The structure was constructed in 1938. It carries two-way street traffic on Union Avenue over the Otter Tail Valley Railroad. Prior to […]

A rejected request to use the Kirkbride tower as a wedding site became a late item for discussion Wednesday morning at the Fergus Falls Committee of the Whole meeting. Rising majestically at the heart of the former state hospital building, the Kirkbride tower has been a key portion of the former medical complex that preservationists […]

The Fergus Falls Port Authority was established on Jan. 1, 1986. When one thinks of a port or a port authority, one likely pictures Minnesota cities like Duluth or St. Paul. Fergus Falls is eligible to have a port authority due to the Otter Tail River running through the city. Having a port authority offers […]

Doreen Beck, a resident of 626 Sunset Drive, was granted a variance Monday evening by the Fergus Falls Planning Commission. A public hearing was called to consider the variance which allows for a reduced side setback in the R-1 One-Family Residence District. In her request, Beck wrote, “We are adding a four-season porch to the […]

Fergus Falls City Administrator Andrew Bremseth’s voice was loaded with disappointment Monday night as he informed the city council of the latest setback in turning the Regional Treatment Center campus into a financial victory for Fergus Falls. Bremseth was asking the eight members of the council to terminate a letter of intent with American Covenant […]

The Fergus Falls City Council passed resolutions approving the 2020 proposed tax levy and budget and set Dec. 2 as a date for levy and budget public meeting at Monday evening’s meeting at City Hall. City finance director Bill Sonmor unveiled a proposed tax levy of $6,682,362 and a budget with expected revenues of $40,677,463 […]

When the state government elected to outlaw smoking in bars, restaurants and other establishments 12 years ago a decision that pleased some and angered others. Both sides in the fight had cases to make. People supporting the ban pointed out the health benefits of not having to breathe secondhand smoke. Those protesting the ban were […]

Residents driving down East Mt. Faith Avenue on Monday morning may have noticed an open fire hydrant flushing out into the road. While the fire department occasionally opens hydrants to check pressure, rate of flow and water quality, this time it’s the city’s engineers flushing a newly installed water main. “It’s to flush out the […]

An 84-year-old Fergus Falls woman was injured Thursday at 2:54 p.m. when she rear-ended a car which had stopped to make a left turn on North Tower Road. Delores Noack suffered a probable leg injury in the crash. The force of the collision caused Noack’s airbag to deploy. Noack was transported to Lake Region Healthcare […]

The city of Fergus Falls approved a new director for the Fergus Falls Public Library Monday evening by welcoming Gail Hedstrom aboard. Hedstrom will be replacing Erin Smith who has moved up to head the Viking Library System. She begins her new duties Sept. 16. “Gail is an excellent addition to our team and brings […]

Fergus Falls Mayor Ben Schierer’s answer for a tax abatement request by Otter Tail County Communications and External Relations director, Nick Leonard Wednesday morning gained a quick approval from the Committee of the Whole. Leonard’s request for a tax abatement for a 60-bed facility on Western Avenue prompted Schierer to propose a public hearing for […]

The Fergus Falls City Council picked over the consent agenda a bit Monday night before approving eight of the nine items. The consent agenda is normally passed by a single collective vote by the council. Councilman Scott Kvamme pointed out some language stood in the way of a motion approving July 15 City Council and […]

Fergus Falls Code Enforcement Officer April Zumach’s thorough presentation to the Fergus Falls Committee of the Whole Wednesday drew a recommendation for a City Council work session. Zumach bombarded the committee with visual evidence of infractions of the city’s ordinance regarding the storage of campers, boats, semi-trucks, food truck/trailer and RV units. Two key points […]

Fergus Falls Mayor Ben Schierer was recognized by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) July 25 during the Coalition’s three-day summer conference in Bemidji for his excellence in service to Greater Minnesota. “It is a real honor to be recognized by your peers, people who dedicate themselves through local government to making their communities […]

Doug Cannell got a call at 4 a.m. Tuesday which meant trouble. The city of Fergus Falls had to shut off water service to the Otter Tail County Courthouse because of a water main break on South Mill Street. Cannell is facilities operations supervisor at the courthouse and his job touches the hundreds of people […]

National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 6 in Fergus Falls. The inaugural Fergus Falls event in 2018 resulted in nearly 40 neighborhood block parties. Co-chairs Jess Steinbrenner and Jean Bowman invite everyone to join in hosting a block party – or attending one this summer. “Our objective is to be inclusive and […]

The Fergus Falls City Council approved a resolution Monday for the sale of $2,960,000 of general obligation bonds to provide funding for the East Mt. Faith Project. The funds will help cover the street, water and sewer projects presently underway in the East Mt. Faith area, directly south of Roosevelt Park. Director Doug Green, representing […]

Fergus Falls Development and Planning Specialist, Ryan Miller saw the Committee of the Whole approve all three of his recommendations Wednesday morning concerning the Glacial Edge Trail. The City of Fergus Falls came up with a master plan for the trail in 2017. The phased project is designed to eventually connect the Central Lakes Trail […]

Annie Deckert has returned to her hometown for the best reason in the world – family. “My family is one thing,” Deckert said, explaining the decision to bring her talents back to Fergus Falls. “The other is that it’s my hometown.” The graduate of Fergus Falls Class of 2000 recently assumed the executive directorship of […]

he Fergus Falls City Council approved a bid for the 2019 mill and overlay project Monday evening by Mark Lee Asphalt and Paving of Alexandria. The Alexandria contractor submitted a bid of $167,533.90 in competition with four other contractors. According to City Engineer Brian Yavarow, the total estimated project cost, covering the base contract, the […]

Last week we remembered the 1919 cyclone that tore through Fergus Falls, and saw many photos and heard many stories of the devastation around Lake Alice. Today, even after the debris has been cleaned up and trees replanted, the city is still making a push to improve Lake Alice, and the most recent operation was […]

Work is underway on the East Mt. Faith project and three more projects are on tap as the City of Fergus Falls moves into summer of 2019. R.L. Larson Excavating will be doing to construction work on the $3.7 million East Mt. Faith job. Moore Engineering has signed a contract for the engineering work. According […]

Seven new members of the Fergus Falls Fire Department took their oath and received their badges Monday evening at the City Council meeting. Introduced by Fergus Falls Fire Chief Ryan Muchow and led in their oath by Mayor Ben Schierer, the new members included Todd Bjerklie, Korey Fry, Jonah Hove, Ryan Johnson, Sam Nelson, Jim […]

The Fergus Falls City Council paved the way for a taxilane relocation project at the Fergus Falls Municipal Airport Monday evening with a resolution awarding the job to Central Specialties Inc. and their bid of $463,262.40. “The next step is that we’re going to be submitting the final grant application for this project,” City Engineer […]

At the prompting of Scott Kvamme, the Committee of the Whole agreed Wednesday morning to take a closer look at the effects a forthcoming hydro project on the Otter Tail River may have on the city. In was pointed out at a May 15 meeting of the Committee of the Whole that a federal project […]

On Thursday, May 23 members of the community including law enforcement, first responders, health-care providers, concerned citizens, county employees and others came together at Fergus Falls City Hall to meet with representatives of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office to discuss the opioid epidemic and its impact on the area. The discussion began with a welcome from […]

The Fergus Falls Port Authority elected to take its first steps into a new reality Monday afternoon at City Hall. The Port Authority Board voted in favor of a public comment notice for the Mid-Am Dairy Cleanup work and establish a community relations plan for the project. After listening to Steve Ericksson of the Downtown […]

The Fergus Falls Committee of the Whole approved a recommendation by City Engineer Brian Yavarow Wednesday to adopt a water supply plan pursuant to Department of Natural Resources requirements. Yavarow received a letter dated May 7 from DNR area hydrologist Julie Aadland advising the city’s water supply plan was approved. The plan will now be […]

The Fergus Falls Planning Commission green-lighted two items of new business Monday in a meeting at the City Council Chambers. The board OK’d a conditional-use permit for the Lakes Country Service Co-op Level IV Learning Center after a public hearing. The CUP will allow for the creation of an educational institution within the I-2 (general […]

Carrying on their mission of bringing businesses to the community, the Greater Fergus Falls Board heard presentations from two incoming enterprises Friday at Lake Region Hospital. Board member Kristi Hastings had her daughter, Ava, introduce “Sugarbomb” to the board. The business opening June 1 at 123 E. Lincoln Ave. will offer a hundred varieties of […]

Fergus Falls had its Arbor Day celebration Wednesday, May 8 on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Cascade Street in downtown Fergus Falls. Members of Fergus Falls Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department were there to plant an ivory silk lilac tree, the 41st year they’ve celebrated Arbor Day as part of their Tree City USA […]

The Fergus Falls City Council passed a resolution Monday evening approving an amendment of the city zoning map from R-A to R-4 for the development of multifamily housing at 1406 and 1412 W. Alcott Ave. The Planning Commission recommended the amendment April 23 by a 5-2 vote. Making the request for the amendment was Platte […]

The community of Pelican Rapids is going back to its “rocky” beginnings. The recent 3-2 vote by the city council, in favor of a resolution, which requests removal of the Mill Pond Dam by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, ends a long chapter in the history of the Otter Tail County city. The dam […]

Tasha Rohlfs’ enthusiasm for a children’s museum project in downtown Fergus Falls on a gray Wednesday morning flooded City Hall Council Chambers with sunlight. Less than 12 hours after the end of Tuesday night’s State of the City address brought  Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to Fergus Falls, Rohlfs picked up the 7 a.m. Committee of […]