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Today, Gov. Tim Walz announced that the Governor’s Fishing Opener celebrations will be postponed until next May. The event was to be held in Otter Tail County May 7-10, 2020. The event was appropriately postponed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Minnesota fishing opener …

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Patrick Waletzko, Otter Tail County (OTC) Emergency Management director, virtually gathered county personnel on Monday, March 23 to announce the opening of the county’s emergency operations center (EOC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners held an emergency board meeting Friday, March 20 to discuss COVID-19 planning and preparations taking place at the county. The public meeting was held via GoToMeeting (online video conferencing) to ensure social distancing and accommodate the publ…

The second annual Earth Day Trashion Fashion show that was scheduled for April 18 will be canceled/postponed.

Under the authority of the emergency declaration issued by the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners on March 17, 2020, and through consultation with Otter Tail County Public Health and Emergency Management, Otter Tail County will be limiting access to all public buildings effective immed…

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The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners have changed the location and time of their March 17th, 2020 meeting. An updated agenda has been posted to the Otter Tail County website. The meeting changes are due to emergency circumstances for preparing and responding to the coronavirus pandem…

Otter Tail County Solid Waste, Springboard for the Arts and the Kaddatz Galleries are teaming up again to host a “Trashion Fashion” show in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The event will be held on Saturday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fergus Falls VFW.

The Otter Tail County Highway Department announced  weight restrictions on Otter Tail County Highways and Fergus Falls city streets will go into effect at 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Restrictions will remain in effect until signs are removed.

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During the 2020 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, held at Arrowwood Resort, Alexandria, several individuals, organizations and tourism businesses were recognized with Explore Minnesota Tourism Awards for their contributions to the state’s $16 billion travel industry.  Otter Tail County e…

The coronavirus is on the minds of many people. While the reported number of cases in the United States remains relatively small, and Minnesota has yet to identify a case, we must anticipate that COVID-19 will reach Minnesota.

The topic of making Otter Tail County a Second Amendment sanctuary county was brought up at a recent county commissioners board meeting. Although the commissioners said they would review the information and take it under advisement, the item will not be discussed at the Tuesday, Feb. 25 meeting.

Current soil and moisture conditions throughout the county, along with outlooks of continued above normal precipitation suggest flooding conditions throughout the region this spring are more likely than a typical year. However, significant flooding is not yet certain.

The Otter Tail County Safe Communities Coalition is a group of individuals and agencies who work together under funding from the Toward Zero Deaths Safe Roads Program via the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The mission of the coalition is to raise awareness of traffic safety issues an…

John Dinsmore has dedicated his life to helping others and serving the public good. For over 20 years he worked as a social worker and in 1998 he began his leadership service with Otter Tail County as the director of human services. In 2012, Dinsmore, with a breadth of experience, was select…

Otter Tail County, home to 1,048 lakes, is hosting the 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener May 7 -10. One of the goals of the event will be to highlight the lakes in the county, so anglers from all over are encouraged to fish any body of water in Otter Tail County during the event. Medi…

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.

The Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department and GreenCorps member Brittney Kakac are teaming up to fight food waste in Otter Tail County by sponsoring screenings of the 2017 documentary, “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” at public libraries across Otter Tail County. Anthony Bourdain narrate…

Radon is the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths in the United States and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. More than 21,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon each year in the U.S. About 2 in 5 homes in Minnesota have dangerous levels of radon. Otter Tail C…

The role of snow-plow drivers is to clear the snow and ice off roads and to prepare county highways for safe driving. As a service to mail carriers, drivers plow under mailboxes while maintaining distance from those improperly installed. Sno-plow drivers never intentionally hit mailboxes. Th…

Otter Tail County wants you to build your future here. . .  and you can with local supports for housing investment. A county housing summit was hosted on Dec. 4, to launch “The Big Build” initiative. The goal of “The Big Build” is to build, preserve or rehabilitate 5,000 housing units by 202…

A short-term vacation rental (also called a vacation rental or STR) is most often defined as a rental of a residential dwelling unit or accessory building for periods of less than 30 consecutive days. Vacation rentals have exploded in popularity. Otter Tail County has an estimated 300-plus v…

The Otter Tail County (OTC) Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution appointing Nicole Hansen as the next OTC administrator. The resolution also appointed Nick Leonard as deputy county administrator. The appointments become effective Jan. 1, 2020. John Dinsmore, current count…

Shopping, gift wrapping, entertaining, decorating … the holidays are filled with fun activities and time with family and friends. Unfortunately they are also filled with lots of garbage. Literally. Paper plates and disposable utensils, paper napkins, plastic shopping bags, wrapping paper you…

It is time to sort the trash once again in Fergus Falls. On Thursday, Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department will conduct a trash sort at the recycling facility at 1115 North Tower Road in Fergus Falls. 

In addition to its observance of Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11, Otter Tail County’s New York Mills Office, located at 118 North Main Avenue in New York Mills will also be closed from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13 to enable staff to participate in a staff safety training.

It’s that time of year again. . . flu season.  The Minnesota Department of Health recommends, for best protection, to get your flu vaccine in early fall before flu season starts. However, you can still get the vaccine anytime during flu season which is typically October through April. Jessica Metzger, a public health nurse with […]

The local planning committee is happy to announce that Lund Boats is the premiere boat sponsor for the 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener.  Lund will be donating a new Lund 1875 Impact XS to be raffled and will also be making two Pro V Limited boats for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to fish from […]

Is it time to renew your driver’s license? Are you unsure of what type of license you need? The Otter Tail County License Center in Fergus Falls offers three different types of driver’s licenses: Minnesota driver’s license, Real ID and enhanced. Here are a few tips to help you decide which driver’s license is appropriate […]

County planning and zoning are complex issues that leaders must frequently consider. On Oct. 10-11, the Minnesota Association of County Planning and Zoning Administrators (MACPZA) met to share various topics from their professions. The conference focused on current issues covered by many county planning commissions and boards of adjustment.  The MACPZA group meets biannually with […]

Workforce housing shortages are being addressed statewide. In Otter Tail County, a groundbreaking was held for The Colony, a 36-unit market rate apartment building in Pelican Rapids.  Otter Tail County’s Community Development Agency (CDA) partners with the private sector, community organization, and state and local governments to expand housing opportunities and promote business development. The […]

Otter Tail County’s new Minnesota GreenCorps member Brittney Kakac is not just someone that knows the region, but is very passionate about her line of work. “I grew up in Sabin, and after high school I traveled the country and lived in various places. I began college in 2016 at Fond du Lac Tribal and […]

It’s working! Collaboration among community partners improve lives in Otter Tail County. On Tuesday, Aug. 27 the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners and other staff members were invited to tour and learn more about the Perham 180 Program sponsored by Productive Alternatives Inc. (PAI). The Perham 180 Program is model of how community partners […]

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 […]

Otter Tail County Public Health Department’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program is celebrating Minnesota Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August. This year’s theme focuses on “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding.” Community members, employers and health professionals can do a lot to support women and families, and help mothers and babies get a healthy start. Breastfeeding Awareness […]

Otter Tail County is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael Schommer, director of probation. John Dinsmore, county administrator, welcomes Schommer, “Mike brings wonderful depth and breadth to the probation director role.  His years of experience with the Department of Corrections coupled with a master’s degree in organizational leadership provides an excellent blend of what […]

The county of 1,048 lakes is hosting the Governor’s Fishing Opener (GFO) May 8-10, 2020. Otter Tail County was selected to host the event as a county-wide celebration to showcase Otter Tail County’s diverse outdoor recreation opportunities, the numerous lakes and welcoming communities. Otter Tail Lake will be host to Gov. Tim Walz and other […]

Summer is full of fun events. You could go to a different parade, fair or festival every week if you wanted to! While we all love having a good time, events and parties create a lot of waste. Everything thrown away was once a natural resource, so reducing waste will help conserve natural resources. From […]

County commissioners are elected by and serve the residents of Otter Tail County. In order to engage those they serve, the county commissioners are coming to the residents of District 4 with a board meeting on June 25 at 4 p.m. at the Henning Community Center. Local youth groups and mayors are participating. A meet […]

To provide a safer disposal option for used sharps and needles, the Otter Tail County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program is now accepting sharps in puncture-resistant containers. Having a designated disposal site for sharps reduces the risk of accidental needle pricks for recycling and sanitation workers. Previously residents have been instructed to fill puncture-resistant containers […]

Desta Lutzwick, Otter Tail County’s director of probation will retire at the end of May. Lutzwick, a graduate of St. Cloud State University, began her career in Anoka County as a probation officer in 1977.  She has worked for Otter Tail County since 1981 and began her service as the director in 2016. Many people […]

Recently there has been a lot of news coverage about measles and many questions have been asked of Otter Tail County Public Health Department. Jessica Metzger, a public health nurse specializing in disease prevention and control, has some helpful advice for those seeking answers to their questions about measles. There are many resources available to […]

Otter Tail County is celebrating National Drug Court Month. Treatment courts (drug, DWI, and mental health and veteran) have been shown to be one of the most successful justice programs for reducing addiction, crime and recidivism while saving taxpayer dollars. Otter Tail County has operated a DWI treatment court since 2008. DWI court is a […]

Rural homeowners do you have questions about your wells and septic systems? Otter Tail County invites you to attend a free informational session to help you understand the basic principles of how a septic system works.  A Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) representative will be in attendance to provide information and answer questions on private […]

The public’s input is needed for the Otter Tail County Long-Range Strategic Plan for Otter Tail County.  An online survey is available for the community to provide input to shape the planning process. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and is available at ottertailcountymn.us/LRSP. The county, with input from county residents and […]

In one year, on April 1, 2020, the decennial census will begin. The results of the 2020 Census will have an enormous impact on residents in Minnesota, especially here in greater Minnesota. In order to help maximize our count locally, the Fergus Falls Complete Count Committee will be working hard to share information and opportunities […]

The Kaddatz Galleries, Otter Tail County Solid Waste, The Spot and Springboard for the Arts are teaming up to host the first ever Trashion Fashion show in Otter Tail County. The event will be on April 27 in honor of Earth Day. Teams are invited to sign up to design a garment(s) out of trash […]

Most of us like to think we are good at juggling many tasks at one time. In the Otter Tail County Dispatch Center, multitasking is a fine art. The public can be confident that when an emergency call is placed to 9-1-1 a qualified and well-trained communication officer in the dispatch center will professionally support […]

Capitol Day is an opportunity for elected county officials and leaders to share the voice of their constituents with state legislators. Several leaders from Otter Tail County attended the Legislative Conference in St. Paul. The conference is sponsored by the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) and is an opportunity for county leaders to scheduled appointments […]

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners is working to get out and meet their constituents in the month of March, setting up several meet and greets. On March 5, the commissioners will meet in Perham for their monthly meeting, convening in the Perham City Hall Chambers at 12 p.m. The commissioners will return to […]

SNAP benefits users are still facing some semblance of limbo after the government has been temporarily reopened as members of Congress work to find a final agreement to keep the government open. Benefit users received their February benefits early via their EBT cards in mid-January after local human services employees worked overtime to get applications […]

Leaders in Otter Tail County are putting together their main legislative priorities to bring to the Minnesota Legislature in St. Paul. The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners outlined funding priorities and announced their 2019 legislative priorities. The priorities set by the commissioners are to expand broadband infrastructure, asking for funding of the Broadband Development […]

The public is invited to attend open house meetings to discuss the Otter Tail County Long-Range Strategic Plan. These meetings will offer the public an opportunity to provide feedback on the plan’s six elements: Land use, public infrastructure, resilience, economy, natural resources, and parks and trails. The public meeting will be an open house format […]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. Otter Tail County Public Health encourages you to test your home for radon. A free radon test kit is available at the Public Health office in Fergus Falls. Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that seeps up from the earth. […]