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This year the Otter Tail County Auditor’s Office has been asked many questions about voting. The pandemic has given rise to new precautions at polling places and questions about alternatives to voting in person. Minnesota has several options available for those who choose not to vote in pers…

Have you experienced financial difficulties or fallen behind on housing payments due to unemployment, illness, or another issue that occurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic? On Sept. 1, the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners approved a policy authorizing deployment of community resil…

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Although burning garbage in a burn barrel or stove has been illegal for more than four decades, up to 25% of rural residents still burn their own garbage. The Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department asks residents to finally put the burn barrel away, as the practice is a misdemeanor offense…

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With elections right around the corner, Otter Tail County auditor/treasurer, Wayne Stein has been busy. The 61-year-old Fergus Falls resident has been with the county for over three decades and continues to put forth maximum effort as he tries to help county residents with their questions. W…

Do you have personal property close to the highway right-of-way? Otter Tail County Highway Department reminds you to move property, signs, and items for sale back from the roadway. Public safety for all drivers including snow plow drivers is critical. We do not want your property damaged. Pl…

Do you have past due rent or mortgage payments related to the COVID-19 public health crisis?  In July, Gov. Tim Walz announced that up to $100 million of funding would be allocated from the state’s COVID-19 Relief Fund to create a new housing assistance program. MAHUBE-OTWA has been selected…



On Aug. 18 the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of establishing a 30-day no-wake zone at Twin Lakes, located west of Otter Tail Lake.

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In response to overwhelming interest in water test kits, Otter Tail County has responded. Beginning Sept. 8, 2020, the Land and Resource Management Department will make available water test kits to the public. The water test kits test private drinking wells for coliform bacteria, arsenic, ni…

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This year returning to school is very different than in the past. Most parents and caregivers have been faced with choices about how their child will return to school this fall. The Otter Tail County Public Health  is here to assist parents, caregivers, students and staff as they return to a…

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The Census Bureau is scheduled to end data collection this month on Sept. 30 and Otter Tail County is sitting at only a 55.3% self-response rate, one of the lowest in the state, compared to a state-wide self-response rate of 73.9%.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is going to be equipping deputies with body worn cameras. To be compliant with Minnesota state law, they would like to allow the public to comment on the cameras being purchased as well as the policy they will be adopting for them. The cameras and policy info…

Census takers are currently in the neighborhood. Even though census takers began visiting the area households can still respond online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by mail until Sept. 30. By answering a few questions, you will help shape the future of your community for th…

The Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers (AMEM) announced Patrick Waletzko, Otter Tail County Emergency Management director, has been named the 2020 Joe Strub award recipient.

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Tens of thousands of children could miss out on healthy food if their families don’t apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, also referred to as P-EBT, benefits by July 31. About 350,000 Minnesota school children who qualify for the federal free and reduced-price meal program are eli…

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Recently, Otter Tail County suffered extensive property damage and loss of life as a result of four tornadoes in a single day. As the county recovers from this disaster, it seeks to identify ways it can continue to prepare for future tornadoes and other natural disasters.

Residents of Otter Tail County may have heard a lot of news about federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding.  The funding was authorized under the federal CARES Act. The funds can be used to support local government services as well as grants to businesses, hospi…

Recent weather may have residents and visitors wondering why they may not have received weather warnings they were used to receiving through the county’s emergency notification system. Otter Tail County reminds everyone that beginning July 1, the county replaced its countywide CodeRED emerge…

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Lake recreation became a topic of general discussion at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting. The board discussed issues that were occurring on a lake in front of a constituent’s home. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office has responded to complaints of gatherings of many boats on popul…

Recent weather may have residents and visitors wondering why they may not have received weather warnings they were used to receiving through the county’s emergency notification system. Otter Tail County reminds everyone that beginning July 1, the county replaced its countywide CodeRED emerge…

After a violent EF4 tornado swept through Otter Tail County residents are pulling together in the aftermath. Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office continues to patrol the area and Fergus Falls Public Works crews continue to clean up debris from the right of ways while the assessor’s office and …

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As we continue to navigate the road ahead, the well-being of residents, visitors, business community and employees continues to guide the work of Otter Tail County. In the next phase of the preparedness and reopening plan Otter Tail County will reopen county buildings to the public. County a…

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Even more businesses, organizations and outdoor activities will begin to expand opening or open in Otter Tail County. As businesses began to develop their preparedness plans it became apparent that personal protective equipment (PPE) was in short supply or required large quantities to place …

The Otter Tail County Community Development Agency is committed to supporting area businesses as they navigate the road ahead. To directly aid in the recovery of small businesses, the board of directors recently dedicated $200,000 to establish a small business relief fund.

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Otter Tail County continues to navigate the road ahead in the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic Jody Lien, public health director, has maintained that “we are in a marathon not a sprint.” Otter Tail County’s first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 was on March 29, 2020. Co…

Public safety officials in Otter Tail County announced Wednesday that Smart911 is now available to all individuals. Smart911 is a free service that allows residents and travelers to sign up for notifications sent from state and local public safety authorities and will provide timely and acti…

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A smoldering lithium battery was found in the recycling at an Otter Tail County Transfer Station last Friday. Employee Scott Mounts observed smoke coming from the single-sort recycling bunker at the Fergus Falls Transfer Station, but was able to alert other staff and contain the hazard befor…

The stay-at-home executive order issued by the state has ended and many businesses are reopening their doors with modifications. In adhering to the Stay Safe Minnesota state guidance Otter Tail County will be reopened in phases and the buildings will remain locked during this time. The main …

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Otter Tail County wants you to build your future here... and you can with local supports for housing investment. Be a part of the “The Big Build” initiative launched in December 2019. The goal of The Big Build is to build new or rehabilitate 5,000 housing units by 2025. Building towards the …

The people of Otter Tail County are a resilient group. I am proud to be a member of this county and feel fortunate to call it home. I also am proud to serve the residents of Otter Tail County as a county commissioner.  It is a privilege to work with a skilled and dedicated group of individua…

Otter Tail County is preparing a master plan for Phelps Mill County Park and needs your input! The master plan will create a vision for future park improvements within the existing and expanded park area.  Otter Tail County is expanding the current 55-acre Phelps Mill County Park on the Otte…

Chris LeClair, director of Otter Tail County Land and Resource Management, announced recently that funding is available through a grant from the Clean Water Partnership and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for county residents to make repairs to noncompliant septic systems. Beginning M…

Hello Otter Tail County, this is your local GreenCorps member, Brittney Kakac. I am halfway through my service year with the Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department and in Week 4 of the stay-at-home order. During this time, I’ve been thinking a lot about disposability and how we can reduce …

This year, on May 8 Otter Tail County celebrates Licensed Family Child Care Provider Day to honor child care providers for the extraordinary work they do. This special day is intended to recognize all those who nurture, teach and care for children in multiple settings across the county. Chil…

Otter Tail County Public Health, along with local healthcare partners, are encouraging the public not to delay necessary medical care over fear of COVID-19. Delaying medical care may cause mild health issues to become more severe illness. By not addressing your health care needs now, it coul…

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution proclaiming May as Foster Care Month. Now is an opportune time to consider becoming a foster parent. An increasing number of children are entering foster care each year. Otter Tail County needs additional quality foster homes f…

Otter Tail County understands the impact and burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, nonprofits, the public sector and individuals. The economic impact is widespread and touches every facet of daily life. Rural counties and those with large seasonal populations, where many businesses …

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The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners approved a modification to the property tax rebate program for single and two-family homes that are being newly built during their meeting Tuesday, April 7.

Preliminary design for the Tyler Wolers Trail project was unveiled by Apex Engineering’s Bob Schlieman during the Ottertail City Council meeting held Thursday, April 16 through online meeting service Zoom.

The Otter Tail County Public Health Department’s Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC) wants families to know that they are here for them. The WIC program is open for current participants and new participants. WIC is a health and nutrition program and provides a variety of healthy foods…

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At a Grant County Board of Commissioners meeting last week, the board discussed options following the temporary suspension of services offered by Grant County DAC with regard to their recycling contract with the county. The DAC, which provides prevocational services designed to help teach pe…

On April 7, the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners announced that for the now county property taxes will still be due no later than May 15. Any measure by legislators at the state Capitol to change the due date because of the coronavirus impact would need the approval of Gov. Tim Walz.

As Minnesotans, we get excited about the ice “going out.” Warmer weather provides an opportunity to get outdoors, visit the lakes and reconnect with nature. Many seasonal property owners and snowbirds are asking: Can we go to our cabin during the stay at home order? This year going to the ca…