The Committee of the Whole passed a proposal by Scott DeBrito and the Fergus Falls Hockey Association to add a dryland training facility to the Fergus Falls Community Ice Arena complex.

DeBrito requested the city enter into an agreement with the association to annex their proposed dryland facility to the south side of the arena on Friberg Avenue.

According to DeBrito, the association had raised funds of approximately $435,000 for its construction and has halted fundraising efforts until the true cost of the facility can be fixed.

DeBrito pointed out to the committee that the mechanical engineer who designed the dryland facility told the association the most efficient way to heat it would be to draw the boiler at the community arena.

“We’d have our own air-handling unit, our own air-conditioning unit, we’d hook up our electricity, our own plumbing and our own water,” DeBrito said.

Going into the single-story building along with bathrooms will be a sheet of synthetic ice, a treadmill, weights, hockey shooting targets and training equipment.

DeBrito said bids on the project will be opened next week.

City Administrator Andrew Bremseth pointed that an agreement between the parties involved will be available at Monday’s meeting of the City Council.

In other action the committee approved:

• A recommendation directing city staff to evaluate a proposal by Otter Tail Telcom to add Wi-Fi services at Delagoon Park. Telcom operations manager Ken Budd asked for an easement to erect a 45-foot pole on the south end of the park to provide the service to the park’s baseball fields, soccer fields, campgrounds and picnic area.

• City engineer Brian Yavarow’s recommendation for a public hearing on changes to the speed limit on portions of West Alcott Avenue involved in a highway swap with Otter Tail County earlier this year. There is a proposal that the present 45 mph speed limit on a portion of Alcott be dropped to 30.

• Recommendations for the council to approve a $20,000 business development facade loan to BaHa Rentals and a $10,000 business development facade loan to Zachmann Properties.

• Allowing the United Prairie Foundation to submit a grant application of up to $365,000 to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on behalf of the city for prairie restoration work on city-owned sites. The city’s share of the project would be $36,000. Seventy-nine potential planting sites of city-owned property covering 110 acres of land inside Fergus Falls have been mapped. Public works director, Len Taylor, speaking on behalf of the Recreation/Natural Resources Advisory Committee, told the Committee of the Whole the savings to the city in mowing costs would pay for itself in only 1 ½ years.

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