By Barbie Porter


The Vergas Planning Commission will recommend the city council start the process of seeking grants for the city’s comprehensive plan.

The comprehensive plan is a master plan for a city that provides defined goals for all activities that affect local government. The process generally takes months, and includes public input.

During its monthly meeting on Monday, Jan. 25, the group discussed cost options, as there are varying costs. KLJ, which would facilitate the creation of the plan, recommended the option that would cost $18,800.  The actual cost to the city stands to be substantially less, if grants are secured. 

Vergas City Clerk Julie Lammers explained Otter Tail County has a grant for $5,000, WCI has a grant for up to $7,500 and there are opportunities with other organizations, including the Blandin Foundation. After grants were received, the remaining cost would be paid for from the city’s general fund.

“We will need council approval to even apply for the grants,” Lammers said.

The commission recommend to the council to provide support in moving forward with the project and seeking grant opportunities for the $18,800 comprehensive plan. 

Maintenance of 

Townline Rd discussed

Neither the city or Hobart Township have an easement along Townline Road where trees need to be trimmed as they are stretching into the road. 

Hobart Township owns 24.6 percent of the road and the city of Vergas owns the remainder. The two entities split snowplowing and road maintenance costs. 

It was reported by city Utilities Superintendent Mike DuFrane that the property owner stated he did not want the trees trimmed. It was noted when discussing with the county, the road is not recorded there either. 

However, Lammers explained when a road is in place as long as Townline Road has been, it is automatically assumed there is a right of way. Paperwork still needs to be filed, but first the city needs to direct what type of easement they are seeking. The options could be specifically for tree trimming or the traditional 33 feet on both sides from the center line.

The commission agreed to get background information on previous city easement purchases, and then invite the property owner to a meeting to discuss concerns and options to an amicable solution. 

West Lake Street 

property to be 

sent certified letter

A property owner along West Lake Street was informed a grade and fill permit was needed for work the party began this past year. It was noted a significant amount of dirt had been moved for landscaping and driveway work.

Lammers stated the city sent a letter to the property owner about three months ago explaining the need for a permit. She added the property owners had contacted her and stated they would purchase a permit. However, no application has been submitted.

The commission noted if work was being done in the city right-of-way, then a right-of-way permit would also be needed. 

The commission agreed to send a certified letter, which requires a response in 10 days, notifying them of the permits that are needed.

In other news

• The commission set a new meeting time for the fourth Monday of the month at 6 p.m.

• Bruce Albright was appointed the city council liaison. Former liaison, Councilman Logan Dahlgren, stepped down from the planning commission. 

• Albright was appointed the chair of the planning commission and Councilwoman Natalie Fischer was appointed to retain her position as vice chair.