0716.Phelps.3

Mathew Holding Eagle | Daily journal

Doubling size: Visitors browse vendors at this year’s Phelps Mill Festival. Otter Tail County Commissioners approved a $285,000 purchase that will double the size of the county park.

Otter Tail County Commissioners last week voted to approve a $285,000 purchase that will more than double the size of the county park at Phelps Mill.

The 72-acre tract immediately north of the small Maine Township community was offered by Century 21 on behalf of the Gladys Krohn Trust.

How did the county score such a nice piece of property?

“We saw a for sale sign out there,” Otter Tail County Public Works Director Rick West said.

The sale may not be completely wrapped up until September but once it is West sees a project steering committee being formed out of interested county residents and a master park plan being created.

“They’re the ones that will really guide the process,” said West, who does not see a master planning process starting until late in 2019 or early in 2020.

The county currently has a 52-acre park on the lovely banks of the Otter Tail River. The additional acreage will open some intriguing options for its use by the county. At this time there is no overnight camping spots at the county park but West did not rule it out in the future.

“There should be more of a variety of amenities,” West speculated.

West said the new property currently contains an old farmstead, a couple of wetlands, a pasture and some tilled ground.

“In my opinion it’s a real gem for Otter Tail County and for the state of Minnesota,” West said. “These opportunities come up just once in a lifetime.”

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